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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 ReadersY Readers
Y 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 900 students annually, across three school districts, through a six-week summer camp and a before/afterschool program. During summer 2017, 76% of Y Readers improved or maintained their reading level.
In addition, Y Readers receive free swim lessons and water safety instruction.
“Jefferson is a rising 2nd grader who entered the Y Readers program reading below grade level. With English as his second language, Jefferson was shy, timid and did not want to participate or answer questions. Yet, as the program progressed, Jefferson started to come out of his shell and fully engage in read aloud activities. Halfway through the program he was even reading alongside rising 3rd graders. Jefferson has benefited greatly from Y Readers and excelled beyond measure. I cannot wait to see what he accomplishes next school year.”
– Y Readers Teacher

A gift 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, YMCA of Greater Charlotte engages more than 15,000 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. Thousands of youth build confidence and develop lifelong healthy habits through Y sports. At the Y, 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 gift of $100 gives a child the opportunity to build confidence and develop lifelong healthy habits through two sessions of swim lessons or one season of sports.
A gift of $300 sends a child to two weeks of summer camp filled with enriching, healthy activities and positive role models.
A gift of $500 gives a child two months of afterschool enrichment and a safe place to go after the bell rings.


Safety Around WaterSafety Around Water
Safety 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. Safety Around Water served 1,400 children at 28 local apartment communities last summer.

Swim Lessons
When kids learn to swim, they build confidence, acquire safety/rescue skills and develop lifelong healthy habits. More than 10,000 swim lessons are provided to kids each year at the YMCA. 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.” 


Financial AssistanceFinancial Assistance
Our Y is committed to serving those in greatest need. Through the generosity of our donors, we’re able to provide financial assistance for membership access and program participation, making life-changing Y programs and services available to 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.
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.”
A gift of $1,000 provides one year of YMCA membership access for a family of four to get healthy and spend quality time together.

Inclusion ProgrammingInclusion Programming
All children deserve the chance to thrive regardless of ability. Our Y’s inclusion programming utilizes specially trained staff to ensure that children with unique needs have the tools, support and environment they need to gain independence and foster healthy relationships with their peers. Inclusion programming is woven into traditional afterschool, preschool, childcare and summer camp, and supports children ages 0 to 17.

“The Y has been a godsend for my son Jorgy and our family. He really wanted to go to camp just like his friends, and everyone at the Y has worked with him so wonderfully to make that happen. The staff has been very attentive to his needs, and I cannot imagine his experience being better than at the YMCA.”

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