COVID-Related Altered Out-of-School Programming for Youth
MAYC’s mission is to develop, support and encourage youth in the community for lifelong success.
MAYC is the only community organization in Mahomet that serves low-income families with affordable youth programs year-round. 25% of the school district qualifies as low-income. MAYC programs are low or no-cost out of school programs for kids ages 6-16 including summer, winter and spring break day camps along with after-school programs for elementary and middle school aged students. Given the COVID pandemic, this year is very different and how MAYC serves children during the school year will also be different. With the altered school plans for learning, low-income families will be faced with choosing between working and appropriate childcare and educational options. MAYC will adapt to create new programs in order to meet the needs of low-income families who have no other options. These adapted programs will prevent students from being unsupervised and home alone while also improving educational outcomes and social and emotional development in a safe space with caring adults.
Youth programs outside of school are always important, especially for low-income families, but this year these will be vital to the health, safety and wellbeing of the children and families in the Mahomet community. $25,000 will allow MAYC to provide the necessary programs throughout the school year to support families most in need in the community. The programs that will be needed to respond to the altered school year are ones that MAYC does not normally provide nor currently have resources for and most MAYC families are not able to pay fees that would be needed to cover the costs of the programs. These funds will support parents who need to work, kids who need to learn and the social and emotional needs of all. Without these funds, MAYC will not be able to address the needs of families of our most vulnerable population.
We hope that the COVID pandemic is short term, but we know that the long-term effects of this will be widespread across families and communities. For youth, education and social connections will be greatly impacted this year and MAYC can help support families with learning and the social and emotional development of youth. Youth programs that improve academic outcomes and social skills as well as physical and mental health in a safe, nurturing environment have long-term beneficial outcomes for the whole community. These programs have been proven to improve graduation rates and community engagement while decreasing risky behaviors and interactions with law enforcement leading to long term success and citizenship. MAYC programs for the low-income families we serve teach and support youth to develop to their fullest potential to become responsible, respectful, caring and productive citizens.