YMCA Supports Philadelphia Youth Programs
08/05/2021 - 10:30 AM

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 2, 2021 - To help the children of Philadelphia bounce back from Covid-19 impacts, The Greater Philadelphia YMCA is partnering closely with the city on two key programs.

Playstreets, the 60+-year-old program that brings safe play to thousands of city children right on their block, is back in force with staffing support from the YMCA. In addition to activities and play, Playstreets offers young people healthy meals, at over 275 residential blocks across the city. In coordination with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, the YMCA will offer even more fun and opportunities for socialization at 50 designated “Super Streets”. These streets will feature daily programming – including arts, sports, dance parties, activities with the Mural Arts Program and portable playscapes. Trained, trusted YMCA staff will lead activities throughout the day for the summer.

“We are excited to join Mayor Kenney and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation in bringing the expanded PlayStreets program back to our city’s streets,” said Shaun Elliott, President and CEO, Greater Philadelphia YMCA. “Healthy activity starts with kids eating and playing together on their block. We know kids are eager to enjoy fresh air, exercise, and togetherness—and we’re eager to support them. Building upon the PlayStreets efforts from last year, the Y is excited to return to the block to give kids new ways to stay active, healthy and engaged. We are so grateful to the individuals and organizations who’ve offered their support!”

In addition, the Greater Philadelphia YMCA has partnered with the Office of Children & Families to support and deliver critical summer learning programs to students participating in the School District of Philadelphia’s summer learning and extended school year programs. After more than a year of disruptions to in-class learning, the SDOP’s summer programs have seen extraordinary response, with thousands more students enrolled than initially anticipated. Faced with a need for trained, trusted personnel, the YMCA answered the call to assist this summer by supporting morning classroom instruction and providing a free camp experience in the afternoons. YMCA staff, in coordination with the Office of Children & Families, is currently supporting instruction at 4 SDOP schools, with more than 125 staff members on the ground.

“The YMCA is committed to seeing children make up for lost time,” says Jen Segelken, Vice-President of Youth Development for the Greater Philadelphia YMCA. “As one of the region’s foremost childcare providers, we know that Covid era restrictions have left their mark on kids – socially, educationally, and physically. We see the School District’s summer education efforts as an important tool in helping children gain ground on all those fronts, and setting them up for success when school officially reopens later this year. We can’t think of a more impactful way to support our area’s youngest residents.”