2012-09-07 / Columnists

New Kid On The Boardwalk

Gearing Up For Back-to-School Season
Commentary By Jack Lund, Arverne By The Sea Y

Next year, getting ready for back to school will mean registering for programs at the new Y. Construction continues to move full steam ahead. We are currently installing manholes and the cultic system as well as pouring concrete for the first floor locker room and 2nd floor cardio rooms. The steel for the gym is being welded together, mechanical items are being installed in the basement and framing for the first floor fitness rooms has begun.

With the ringing of first period bells just a few weeks away, the Y helps families start the school year off on the right foot.

Many families wonder what to do with their kids in the hours between the school day ending and parents returning home from work. The after school hours are critical for working families – on school days the time between 3 and 6 p.m. are peak hours for kids to engage in risky behaviors.

The Y offers an After School Academy at more than 140 sites throughout the city that serves more than 15,000 youth each year. In addition to homework assistance from trained YMCA staff, the program allows students to socialize in a supervised environment, receive supplemental school lessons, and also get some exercise.

The Y After School Academy has been proven to lead to high standardized test scores, improved work habits, and reductions in behavior problems among students.

In addition, the Y offers Y Scholars, a program that aims to transform college into a real and attainable option for all kids. Working closely with students starting from sixth grade all the way through their high school years, Y Scholars provides mentoring, coaching, and guidance on the college admission process to help students figure out what they want to be and how to get there.

Since its pilot year, the program has grown from serving 100 students at three schools to becoming a citywide effort that serves more than 700 students at 14 public schools across the five boroughs; more than half of these students are first-generation Americans.

We’re proud to say that our first group of Y Scholars at the McBurney Y graduated this June and will be heading off to college armed with confidence, positive social skills, and effective problem solving techniques, all learned at the YMCA.

The Y is here to show families, parents, and our City’s kids that learning and the practicing of healthy habits need not end when the school bell rings.

Today, we’re helping New York’s families across the five boroughs get ready for back-to-school season. We can’t wait to be here for the Rockaways.

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