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United Way grants near $100K to YMCA on Marco for scholarships, afterschool programs

Marco Eagle staff
Wearing face coverings at the Marco Island campus, kids spell YMCA with their bodies during summer camp on July 9, 2020.

United Way of Collier and the Keys granted $98,000 to the YMCA on Marco Island to support scholarships for early-learning and afterschool programs.

"The United Way really understands and responds to the needs of our community," wrote Cindy Love-Abounader, CEO of the YMCA. “Because of their support, we can serve children regardless of their families’ financial circumstances.

"That has never been more valuable than this year as so many families are struggling.”

YMCA's early-learning program focuses on literacy, math and social-emotion learning for children between 2 and 5 years old. YMCA has a track record of 100% of its students testing as "kindergarten-ready," according to a news release.

YMCA's K-8 afterschool program, ASPIRE, focuses on literacy, math, physical education and character development.

The YMCA turned the program into an all-day camp using the Collier County Public Schools' virtual curriculum after recent school shutdowns due to COVID-19.

ASPIRE will accommodate families who choose any of the school district’s in-person, virtual or blended instruction options when the new school year begins in August.

There are tuition charges for these programs but scholarships are available and a YMCA membership is not required, according to Stephanie Pepper, youth development manager. 

The YMCA of South Collier has served children for over 40 years throughout southern Collier County, including the communities of East Naples, Lely, Isles of Capri, Marco Island, Goodland, Port of the Islands and Everglades City.

For more information, visit marcoymca.org or call 239-394-YMCA (9622).