Afterschool Programs Address Children and Teens’ Social and Academic Needs

Submitted by the Oswego YMCA

Oswego, NY – As children and teens return to school, the Oswego Y encourages parents looking for safe, educational and fun activities outside the classroom to take advantage of its afterschool program. Combining play with academics, the Oswego Y’s afterschool program fills gaps in schools and in the Oswego community by offering enrichment through arts, music, physical education, sports and nutrition.

According to the Afterschool Alliance, 15.1 million children in the United States are left unsupervised after 3 p.m. In New York State alone, 1 out of 4 children are left alone – responsible for taking care of themselves.

o In New York, 25% (779,281) of K-12 youth are responsible for taking care of themselves after school.
o Of all New York children not currently enrolled in afterschool, 46% (1,114,924) would be likely to participate IF an afterschool program were available in their community.
o 83% of parents in New York are satisfied with the afterschool program their child attends.

“At the Oswego YMCA we are committed to nurturing the potential of every child and teen,” said Mike Perkins, Program Director, Oswego YMCA, “Our afterschool programs are not just about an extended day of work and activities – it’s about giving youth an extra support system that encourages them to achieve success.”

Afterschool programming at the Y is a healthy way for children and teens to stay active and productive when the school day ends. Youth in the Oswego Y’s afterschool program receive homework assistance and tutoring on tough subjects and can engage in fitness, arts, music and literacy activities. The Oswego Y offers for children k-6 our School Age Childcare program in both the Oswego and Mexico school districts from 6:45am-til school starts and end of school til 5:30pm. There is a fee for this program.

For youth 13-18 yrs (enrolled in school) we offer Advantage Afterschool program at the Oswego Y Armory. This program is free.

Perkins says that attending afterschool programs can have many lasting positive effects on youth, including helping children and teens develop interpersonal and social skills, perform well academically, and develop habits that lead to positive behaviors, better health and educational achievement.

As one of the leading providers of afterschool programs, the nation’s Ys have been engaging children in afterschool programs for more than 50 years. Today, Ys impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of youth in afterschool programs at nearly 10,000 sites across the country. Afterschool programming at the Y focuses on the holistic development of youth, promoting creativity, a love for learning, academic success and friendship and character building. Financial assistance is available to those in need, to ensure every child and teen has the opportunity to learn and grow at the Y.

Thanks to generous support from JCPenney Afterschool, the Oswego YMCA has been able to maintain and grow afterschool programming and support for area youth and families.

Nationally, JCPenney and JCPenney Afterschool have supported Y afterschool programs since 1999. JCPenney Afterschool awards financial aid grants to Ys across the country, enabling them to serve families with limited resources through life-enriching afterschool programs that inspire kids to be smart, strong and socially responsible. These access grants helped Ys provide critical financial support to 6,500 students during the 2009-2010 school year. In addition, JCPenney Afterschool’s Round-Up program complements the access grants, as store associates invite customers to “round up” their purchase total to the next whole dollar. JCPenney Afterschool donates these contributions directly to the Y and other leading afterschool programs.

For more information about the Oswego Y’s afterschool programs, please contact the Welcome Center at 315-343-1981 or [email protected]