After School at the Y ignites spark

A new school year means a fresh start for kids – a chance to start new routines and habits, build new friendships and discover new possibilities and interests. Back-to-school is a fresh start for youth and the people who care for them. As children transition from summer to fall, the YMCA of Rock River Valley is offering Kids’ Time programs to school-aged children at 24 sites throughout Winnebago County to keep youth active, busy and engaged during out-of-school time. Whether through sports, mentorship, or academic support, YMCA staff members nurture the potential of youth throughout the school year.

At the end of the day when the school bell rings, 11.3 million kids are headed home to be unsupervised from 3-6 p.m, according to the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit public awareness advocacy organization. In Illinois, 20 percent of children are left alone and responsible for taking care of themselves. With a new school year about to begin, the Y encourages parents/caregivers to make sure that children are involved in safe, educational experiences after school hours.

“Learning enrichment after school is essential to a child’s success in school,” said Andre Anthony, Executive Director of Youth Achievement, YMCA of Rock River Valley. “By providing the opportunity to get additional learning and support, as well as participate in meaningful and enriching activities, we aim to foster an environment in which our children can build long-lasting relationships, attain a sense of belonging and achieve academically.”

Kids’ Time is offered at select elementary schools in the Rockford and Harlem school districts. Additionally, Pecatonica Elementary and Jackson Charter School are Kids’ Time sites. To see the full list of schools, visit

The Y is a leading nonprofit committed to nurturing the potential of every child and teen, supporting their social-emotional, cognitive and physical development from birth to career. In the YMCA Kids’ Time afterschool program youth receive help with homework, explore the arts and partake in health and fitness activities. The Y will also be offering the Kids’ Time Y University program that allows children to take specialized classes, including music lessons, a foreign language, science and dance. Financial assistance is available to those in need, to ensure every child and teen has the opportunity to learn and grow at the Y.

For more information about the Kids’ Time afterschool program, please contact the Y at 815-489-1194 or visit our site at

–YMCA of Rock River Valley

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