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Making a Difference After School

After School ReadersThe Cannon YMCA is helping kids around the area improve their reading skills even after the last bell rings at school. The Cannon Y’s Kannapolis branch is offering the Kannapolis After School program, which gives parents a quality child care program allowing children access to homework assistance and other structured activities while they enjoy afternoons with friends.

One of After School’s most successful programs is a daily literacy practice in which older children help younger students cultivate reading skills by reading aloud to them. The activity has been effective in teaching the younger students to read and has provided an educational activity for them to look forward to after school.

“Our younger kids get really excited to take part in being integrated with the older students,” said Jami Eager, Program Director of After School. “They really look up to the older kids as mentors.”

After School ProgramWhile the program has certainly been successful in developing literacy among younger kids, it has also been very beneficial for the older children involved.

“We have seen growth from our older students as well, and more confidence come through when it is their turn to read devotions in their group setting,” said Eager. Many parents of the program’s older students have also been appreciative of the leadership skills their kids are developing, as well as the fact that many of the students are able to utilize the time spent helping younger kids as volunteer hours for clubs at school. Parents in general are pleased that children are able to spend additional time outside of school learning to communicate with others.

Older Child Reads to Younger Child“It’s more than After School, it gives my child a chance to learn to socialize,” said Becky Tolle, the parent of an After School child.
In addition to helping develop literacy skills among younger students, After School is also providing many of these children swimming lessons this spring. Lessons take place each Monday and are conducted by a team of volunteers from a local high school service club. This program is a great way for older students to make a positive impact in the lives of younger children.

For more information on After School and how to register your child for the upcoming school year, please visit the After School page. Registration fees will be waived for anyone signing up prior to June 10th, however after that the normal $30 fee per child will be charged upon registration.