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YMCA of Greater Charlotte
YMCA of Greater Charlotte
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When you give to the Dowd YMCA, you make our community better through life-changing programs and services focused on:


Y Readers
Y ReadersY Readers is the YMCA of Greater Charlotte’s nationally recognized literacy program designed for rising first through third grade students who are reading below grade level. The program, offered to families at no cost, utilizes certified teachers to provide the additional support students need to be proficient in reading by the end of third grade. Y Readers serves more than 800 students annually, across three school districts, through a six-week summer camp and an afterschool program. With the generous support of our donors, the Center City YMCAs fund 48 students at Reid Park Academy. An additional 200 Y Readers students from multiple schools participate in free swim lessons and water safety instruction at the Stratford Richardson and Childress Klein YMCAs.

“Eduardo was having trouble adjusting to life in a new country and a new school. His teacher suggested Y Readers, and Eduardo jumped right in. He was excited to spell out sight words and talk about the books he was reading. Throughout the program, his teachers could see that he was progressing in his reading and comprehension skills, and his confidence was rising each day. Y Readers helped Eduardo reach his goals of becoming a better reader, but most importantly, built his confidence as a scholar.”
– Y Readers Teacher

A donation of $1,450 offers a child struggling to read the opportunity to improve his literacy skills and build confidence in the classroom through Y Readers.

Childcare, Summer Camp & Youth Sports
Each year, the Johnston and Stratford Richardson YMCAs engage more than 1,000 children in summer camp, afterschool and before school care. These programs create a safe place where kids can be themselves, cultivate friendships, learn from positive role models and receive academic support. Another 500 youth build confidence and develop lifelong healthy habits through Y sports. At the Johnston and Stratford Richardson YMCAs, sports are offered at a low cost, giving kids and families who typically cannot afford it the chance to play.

“Since attending summer camp at the Y, my son has more self-confidence and is meeting new friends. Everywhere we go he sees a camp buddy. Camp has also opened him up to less aggression with friends and has taught him how to be friendlier. Camp helped him stay on the right track and get ready for school.” -Parent

A donation of $100 gives a child the opportunity to build confidence and develop lifelong healthy habits through one season of sports.

A donation of $300 sends a child to two weeks of summer camp filled with enriching, healthy activities and positive role models.

A donation of $500 gives a child two months of afterschool enrichment and a safe place to go after the bell rings.


Safety Around Water
Safety Around WaterSafety Around Water is the Y’s on-site water safety program that engages low-income youth living in local apartment communities where pools are often without lifeguards. The 8-session course, taught by certified YMCA swim instructors and lifeguards, teaches children basic water safety and swimming skills that reduce their risk of drowning and give them confidence in and around water.

Swim Lessons
When kids learn to swim, they build confidence, acquire safety/rescue skills and develop lifelong healthy habits. More than 700 kids participate in swim lessons each year at the Childress Klein, Dowd, Johnston and Stratford Richardson YMCAs. We also partner with several local neighborhoods and schools to provide kids in need with access to free swim lessons at the Y.

“Both of my children learned how to swim at YMCA summer camp. They are much more confident at pool parties and social gatherings around bodies of water like lakes and rivers. They know their limits and I know they are safe.” -Parent

A donation of $100 gives a child the opportunity to build confidence and develop lifelong healthy habits through two sessions of swim lessons.


Financial Assistance
Financial AssistanceOur Y is committed to serving those in greatest need. Through the generosity of our donors, the Center City YMCAs are able to fund life-changing programs and services at the Johnston and Stratford Richardson YMCAs – keeping the Y available for those who need us most.

“A single mother of 10-year-old twin girls, I was suddenly without childcare. With no family or close friends nearby and less than a week to find a place for my girls to go after school, I began frantically searching for a safe, affordable option. That’s when I found the Stratford Richardson YMCA. I knew right away that I’d made a great decision enrolling them in the Y’s afterschool program. Not only are my girls safe, they are engaging in daily enrichment activities such as homework assistance, tutoring, physical activity and nutrition education. The Y has played a major role in their social, physical, spiritual and mental development. I am so thankful for the existence of the YMCA in my community.”

For more information, please stop by or contact:
Sales & Service Center | 704 716 6100