May 30, 2015

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YMCA Expands Early Learning Readiness Program

Thanks to a $1 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Y is expanding its Early Learning Readiness Program to a 19 more YMCA sites nationwide, bringing the total number of participating cities to more than 40, the organization announced. The program aims to improve school readiness among children up to 5 years old, particularly from under-served and low-income communities, through a  preschool-like experience.

The Y plans to expand the program, which launched just two years ago, even further in 2014. Early Learning Readiness offers preschool-aged children physical, emotional, and cognitive experiences—and aims to build skills in caregivers as well—through bi-weekly meetings at local Ys, community centers, libraries, schools, and places of worship.

“The Early Learning Readiness Program empowers caregivers to play a crucial role in a young child’s life by laying the building blocks for life-long learning,” says Barbara Roth in the announcement. Roth is a spokesperson for the program and the national director for youth and family at YMCA of the USA, national resource office for 2,700 Ys across the country.

“Our goal is that the Early Learning Readiness Program will serve as a national model for success in developing and empowering informal caregivers to provide all young children, regardless of family income, with access to high-quality early learning experiences,” she says.

Karyn M. Peterson About Karyn M. Peterson

Karyn M. Peterson ( is a former News Editor ofSLJ.

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