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Youth Development - Academic Success

CLOSING THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP

Research shows that many youth from underserved and low-income families 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 understands that the future of our community is affected by the academic success of children. We also know that not all children have what they need to thrive in the classroom. That’s why we support them with strong role models and enriching experiences that give all children the opportunity to reach their greatest potential academically.

 

Nurturing Academically and Beyond

At the Y, we work with caregivers, students, schools and community partners to close the gap. Our evidence-based programs improve students’ educational readiness, engagement and outcomes, while helping them grow emotionally and physically, too. We believe it’s important to create opportunities for students to gain self-confidence by preparing them for academic success early on. We also support and encourage parents in giving young children the critical building blocks to thrive in early childhood.

 

Supporting Kids in Need

Each of our achievement gap programs — Y Readers, Y Achievers and Parents as Teachers — is offered to families at no cost and is fully funded by individual gifts, corporate donations and grants. Last year, we were able to provide $2.3 million in achievement gap support to help kids in need succeed in their educational journey.

Academic Success
For Youth Development

Parents as Teachers

The Parents as Teachers program works with under-resourced families in Mecklenburg County that have at least one child under the age of five and usually have one or more risk-factors — low income level or education, numerous family relocations, newcomer in the community, psycho-social issues, and lack of insurance.

The mission of Parents as Teachers is to provide the information, support and encouragement parents need to help their children develop optimally during the crucial early years of life.

Y Achievers

Y Achievers serves students from varying academic levels in pursuit of high educational and career goals. The year-round program enrolls new freshmen each fall across eight local high schools. During the summer, Y Achievers provides eligible rising juniors and seniors an opportunity to work in paid summer internships.

The mission of Y Achievers is to help teens improve academic performance, explore diverse college and career options plus interact with professionals who serve as role models.

Y Readers

Y Readers is the YMCA of Greater Charlotte's nationally recognized literacy program that serves students in grades K-3 who are reading below grade level. The program operates as a six-week summer camp as well as a before/after school program, serving 800 students annually across three school districts.

The mission of Y Readers is to provide the additional support students need to gain self-confidence and be proficient in reading by the end of third grade.