Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Cash Grants Boost YMCA’s Afterschool & Early Learning Programs

United Way of Collier and the Keys has granted $98,000 to the YMCA of South Collier to support scholarships for early learning and afterschool programs in 2020 and 2021. 

The YMCA of South Collier serves children throughout southern Collier County including the communities of East Naples, Lely, Isles of Capri, Marco Island, Goodland, Port of the Islands, Everglades City and others.  

The United Way “really understands and responds to the needs of our community,” says Y CEO Cindy Love-Abounader. “Because of their support, we can serve children regardless of their families’ financial circumstances. That has never been more valuable than this year as so many families are struggling.” 

The Y’s early learning program provides children ages 2-5 a jump-start on literacy, math and social-emotional learning in a safe, nurturing, language-rich environment.  

According to Youth Development Manager Stephanie Pepper, the Y expects to continue its streak of 100% of its students testing as kindergartenready. 

ASPIRE, the Y’s K-8 after school program, focuses on literacy, math, physical education and character development. Homework help and mentoring are a regular part of the program, but school shutdowns at the end of last school year led the Y to expand this program into an all-day enrichment camp that incorporated the Collier County Public Schools’ virtual curriculum.  

When the new school year begins in August, ASPIRE will add even more flexibility to accommodate families who choose any of the school district’s in-person, virtual or blended instruction options. 

The YMCA of South Collier is a 501(c)3 charity that has served our community for over 40 years. Its mission is to put Judeo-Christian principles into practice with programs that build healthy mind, body and spirit for all. For more information, visit marcoymca.org.


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