YMCA and McDowell County Schools partner to transform child care

Press release:

YMCA and McDowell County Schools partner to transform child care

Grant from Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust supports initiative

Marion, N.C., May 19, 2017 – McDowell County Schools is partnering with the YMCA of Western North Carolina to provide afterschool programs for elementary school students, as well as internship opportunities for middle and high school students, starting this fall. A three-year, $535,000 grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust will help ensure these programs are affordable for all McDowell families.

The idea is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life, while giving parents the resources they need to have success in the workforce. The YMCA will run licensed child care sites at all McDowell County elementary schools in August under a five-year agreement with MCS, and customize the operating hours to support shift work in McDowell County.
The locations will be licensed through the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education, accepting state subsidy vouchers, and the YMCA will ensure no child is ever turned away, offering financial assistance for families in need. Year-round child care will be available at certain locations before school, after school, during breaks, and when school is closed for teacher work days or snow days.

“McDowell County Schools and the YMCA have developed a strong partnership over the past three years cross-marketing all of the YMCA’s youth sports, aquatics, and child care opportunities as well as providing a full sponsorship for the Y Splash drowning-prevention program for every second-grader in McDowell County,” said Mark Garrett, superintendent of McDowell County Schools. “This opportunity will deepen our partnership and bring additional resources to our staff, parents, and children.”

“The Y is thrilled to partner with McDowell County Schools to provide quality afterschool programing with a healthy eating and active living focus,” said Meghan Merritt, executive director of the Corpening Memorial YMCA in Marion. “The grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust will ensure that local families have access to an abundance of health and wellness resources and allow us to customize child care solutions in their respective communities.”
Enrollment for these child care sites will open June 1, 2017. For more information about the YMCA of WNC’s Afterschool programs, visit ymcawnc.org/centers/youth-services/afterschool-care or call 828 251 5910 to speak with an enrollment specialist.

About Dan Hesse
I grew up outside of Atlanta and moved to WNC in 2001 to attend Montreat College. After college, I worked at NewsRadio 570 WWNC as an anchor/reporter and covered Asheville City Council and the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners starting in 2004. During that time I also completed WCU's Master of Public Administration program. You can reach me at dhesse@mountainx.com.

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