Y Learning Academy proving popular

Published: Sep. 8, 2020 at 2:37 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The Green Bay YMCA’s effort to help working parents during the pandemic is proving to be very popular.

The Y Learning Academy is already at capacity, assisting students with their daily virtual learning.

At the downtown YMCA, students have settled in to the new program that began last Thursday with a little bit of uncertainty.

“New to the teachers, new to our students, new to the YMCA, so yeah, there was a little bit of chaos, but what a difference a day makes, by day two everything had settled in, the kids were getting to know their routines and how to log in and how to navigate the technology systems, and also learning what the expectations were here at the Y,” says Kathleen McKee, YMCA Vice President of Programs and Innovation.

With a mission to provide a safe and supportive space for children to learn virtually, alongside their peers, McKee says parent feedback has centered around appreciation and relief.

“Really one of gratitude, thank you for taking our children in and for supporting them and for being positive mentors for them. What an impossible choice for families to have to make to either keep their employment or be home with their child,” says McKee.

160 children, grades K through 8th, are currently enrolled in the program spread out among the city’s three YMCA locations.

“They arrive to us by 7:30-8:00, they launch right into their virtual learning with their home school district, most of our kids are from the Green Bay School District and most of the morning they’re engaged in their virtual learning,” says McKee.

Afternoons are for exercise and different YMCA programs.

160 students is the program’s capacity, at least for now.

More than 20 families are on the waiting list.

“And if the need continues to grow we’d like to be able to respond to that and potentially open a 4th site to serve the community,” says McKee.

The YMCA is is currently looking to add school age child care staff, including staffing for the Y Learning Academy.

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