UNION — Homework assistance is a big part of the Union County YMCA Afterschool Program.
CEO Scott Sandor said Friday that the program, which began earlier this month on the first day of the school year, provides a place for children to spend the afternoon after school lets out.
“In our after school program we provide a healthy snack,” Sandor said. “We do devotions each day. We provide homework assistance and then structured playtime.”
Sandor said the homework assistance the YMCA provides goes beyond simply providing children with a time to do their homework. He said the YMCA assists the children with their homework in order to help them to improve their academic performance at and their attitude toward school.
“One of the things we as a United Way program do is track their academic progress,” Sandor said. “Our goal is to not just provide time for them to do their homework, but to help them with their homework so that it is done accurately and neatly so that they get the full advantage in school.
“Research shows children who have their homework done accurately and neatly have fewer discipline problems in school,” he said. “One of the side effects of this is they tend to do better in school and their attitude about school improves.”
Currently, there are approximately 40 children enrolled in the program which Sandor said is open to “anyone in attendance at any of the elementary schools.” He said that when elementary schools in the Union area — Buffalo, Foster Park, and Monarch — lets out, YMCA personnel pick the children up from school and bring them to the after school program where they remain until their parents pick them up.
For elementary school children in the Union area the after school program is held at the YMCA which is located at 106 Lakeside Drive, Union. Sandor said the YMCA also operates its after school program for elementary children in the Jonesville area at Jonesville Elementary/Middle School.
The fee for the after school program is $140 per month for YMCA members and $160 per month for non-members. However, Sandor said that reduced rates are available for families who qualify for them.
“As with any of our YMCA programs we offer financial assistance in the form of reduced fees for those who qualify,” Sandor said. “The financial assistance program is based on household income, the number of people in the household, and any extenuating circumstances.”
Sandor added that while the after school program is provided in the afternoons from the time school lets out until 6 p.m., the YMCA itself is open from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. He said this not only includes days school is in session but also those days when students are out such as teacher work days, Christmas break and spring break. The YMCA offers programs that provide for the entertainment and enrichment of children throughout the day.
Fall Soccer Program
Another program for children at the YMCA that will soon get under way is its fall soccer program.
“Our Fall Soccer Program is a developmental soccer league where we focus on skill development and rules of the game,” Sandor said. “We deemphasize the the competition side of it during the fall.”
Sandor said the program which will begin Tuesday, Sept. 10, is for children ages 3-8. He said the deadline for registration is Wednesday, Sept. 4.
The registration fee for the soccer program is $30 for YMCA members and $45 for non-members.
For more information on the Afterschool Program and/or the Fall Soccer Program contact the Union County YMCA at 864-427-0668 or unionymca.org.