As another summer winds down and a new school year is on the horizon, the YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge & South Amboy (MEWSA) wants to remind parents and caregivers that the Y’s afterschool program is place where children can remain active, learning and engaged during their time out of school – a critical time for all school-age children. Each year, the Y works to provide engaging activities in a caring and safe environment after school, and this year will be no different.
“One in five children do not have someone to care for them after school, an essential time to help increase children’s success in school,” said Cindy Shields, Senior Child Care Director, YMCA of MEWSA. “As an organization dedicated to youth development, we know how important it is that our children have a safe and enriching environment for learning, both in and out of school. We are pleased to be able to provide this space to the children in our community, allowing their invaluable social, emotional, physical and academic growth to continue long after the school day ends.
Through a balanced approach to youth development, the program offers activities, mentorship and academic support, nurturing the potential of all participants throughout the school year. Financial assistance is available to ensure every child and teen has the opportunity to learn and grow at the Y.
Careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) are projected to grow 17 percent over the next few years, and the Y is helping youth develop strong problem-solving, planning, analysis and decision-making skills to succeed in the classroom and in high-demand careers through offering STEM-related enrichment classes.
The Y’s enrichment programs for children in kindergarten through eighth grade are designed to help youth be healthy and active and achieve academic success while also developing social-emotional skills, critical for success in the classroom and beyond. Early Learning and School Age Child Care Programs uniquely align with schools and families to support student success through educational enrichment programs. Staff have also been trained in Trauma Transformation, through a grant-sponsored partnership with ChildWIN, to provide trauma-informed care to children, a first of its kind program in New Jersey.
The YMCA of MEWSA employs Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards that help build a healthier future for the children by encouraging healthy eating habits, limiting screen time and providing physical activity to keep every child healthy. Specifically, through a partnership with Wegmans, fresh fruits and vegetables are provided daily, as well as healthy snack options that are low in sugar, trans-fat free, include low-fat dairy products and whole grain options.
For more information and to sign up for the Y’s afterschool program visit www.ymcaofmewsa.org or call 732-593-5980.