In early February, Gov. Tony Evers announced more than $82 million in grants through the Equitable Recovery Grant Program were awarded to support community-based organizations working to increase equity and eliminate disparities in communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic statewide.
The Kenosha YMCA was awarded one of the maximum grants of $1 million to fund the Achievers Program through the 2023-2024 school year. This program is currently held at Frank Elementary School, Brass Community School, Wilson Elementary, Lincoln Middle School, Mahone Middle School, and at Lincoln Park (or other municipal parks) in the summer. The participants are identified by their teachers and recommended to the program. Many of the participants have environmental challenges, at home or school, that can create difficulty to learn.
Students, with the consent of parents, commit to going each day for approximately two and a half hours to receive math and literacy instruction that not only connects to what they do in the classroom but in everyday life. Students receive one-on-one tutoring from licensed teachers and educators in specific academic areas, as well, if needed.
The participants also receive instruction on maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes physical fitness activities and making healthy choices when it comes to eating. Typical snacks include fresh fruit and vegetables, locally grown, when in season. The goal of the program is to help kids thrive in many areas, and this learning helps them to gain confidence. Students are taught to appreciate each other and how to get along, while emphasizing the core values of the YMCA: responsibility, respect, honesty, and caring.
“We continue to seek grants to help our community members that need the most help. The Achievers Program is designed to help kids academically as well as grow in their social-emotional abilities,” shared Development Director Chris Finkel.