YMCA of Greater Houston Announces New Virtual Learning Center

By: Texana Blacknall
| Published 08/03/2020

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HOUSTON, TX - The YMCA of Greater Houston is proud to announce the Y Learning Center, a new safe and structured environment that will allow students to attend virtual classes, benefit from peer interaction and participate in engaging enrichment activities, while parents return to work. The Y Learning Center hours are 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., similar to normal school hours with aftercare available until 6 p.m.

“We understand these are uncertain times and many families are worried how they are going to balance work and follow the vital school curriculum at home,” states president & CEO, YMCA of Greater Houston, Stephen Ives. “We have been helping parents since the start of the pandemic by providing child care for essential workers so they could return to work. As a helping hand and community partner, we want to continue assisting families in their virtual learning to help keep students on track for the school year and provide some relief to parents. We believe it is important for all children to have access to necessary resources and aid during this time.”

The Y Learning Center provides a structured schedule with a certified teacher to ensure students can focus while engaging in virtual learning. Students will also receive on-site academic support in a small group setting. The YMCA will work directly with campus teachers as well as parents to ensure each child’s success. Staff will be trained to work with students on learning platforms by individual school districts such as Schoology, Teams, SeeSaw, Canvas, Google Classrooms and more. The YMCA will provide experienced and trained counselors, maintaining a 1:9 staff-to-child ratio. Students are encouraged to bring their own technology as available technology is limited at each site.

Parents will have the option of selecting a half-day academic session, a half-day enrichment session or an all-day program, based on the family’s needs. Each three-hour session will be separated by a lunch break. Lunch and afternoon snack will be provided by the Houston Food Bank, or kids may bring their own lunch with snacks. Aftercare will also be available for an additional cost until 6 p.m. Participants can register for as many or as few days as needed. Registration is now open.

Y Learning Centers will be offered at the following YMCA of Greater Houston locations:

• Lake Houston Family YMCA
• D. Bradley McWilliams YMCA at Cypress Creek
• Weekley Family YMCA
• Trotter Family YMCA
• MD Anderson Family YMCA
• Alief Family YMCA
• Houston Texans YMCA
• The Woodlands YMCA at Shadowbend
• Baytown @ St. Paul Lutheran Church
• Mark A. Chapman YMCA at Katy Main Street
• Fort Bend Family YMCA

Cost:

• Registration Fee: $35 per child (one-time fee)
• Academic Session 8 - 11 a.m.: $25 per child per day
• Enrichment Session 12 - 3 p.m.: $20 per child per day
• Aftercare 3 - 6 p.m.: $15 per child per day
• Full Day 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.: $60 per child per day

Financial assistance is available through the YMCA and the Texas Workforce Commission.

CDC Guidelines & Safety Protocols:

The Y is committed to keeping all participants and staff safe and healthy. The following safety procedures will be in place:

• Small group sizes with a 1:9 ratio
• Separate area and rooms for each group of young people with the same staff each day
• Scheduled hand washing and access to hand sanitizer
• Staff, as well as children age 10+, are required to wear face masks while in the program area
• Increased cleaning and disinfecting processes throughout the day

Partnership & Sponsorship Opportunities:

The YMCA of Greater Houston is also welcoming partnerships and sponsors in order to further elevate the virtual learning program, and to offer the enrichment opportunities to local, low-income families. If interested, potential partners and sponsors are asked to contact afterschool@ymcahouston.org.

For more information about Y Learning Center, visit https://www.ymcahouston.org/ymca-learning-center or follow the organization on Facebook @YMCAHouston and Instagram @YMCAHouston.

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