The Gateway Family YMCA’s Afterschool Program Helps Youth Learn and Achieve During Out-of-School Time

UNION COUNTY – To help motivate and inspire kids to discover their potential, The Gateway Family YMCA offers before and afterschool programs to school-aged children throughout Elizabeth, Linden, Rahway and Union. The Y’s afterschool program combines academics with play and offers a caring and safe environment where youth can achieve, feel a sense of belonging, build relationships and explore new interests.

One in four U.S. children is left unsupervised at the end of school day, according to the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit public awareness advocacy organization. The Gateway Family YMCA encourages parents/caregivers to make sure that children are involved in safe, educational experiences after school hours. “Research shows that afterschool programs can help children perform better in school, practice healthy habits and engage in positive lifestyle behaviors. If left unsupervised at the end of the school day, students miss out on positive influences that encourage achievement and deter risk-taking activities,” said Krystal R. Canady, CEO, The Gateway Family YMCA.

“The Y’s afterschool programs promote a love for learning, social and emotional development, healthy choices, and provide children with an extra support system through positive role models and caring adults,” stated Melynda A. Mileski, COO. At The Gateway Family YMCA, families receive a free family membership if their child attends before or after care full time and pay with bank draft. “We believe that families benefit from shared experiences and we have the opportunity to provide those experiences to the children in our programs,” stated Laura Margeotes, School Age Child Care and Camp Director at the Five Points Branch.

The Y is a leading nonprofit committed to nurturing the potential of every child and teen and through afterschool programming, supporting their social-emotional, cognitive, and physical development from birth to career. In The Gateway Family YMCA’s afterschool program youth receive help with homework and can also explore arts, structured physical fitness and games provided thru Healthy U/CATCH creative and recreational curriculum. The Y’s HEPA (Healthy Eating and Physical Activity) standards are followed, providing additional vegetables and fruits as part of the program snacks. Financial assistance is available to those in need, to ensure every child and teen has the opportunity to learn and grow at the Y. The Gateway Family YMCA also accepts government assistance programs.

For more information about The Gateway Family YMCA’s afterschool program, please contact the Elizabeth Branch at 908-355-9622, Five Points Branch at 908-688-9622, Rahway Branch at 732-388-0057 or visit

Enjoying a Healthy Snack at YMCA Aftercare

Enjoying a Healthy Snack at YMCA Aftercare

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