Every parent knows how important school is to the growth of their child, and we are very fortunate to live in a community with outstanding schools. However, the importance of their growth doesn’t just end when the school bell rings, it continues after school as well. After-school programs are a great way to further your child’s development. After-school programs provide children with a sense of belonging, improve their social skills, can provide academic support, make learning more fun, and build confidence.

Quality after school programs keep kids safe, boost student success, productivity increases and participation in risky behavior decreases. Additionally, after-school programs provide parent’s peace of mind knowing their child is safe and engaged in enrichment opportunities.

Research also shows that for every dollar invested in after-school programs saves about three dollars by increasing a child’s learning potential, improving a child’s performance at school, and reducing youth crime.

For over 30 years the YMCA Safe ‘n Sound program has provided the community with youth centered enrichment programs designed to meet the needs of school age children with focus on experiential learning, social and emotional learning, and the promotion of healthy living. Emphasis is placed on character development, healthy living, service learning, homework time, and academic enrichment.

Highlighting the importance of after school programs for youth in our community, the YMCA Safe ‘n Sound children will be participating in a nationwide initiative, Lights On Afterschool on October 25. Launched in October 2000 by the Afterschool Alliance, Lights On Afterschool is the only nationwide event celebrating after-school programs and their important role in the lives of children, families and communities. The YMCA children will be planning activities which help celebrate their role in after-school programs and bring about a greater sense of community.

Naperville is a community that loves its kids, and the YMCA of Naperville appreciates the opportunity to work with kids of all ages, through after school programs, youth sports, swimming lessons, and camps. For more information on any YMCA program please contact us at www.fryymca.org or (630) 604-9595.