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Easing The After-School Dilemma

Joshua Theodros

Joshua Theodros  is one of many success stories from the Y After School program.

Pop quiz: How much of a difference do you think you can make in a kid's life in just three hours? What we mean is, how big of a change can you make in a kid's life in three hours every day after school?

Let's do some math. Subtracting weekends, holidays and the summer months, the NYC school year is about 180 days. Multiply that by three hours a day and the total is 540 hours—the equivalent of three months of full-time work for adults! Those hundreds of hours between the end of school and dinner time could be used for good things like doing homework, getting tutored, playing sports or developing new skills. Kids like Joshua Theodros could use those 540 hours playing video games, watching TV, or hanging out and possibly engaging in risky behaviors. That's where the Y After School program comes in.

Because of the YMCA, more than 10,000 kids each day have something positive to do between the hours of 3 to 6 p.m. That time is used for productive things like learning something new or even just doing homework in a safe environment. Those three hours after school become a totally different experience for kids when there is always a responsible and caring adult in the room—someone who knows the kids and can guide them every single day toward the things they need to know to advance their education and skills.

But Y After School doesn't help just kids. It helps parents and schools, too. Parents are a very important part of Y After School because the program helps them stay at work until the end of the day.

According to Joshua, "Y After School changed my life for the better. I moved to New York to live with my aunt when my father died. From the very beginning, the Y was here for both of us. She needed help raising me, and I needed help adjusting from Texas to Manhattan. Y After School helped not just me, but her, too."

Read more about Joshua's incredible story here.

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