YMCA to Offer Youth Development Center for Upcoming School Year

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — As school districts strategize with how to educate children safely in light of COVID-19, the YMCA of Youngstown announced Thursday that it will open the YMCA Youth Development Center when the school year begins this fall.

YMCA leaders will be collaborating with school officials, community partners, and staff to create full-day virtual instruction programs that complement and enrich the learning experience, according to the announcement.

“As schools made decisions to implement virtual learning, many parents expressed concerns about balancing work, family, school, and other commitments,” said Tom Gacse, CEO of the YMCA of Youngstown. “Given the Y’s mission to build strong communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, we are pleased  to offer this program and hope it will give families peace of mind to know that they and their children are supported at the Y.”

The Y Youth Development Center will provide a safe and structured environment allowing students to attend virtual classes, benefit from peer interaction, and participate in engaging enrichment activities, all at the YMCA while parents are at work. Enrichment activities will include physical fitness and swimming classes as well as arts and humanities experiences.

This program will be offered at both the Central YMCA in downtown Youngstown and the Davis Family YMCA in Boardman.

“Our qualified and caring staff will work closely with students on their daily virtual classwork to support their academic goals, while also providing physical activities important for strong health,” says Shawn Armstrong, executive director of the Central YMCA.

Safety protocols will be enforced, including required masks, temperature checks and health screening at drop-off, small group ratios and social distancing. State mandated staff-to-student ratios will be observed, wherever children are with a small cohort of peers and staff throughout the day.

Details of the YMCA Youth Development Center are being finalized through discussions with school officials and YMCA leaders. Information about the program and how to register will be available on our website in the coming weeks.

Capacity will be limited. Financial assistance will be available. 

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.