Stokes Family YMCA offers afterschool programs for over 100 students throughout Stokes County. Kindergarten through fifth graders attend one of the three elementary schools in King and sixth through eighth graders participate at Chestnut Grove. This year, the teen afterschool program has a dedicated site at Mount Olive Elementary which gives the group more opportunities to gain help with homework, engage in physical activity, and participate in game time.
“We want to provide a safe place for teen’s afterschool. This year we’re incorporating tutors into our program and we’re looking to hire certified teachers that can come over twice a week and help students struggling in a certain subject,” explained Chris Chunn, Engagement Director of Aquatics, Youth and Teen Services.
Chunn said the program was fortunate to be at Mount Olive and the location, in a mobile unit, allows them to utilize donated furniture, air hockey tables, and space to spread out and do schoolwork.
In June, Chunn helped form a small focus group to gain insight of what parents would like to see from the program.
“We had a lot of good feedback,” he said.
While research shows the hours between 3 to 6 p.m. are when teens most likely get in trouble, Chunn said the program is designed to place young people in a positive environment with strong role models, core values, and help students reach their academic goals.
Executive Director of the YMCA, Derek Edwards added, “We really wanted to gear this towards teens because there’s a huge disparity in how we care for kids k-5 versus middle school. That’s what this efforts all about.”
Edwards believes the collaboration between the YMCA and Stokes County Schools continues to be strong benefitting parents and students.
“We have a fantastic relationship and we’re very appreciative,” he said. For more information about Stokes Family YMCA Afterschool Program visit http://ymcanwnc.org or call (336) 985-9622.
Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.