Saturday August 24, 2013

BRATTLEBORO/BELLOWS FALLS -- Providing youth with opportunities to continue to learn and engage in meaningful activities at the end of the school day can boost their academic success. To help motivate and inspire kids to learn, Meeting Waters YMCA is offering an afterschool program to school-aged children in the Connecticut River Valley. The Y’s ASPIRE afterschool program combines academic support with play and offers a caring and safe environment for youth who might otherwise be left unsupervised.

During the school year, 15.1 million U.S. children are left unsupervised after 3 p.m., according to the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit public awareness advocacy organization. With the start of the new school year, Meeting Waters YMCA encourages parents and caregivers to make sure that children are involved in safe, educational experiences after school.

"The combination of enrichment and extended learning opportunities is essential to increasing children’s success in school," said Susan Fortier, Senior Program Director at Meeting Waters YMCA. "YMCA afterschool programs promote a love for learning, social and emotional development, healthy choices, character and creativity, and provide children with an extra support system through positive role models to help them achieve and reach their full potential."

Studies show participation in afterschool programs helps boost school attendance and academic performance and reduces gaps in academic achievement among children from disadvantaged households.


Advertisement

Each day at Y-ASPIRE, youth receive help with homework, engage in physical activity, receive a healthy snack, and work together on a group project organized around the monthly Y-ASPIRE theme. Financial assistance is available to those in need, to ensure every child has the opportunity to learn and grow at the Y.

Y-ASPIRE takes place at all three Brattleboro elementary schools, at Dummerston School, at Meeting Waters YMCA’s program center in Bellows Falls for students and families of Central, Saxtons River and BF Middle schools; and at its new site at Walpole (N.H.) Primary School which serves students and parents from all three Walpole schools.

For more information about Meeting Waters YMCA’s Y-ASPIRE after-school program, visit meetingwatersymca.org, e-mail info@meetingwatersymca.org or call one of the offices: Brattleboro, 802-246-1036; or Bellows Falls, 802-463-4769.