Parents looking for after-school care may find that it’s as close as their neighborhood YMCA.

Greenville County YMCA locations, including the Caine Halter Family Y in Greenville, the YMCA Program Center in Simpsonville, Eastside Family Y in Taylors, the George I. Theisen Family Y in Travelers Rest and YMCA Judson Center in the Judson community offer pick up from 37 Greenville County elementary schools and 18 middle schools. On-site programs are offered at Duncan Chapel and Sara Collins elementary schools.

Julie Hollister, director of youth and family services for the YMCA of Greenville, said the after-school programs strive to be inclusive.

“We have a program that anybody can take part in,” she said.

To accomplish that goal, the organization offers a financial assistance program for those who are unable to pay full price for memberships. A sliding scale is used to evaluate each applicant annually on an individual basis.

During the program, children have time for homework assistance, physical activity and a healthy snack.

“We’re really proud of the snacks we offer,” Hollister said. “Physical activity is provided every day. They can get moving and get that energy out.”

The program uses the Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets Framework, which identifies a set of skills, experiences, relationships and behaviors that enable adolescents to develop into successful and contributing adults. The framework is designed to help young people grow up to be caring and responsible by giving them opportunities for leadership development, arts education, service learning and more.

A key aspect for many working families is the time children have for homework and academic enrichment. Students even take “brain breaks” during study time to keep them working at their best.

Hollister said the program is another point of positive support for students, in addition to that provided by families and schools.

“We try to have a balanced approach,” she said.

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