The Providence Youth Services branch of the YMCA of Greater Providence impacts the lives of children and families throughout the capital city with a variety of programming that supports youth and community development. Staff and volunteers partner closely with other organizations and deliver programs and services at a wide range of sites and locations including schools, parks, and recreation centers. Moving away from the facility-based model of YMCA programming, Providence Youth Services operates with a focus on health equity and closing the achievement gap for children in underserved schools.
Our goal is to support families and children in urban communities in breaking the generational cycle of poverty through educational attainment. Recognized as a national leader in supporting the improvement of elementary students’ reading levels, providing mentoring for at-risk teens, and collaborating to develop policies focused on health equity, Providence Youth Services values community voice and collaboration.
Through the financial support of grants and private giving we are able to deepen the work that shows a strong impact on the most underserved communities in Providence and the families that live in them.
-At Robert L. Bailey IV Elementary School, our pilot school for providing academically focused Out of School Time and Summer Learning programming, the literacy proficiency scores of our students have increased from 32% to 57% in the past two years.
-Championing Our Students, our law-related teen mentoring program, has a 100% high school graduation rate compared to the Providence School Department rate of 68%.
-Our YMCA on the Move program is the first community program in Providence to work with students every day during school hours to provide health and wellness programming.
-Because we do not turn away families who cannot afford our Out of School Time programming, we provide over $500,000 in financial assistance each year.
We are proud of these successes and passionate about the work that we are blessed to do. Beyond the statistics, it is the touching stories that we hear from those we serve that motivate us to do more:
-One little girl, Rosie, began her interactions with us last summer as an overweight seven year old who didn’t want to walk from her home to the program around the corner. By the end of the summer, she was running to “her YMCA” and jumping rope and playing and had lost five pounds. Her mother said she had never been so full of energy and enthusiasm for being active.
-By having access to high quality academically aligned Out of School Time and family engagement resources, Jonathan was able to increase his lagging reading scores by an entire grade level putting him on track to succeed in school. Jonathan’s mom was also able to attend family literacy classes with one of our partnership organizations and can now read, write and speak in English. Now the whole family is more optimistic about their chances for improving the quality of their lives.
More information about some of our programs:
Our Out of School Time programs work to close the achievement gap between underserved children and their wealthier counterparts by offering academic enrichment, physical activities, homework help and nutritious snacks for our children at seven Providence elementary schools.
Our Y on the Move program, PYS' mobile outreach department, is fighting to reduce childhood obesity by offering engaging health and wellness activities at local schools, parks and community events. YOTM teaches youth and their families about good nutrition, the importance of physical activity and how to make healthier choices on a daily basis.
Our mentoring programs engage Providence teens in activities designed to develop leadership, college-readiness and academic skills, guided by caring, supportive mentors.
Our Community Development department works in partnerships with our communities to empower them to create policy changes that will improve health outcomes. We use a tool called the Community Healthy Living Index (CHLI) to assess the health local communities including cities, neighborhoods, schools and work sites.
Please help us continue to support our youth and our community by donating today! Your generous donation will:
-allow underserved children to attend our academically-aligned afterschool programs, giving them a safe, nurturing environment in which to learn and grow
-allow us to continue our efforts in reducing chronic absenteeism among elementary school students
-provide funding for our Reading Intervention programs, designed to help struggling students overcome their reading difficulties
-fund college tours for the Providence teens participating in our mentoring programs
- help us fight the childhood obesity epidemic by funding Y on the Move's summer park schedule
-support Olneyville's local residents as they work in collaboration with Providence YMCA Youth Services and other partner agencies to improve their access to healthier choices by increasing the local availability of fresh fruits and vegetables, cleaning up their neighborhoods and reducing area crime rates
-help reduce summer learning loss by funding our Summer Learning program, which aims to reduce the achievement gap that occurs between children of different socioeconomic backgrounds
And so much more.
The greatest limitation we have on this important work is financial. Providence Youth Services is primarily grant funded so our programming often hinges on the time limitations of the funding and the scarcity of resources to keep them going once a grant ends.
A gift to Providence Youth Services provides the resources for us to sustain and grow programs that give some of our state’s neediest families and communities the opportunity to achieve and be healthier.
Find out more by checking out our website at http://ymcagreaterprovidence.org/.
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