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At the YMCA of Metro Chicago, we know that low-income children in underserved communities need access to high-quality out-of-school time (OST) programs. That is why the Y’s Community Schools Initiative collaborates with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and other organizations to provide high-quality programs and services at partner CPS schools for students in grades K-8. The Community Schools Initiative bridges the traditional boundaries of formal and information learning to improve student academic and social outcomes, empower families and develop strong communities.
The Y’s CSI program provides:
- A safe and engaging environment that extends learning beyond the school day and encourages increased school attendance and the development of real-world competencies such as self-management, leadership, teamwork, communication, critical thinking and decision-making.
- Academic enrichment to improve scholastic performance and provide opportunities for students to engage deeply in academic content in non-traditional learning environments, such as project-based learning; service learning clubs, and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) clubs.
- Arts and cultural enrichment across a broad array of experiences such as dance, drama, music, spoken word clubs and field trips.
- Health and wellness activities that include the facilitation of sports, fitness, and other structured movement, along with programs related to food, nutrition and culinary skills.
- Adult and community programming such as GED classes, employability programs and activities that engage parents/guardians in their students’ learning experiences. GED classes, employability programs and activities that engage parents/guardians in their students’ learning experiences.
- Tara Dolan
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