Indiana News

YMCA Piloting Afterschool Program

10/3/2012

The National YMCA is piloting an after school program here in Indiana.

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The program aims to address the current education crises. The latest figures show the national high school graduation rate is 75 percent and one in four students drop out of high school. That amounts to about one million students each year. That's why the Y has selected Indianapolis as one of several cities for its new Y-USA Afterschool Pilot Program. The program targets low income students in grades K-5.

Associate Program Director Monica Richardson says the program will partner with schools and tutor kids in things like math and science using 21st century technology. The program will run from 6:15 am until 7:30 am and then again from 3 pm until 6 pm, Monday through Friday. Richardson says the goal is to help prepare kids in various areas that include: academics, problem solving, media literacy, health and wellness, leadership development and global learning.

Meantime, Indiana Association of School Principals Executive Director Todd Bess says before and afterschool programs that emphasize early reading skills in youngsters are crucial. Bess says many issues that high school dropouts exhibit can be linked all the way back to early grade school. The program kicks off Monday morning with 35 students at the Paramount School of Excellence at 3020 Noland Avenue on the eastside of Indianapolis.

Other cities that are part of the program include: Cincinnati, Seattle, New York and Sun Coast, Florida. Richardson says the goal is to spread the program across Indiana. Richardson says the program does come at cost to families, but they can apply for aid. Fees are based on family income.

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