Stamford YMCA Receives $10,000 from United Way of Western Connecticut

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Stamford YMCA Receives $10,000 from United Way of Western Connecticut for Youth Academics, Fitness and Social Skills 

Grant for 2022-23 After School Programming will help increase access for families and expand enrichment activities 

The Stamford YMCA, a fully equipped community fitness facility and youth program provider in downtown Stamford, announced today that it was awarded a $10,000 competitive grant from United Way of Western Connecticut.  The grant will support LEAD Academy, the Y’s after school program, which operates during the school year and serves the city’s underserved populations in kindergarten through 8th grade. The funding is significant because it will provide tuition assistance to more families as well as increase interactive activities focused on collaboration, problem solving and play. LEAD Academy combines school, physical activity and community in one affordable program, addressing the impact of the pandemic on learning, health and social development.  

“The United Way of Western Connecticut’s support of our after school program could not have come at a more critical time”, said the Y’s CEO Shawn Patch.  “We need to get kids moving again, engaged in school, and interacting with each other in positive ways.” 

The United Way of Western Connecticut focuses on the growing population of people who work hard but still struggle to get by. The acronym ALICE®  describes these families as: Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed – and 1 in 3 households in Western Connecticut live with the associated challenges.  In Stamford, although income and home price averages are higher than the state overall, more than 10% of families live in poverty while nearly 90% of the YMCA’s participants live at or below the ALICE® threshold. 

By prioritizing school engagement and literacy, and giving children a safe place to play and make friends, the Stamford YMCA is committed to closing the achievement gap among the city’s lower income and other populations. At the same time, the Y shares the UWWC’s commitment to working families by providing bus transportation from school to the Y, a healthy snack, and extended pickup hours to accommodate working parents. 

“United Way is proud to support the Stamford YMCA with funding for their ALICE®   families throughout the school year,” said Isabel Almeida, President of United Way of Western Connecticut.  “The Y shares our commitment to improving lives of hard working families and we’re pleased to fund their multi-purpose after school program that prioritizes the needs of children from families who struggle to make ends meet.”

Said CEO Patch, “The more children we reach with our focus on academics, physical activity and social skills, the stronger our community will be in the near term and future. We’re grateful to the United Way of Western Connecticut for their support of our mission.”

About the Stamford Family YMCA

The Stamford Y improves the lives of all members of the community by providing support for fitness, healthy lifestyles and youth development, regardless of ability to pay. The fully equipped facility is centrally located, and features a full sized indoor pool, gym, racquetball and basketball courts, lockers and saunas. The YMCA promotes strong child development through its after school program called LEAD Academy and Camp WOW, its summer day camp – plus swimming instruction that benefits more than 400 children and adults each year. The youth programs provide a safe and healthy place to learn foundational skills, develop healthy, trusting relationships and build self-reliance through the Y values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility. LEAD Academy was started in 2008 and serves children in grades K through 8. Program costs are affordable, and tuition assistance is provided as needed. LEAD Academy operates according to the Stamford School District calendar and is also open during the Spring break. Enrollment for September, 2022 is open now by visiting or contacting 203-357-7000.  For more information, follow the Stamford YMCA on Facebook @StamfordFamilyYMCA and Instagram@StamfordYMCA

About United Way of Western Connecticut

United Way of Western Connecticut (UWWC) improves the lives of hard-working households called ALICE® (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) by mobilizing the resources of local communities to create lasting change. By focusing on the vital building blocks for a good life–Education, Financial Stability, and Health–United Way of Western Connecticut helps residents across Northern Fairfield County, Southern Litchfield County, and the City of Stamford. A United Way report published in September 2020 revealed that in Connecticut, more than 1 in 4 households has earnings above the Federal Poverty Level, but below a basic cost-of-living threshold. Combined with those who are struggling below poverty level, 38% of all households in the state are experiencing financial hardship. UWWC is committed to ensuring that every child enters school ready to learn, every family is financially stable, and every community is healthy and strong. For more information about United Way of Western Connecticut, visit Follow United Way of Western Connecticut on social media: FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn, and YouTube.