BERWYN, PA — A new full-day academic kindergarten program at the Upper Main Line YMCA in Berwyn, PA welcomes families with rising kindergarteners to learn more about their STEAM-centered learning program. Students in YMCA Kindergarten Academy receive all the benefits of a traditional Kindergarten program while enjoying the robust 54-acre Berwyn campus complete with a STEM lab, Nature Center, Cassatt Preserve, Performing Arts Center and more.
The YMCA has long-run childcare and preschool programs as well as summer camps. They recently stepped in to provide school-year care through YMCA Learning Centers, supporting families in need of childcare for their elementary school students during virtual and hybrid learning.
“We forged many new relationships with our community this year through our Learning Centers. We heard from these families that they needed a quality full-day kindergarten program for their children. After having a positive experience with our staff and our programs through the Learning Centers, they asked if we would consider adding a Kindergarten program,” says Brian Raicich, executive director of the Upper Main Line YMCA.
Adjusting program offerings to meet the needs of the community is a core piece of the YMCA mission to serve its surrounding communities. The Oscar Lasko YMCA in West Chester, a sister branch of the Upper Main Line YMCA, has run a full-day Kindergarten Academy for several years for families in the surrounding area who grappled with the half-day program options in their school districts.
“We are so excited that we found the YMCA! The campus is an amazing place for kids to explore with the nature trails, recreation facilities, art classes and farm animals all at their fingertips. Their commitment to the Science of Reading, their focus on each student’s unique needs and their nurturing staff makes it the perfect place for our twins to begin their educational journey,” Kate and Josh Mayer.
Kindergarten Academy at the Upper Main Line YMCA will use a curriculum for literacy and math that helps students become real-world thinkers and problem solvers including Math in Focus, The Super Kids Reading program as well as a collection of STEAM and project-based learning. Our curriculum will encourage children to be self-driven learners prepared for success in school and in life.
In addition to a robust curriculum, families in YMCA programs can select from a wide range of after-school extracurricular activities ranging from swimming lessons to theater classes and from farm care to sports teams. YMCA staff will safely transport your children from their classroom or aftercare program to their extracurricular activity and back, saving parents from the extra transportation typically required for these types of activities.
Kindergarten enrollment is now open for the 2021-2022 school year. Students must be five years old by December 31, 2021, to enroll. The school year will run from September 7, 2021 – June 10, 2022, and before and aftercare is also available. Interested families should visit ymcagbw.org/kindergarten to learn more.
Families with more than one child in YMCA childcare programs may qualify for sibling discounts for Kindergarten Academy and other childcare offerings. The YMCA of Greater Brandywine is a leading non-profit organization committed to strengthening the Chester County community. Financial assistance is available or those who qualify.
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