This feature is coordinated by The Post-Standard/Syracuse.com and InterFaith Works of CNY. Follow this theme and author posted Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday.
I became the President and CEO of the YMCA (a.k.a. the “Y”) of Central New York in February of 2021. Our agency offers a wide range of programming for all ages in the areas of youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. It’s important for children to feel supported so they grow healthy and strong. Education has been a key part of my career at the YMCAs I’ve served. I’ve previously served as the Chief Operating Officer of Mastery Charter Schools Network, which gave me another perspective of the importance of education. At the Y, education is built into many of our programs for kids and teens, helping them develop their potential and purpose.
Our daycare and preschool programs help the youngest children develop the building blocks they need to thrive, with a stimulating curriculum and a safe learning environment where they often make some of their first friends. Many parents trust the Y to care for their children while they work, and we work to make that experience special. Our camps also provide a variety of educational enrichment programs.
Another program that helps elementary and middle school-aged children is our Power Scholars Academy TM. This summer program is a partnership between the Y and the national nonprofit BellXcel that takes place in our city parks. Designed to not only tackle summer learning loss in math and reading for kids from low-income and underserved environments, Power Scholars also fosters physical and social-emotional growth. Our young scholars have typically achieved math and reading gains 1 month greater than the national average!
This growth mindset is important at all ages, and one that I also encourage in our staff as we work to overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, and serve our community so we can continue to impact the lives of all children.
Bertram L. Lawson II is the President and CEO of the YMCA of Central New York.
Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.