Education and Leadership

Education and Leadership

Leadership and academic enrichment programs such as the Anaheim Achieves After School Program, Youth and Government, Youth Institute, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) integration, make sure that every child has an opportunity to envision and pursue the best possible future.

The Y believes all children and teens have potential. But research shows that many youth from underserved and low-income families need extra support in reaching this potential. They often start kindergarten underprepared and fall behind their peers as they progress through school. That “gap,” known as the achievement gap, presents not just immediate hurdles for these students, but also long-term challenges for us all.

The Y is working with caregivers, students and schools districts and other community partners to close the gap, piloting evidence-based programs that improve students’ educational readiness, engagement and outcomes, while helping them grow emotionally and physically, too.

Children and teens’ future success is fostered by caring adults who make them feel loved, competent, happy and healthy today. That’s why Y staff and volunteers are also mentors and role models, sharing a part of this very important—but very inspiring—responsibility in helping youth realize who they are and what they are capable of achieving.

Early Learning Readiness
Anaheim Achieves After School Program
Youth & Government
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)
Early Learning Readiness

The YMCA’s Early Learning Readiness Program provides a stimulating environment for children ages infant – 5 years old to play and learn with their parents or caregivers while developing the physical, verbal, and social skills they’ll need to start school ready to succeed.

Thanks to grant funding, the program is offered free of charge to the public and focuses on increasing the school readiness of young children in low-income families. In an informal setting with multiple play stations, adults will learn more about how children develop and how they can encourage learning and skill-building at home. The program is geared toward families without access to other early learning opportunities.

Anaheim Achieves After School Program

The Anaheim Achieves after school collaboration has earned state and national recognition for its outstanding curriculum in academics, enrichment and recreation. Beyond that, Anaheim Achieves promotes community safety, parent involvement, volunteerism and civic pride.

Anaheim Achieves builds upon the schools district’s exceptional academic curriculum by providing literacy development, homework assistance, mentoring, enrichment activities (art, music, dance), character development and countless more activities. All sites are open until 6 p.m.

Some benefits students receive include:
. Homework/study time to help address specific academic needs
. Structured recreational and enrichment activities
. Monthly field trips (at no extra cost)
. Character Development (to learn about honesty, caring, respect and responsibility)
. Afternoon snacks
. One-on-one mentors and tutors
. A variety of clubs, such as cooking, drama, sports, arts & crafts, cheerleading

Youth & Government

Youth in Government is a national program of the Y that involves thousands of teens nationwide in state-organized, model-government programs. Students from every corner of the U.S. have the opportunity to immerse themselves in experiential civic engagement and to, quite literally, practice democracy.

Teens from across every state meet in their local Youth in Government groups throughout the year to discuss and debate issues that affect citizens of their state and to propose legislation. The program culminates with teens serving as delegates at their state conference, debating bills on the floor of the legislature.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)

STEM is serious business, especially for America’s young people. They need to learn science, technology,engineering and mathematics if they hope one day to compete on the world’s stage. Our YMCA has a valuable role to play in introducing young people to technical fields, spurring their interest, and showing them that they can transcend socioeconomic barriers to have rewarding futures.

The STEM programs are geared to encourage:

  • Increased youth interest and engagement in STEM careers
  • Increased awareness in STEM careers
  • Improved youth analytic and problem solving skills.
  • Enhanced youth sense of achievement and belonging.
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