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Bangor YMCA starts school-age academy program to help families

"We are the support so that parents can then sign their kids up for all day academy and have their kids here with us when they are not in school," said Dickerson.

BANGOR, Maine — 58 acres of land that make sure kids from the greater Bangor area that come here are separated, healthy, and safe throughout the day. This is part of a new effort by the Bangor Region YMCA, the non-profit is offering an All-Day Academy kids can show up at 6:30 a.m. and they can be taken care of until 6 p.m. at night. 

"We work with 10 different school districts and so we have children out here that are on the hybrid school programs where 50 percent of the kids are in school two days a week, 50 percent are in the other two days, and then there is one day where no kids are in the schools. So, we are the support so that parents can then sign their kids up for all day academy and have their kids here with us when they are not in school," said Diane Dickerson the CEO at the Bangor Region YMCA.

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This program offers educational support for everyone, including the students currently home-schooling or taking a hybrid model of learning for the rest of this year.

"If they have to be on Zoom with their teachers, we set them up with that. We have homework help, we have enrichment programs, we have outdoor activity programs, we have project learning...the more we can keep the kids outdoors the safer it is. So while the weather is good, that's why we chose to do this here," Dickerson said.

On March 15, the Bangor Regions YMCA went into Emergency Child Care mode to help frontline workers, first responders, and essential businesses with child care. The YMCA was deemed essential and had up to 100 kids a day in this emergency child care program. 

"We've been doing this since March and we absolutely know all the nitty-gritty details that we have to do in order to keep all the kids safe, we have actually even consulted with school districts and superintendents who have been wonderful, to really learn from us what we have been doing to keep our kids safe," said Dickerson.

The All-Day Academy is located at the Camp G. Peirce Webber in Hampden. This YMCA School-Age academy runs from kindergarten to 8th grade and there are still available spots if you are interested in the program.

There are before school, after school, and all day programs offered at the Bangor Region YMCA, to learn more give them a call Keegan Wakana, School-Age Programs Manager, at kwakana@bangorY.org or 207-941-2808 ext 339. 

Click here to learn more about the School Age Academy.

"It takes a village. It has been a very strong community partnership effort," Dickerson said.

Dickerson said the YMCA cares about the health, safety, and education of the kids in this community.