FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sarah Tunall
602 S. Main St
Bloomington, IL 61701
YMCA OFFERS PROGRAM IN SUPPORT OF SCHOOL AND FAMILIES DURING SCHOOL SHUT-DOWN/OUT OF SCHOOL TIME
BLOOMINGTON, IL (August 6, 2020) – The Bloomington-Normal YMCA, a non-profit organization committed to strengthening the McLean County community has announced that it will open Y Academy for elementary and junior high age students. Providing small staff-to-student ratios and highly qualified academic support, Y Academy will support families when the school year begins. “Child care and e-learning assistance is essential for working parents in our community, even those working from home,” said Sarah Tunall, BNYMCA Director of Youth Development. “We believe Y Academy meets this need in a creative way - providing a safe space for all kids for academic achievement, peer relationships and a sense of belonging.”
As one of the leading providers for before and after school programming and summer day camp across McLean County, the Bloomington-Normal YMCA is a natural fit to offer Y Academy. “Unit 5 knows there is a need for a safe environment for some students engaged in remote learning. We are excited to partner with the YMCA to ensure that elementary and junior high students in need will have an option for supervised care and will continue to grow academically and develop social-emotionally,” said Dr. Weikle, Unit 5 Superintendent. Since moving to Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan, the YMCA has safely provided camp to more than seventy-five children weekly using consistent groups, as well as implementing health and safety guidelines recommended by the CDC and local health officials.
Bloomington-Normal YMCA is committed to safety, sanitation, success and security at Y Academy. As the B-N YMCA has done for day camp and emergency child care, consistent groups where children are with the same small cohort of peers and staff daily, will limit exposure to and the spread of COVID-19 will be implemented in Y Academy.
Y Academy is available for students in Kindergarten through 8th grade from school districts that are not offering in-person learning. The YMCA will provide full time program from 6:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. or part time program for the typical duration of a school day, Monday-Friday. Students will receive academic support, social interaction, physical activities, creative enrichment and more. Each student will be required to bring their own learning devices and headphones.
A schedule for the day will be in place to ensure children are supported by routine and engaged in schoolwork with dedicated academic support. Y Academy staff will have regular communication with teachers and parents to ensure each student is reaching their academic and social-emotional goals. Working within a small, consistent group, Y Academy stall will ensure a safe, sanitized, successful and secure environment for all participants.
Registration Opens Friday
Registration will open on Friday, August 7th at 5pm online at the link below. As school districts make decisions to finalize their plans for the school year, the Bloomington-Normal YMCA is prepared to adapt its program to partner with additional school districts and meet additional needs. District 87 and the B-N YMCA are having conversations about potential programming being offered at District 87 schools. More information will be available next week.
Y Academy will be offered at three Unit 5 schools to start:
- Cedar Ridge Elementary School, 2808 Breezewood Blvd, Bloomington, IL 61704 (K-5th)
- Northpoint Elementary School, 2602 E College Ave, Bloomington, IL 61704 (K-5th)
- Kingsley Junior High School, 303 Kingsley Street, Normal, IL 61761 (6th - 8th)
Capacity is limited. Financial assistance is available and CCRRN/CCAP is accepted. For more information, visit https://www.bnymca.org/youthdevelopment/y-academy/
About the YMCA
Established in 1855, the Bloomington-Normal YMCA is the oldest continually existing human service organization in McLean County. Serving more than 5,000 people annually, the YMCA is dedicated to instilling Christian principles through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. As a charitable, nonprofit organization, the Y seeks to establish programming in the community for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. For more information, please visit www.bnymca.org.