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A new school year means a fresh start for kids-a chance to start new routines and habits, build new friendships and discover new possibilities and interests. Back-to-school is a fresh start for youth and the people who care for them. As children transition from summer to fall, the Kosciusko Community YMCA is offering programs to school-aged children throughout Kosciusko County to keep youth active, busy and engaged during out-of-school time. Through a holistic approach to youth development, the Y’s program offers activities in a caring and safe environment during the critical hours before and after school.
At the end of the day when the school bell rings, 11.3 million kids are headed home to be unsupervised from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., according to the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit public awareness advocacy organization. In Indiana, 20 percent of children are left alone and responsible for taking care of themselves. With a new school year about to begin, the Kosciusko Community YMCA encourages parents to make sure that children are involved in safe, educational experiences after school hours.
The Y’s afterschool program combines academics with play for youth who may otherwise be left unsupervised. Eisenhower, Harrison, Jefferson, Lincoln, Madison, Mentone, Pierceton and Washington Elementary Schools all host the YMCA’s Kids’ Club sites from 6:00 a.m. until school starts and again after school until 6:00 p.m. for children entering Kindergarten through 6th grade. Claypool and Leesburg will only offer the before school care from 6:00 a.m. until school starts. Claypool, Leesburg, Mentone and Pierceton will also offer care for 3 to 5 year olds in addition to the elementary school aged students from 6:00 a.m. until school starts to accommodate their preschools.
Kids’ Club has a curriculum involving arts and humanities, health and nutrition, STEM, college and career readiness and leadership development. Time is also scheduled for homework and the Kids’ Club Caregivers are there to help. There is plenty of time for fun with group games and activities. Kids are encouraged to be active for at least 30 minutes of play each morning and each afternoon.
In addition to the Before and After School program, as an extension of Kids’ Club, the Y offers care on school breaks or when school is cancelled unexpectedly. For grades K-6 this program is held at the Parkview Warsaw YMCA from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Pre-registration and pre-payment are required for scheduled School Break Camps. This year scheduled camps are over Fall Break, Christmas Break, January 15, February 19, and Spring Break.
The YMCA provides financial assistance for those who qualify. Please apply 3 weeks in advance. We want to make sure that your children can be involved in a program that will benefit their character and educational development, instead of staying home alone.
Registration is going on now at the YMCA at 1305 Mariners Drive, Warsaw. Contact Tonya Douglass at 574-269-9622 with any questions. For further information see the website at www.kcymca.org.