YMCA presents its program

William Oliver, president and CEO of YMCA of the Golden Crescent, presents the Y’s after-school program during a regular board meeting. The board met Thursday evening.

The president and CEO of YMCA of the Golden Crescent presented a synopsis of its after-school program Thursday to the Victoria school board members.

William Oliver, the YMCA official, summarized the Y’s programs and said the agency for about the past 28 years has worked to prepare students for their futures.

The presentation came three months after the board voted to replace the YMCA program with Right at School as the district’s after-school care provider.

No action was taken on the item.

“Youth in the Y program demonstrate improvement in the skills needed for successful living,” Oliver said.

The program benefits low-income students through scholarship and grant programs that cover the after-school care cost, Oliver told the board.

The YMCA operated in 12 of the 14 elementary schools throughout the district, and it currently serves 640 students with 52 staff members. The organization will finish its program at Victoria schools at the end of the 2019-20 school year.

It functioned on campuses for its 28-year duration and will continue to operate in Calhoun County and Nursery school district.

Homework help, physical fitness, reading time and STEM are all focuses of the Y’s after-school program, Oliver said.

There are 2,700 branches of the YMCA in the U.S. with 1,551 operating an after-school program, he said.

“It is one of our largest programs at the Y,” he said.

The Y goes beyond homework help, Oliver said. This past year, the agency gave 154 families scholarships, which amounted to $108,475.

“We want to be a good partner. We want to work with you,” Oliver said. “If there are things we should be doing, we’d like to know what those are.”

School Board President Tami Keeling said she hopes to see the conversation continue about the YMCA and its involvement with the Victoria school district.

“We have lots to chew over,” she said. “We encourage you to keep working with (Superintendent Quintin) Shepherd. We are all about community partnerships and what’s best for kids.”

Board member Ross Mansker said he is glad the organization presented details about its program. He said it was the first time in the 10 years he had been on the board that he learned about the program.

“It’s all about making our kids better,” Mansker said. “I hope you continue the dialogue with Shepherd because everything’s changing so rapidly.”

Samantha Douty is the education reporter at the Victoria Advocate. She grew up in Corpus Christi and graduated from UT-Arlington with a bachelor's in journalism.

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