WINSTON-SALEM — The YMCA of Northwest North Carolina’s Bright Beginnings program is returning as the next school year is fast approaching.
A new school year means getting new backpacks, school supplies, and clothes for students to help them start the year off on the right track. But for too many families, financial circumstances may not allow them to get all the necessities for the start of the school year.
“At the Y, we believe that every child should have the tools and resources they need to be successful — no matter who they are, where they live, or whatever their situation may be,” said Stan Law, President and CEO of the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina. “We’re proud to have programs and a community of support to make sure we can help those students who need it most.”
This is where the Y’s Bright Beginnings program comes into play. Bright Beginnings takes children in need back to school shopping with community volunteers. We provide a gift card for volunteers to shop for clothes with a child one-on-one.
The Y works with schools and school districts in the area to identify families and children who would benefit from Bright Beginnings.
The Y is currently seeking volunteers to help kids shopping in August at the following branches:
● Davie Family YMCA – August 14
● Jerry Long Family YMCA – August 10
● Yadkin Family YMCA – August 7
In addition to volunteers, the Y is also asking the community for backpacks and school supplies to give to the students during Bright Beginnings, which can be dropped off in the lobby at the Y.
Members and the community can also help support Bright Beginnings by making a donation at ymcanwnc.org/giveonline.
Not only did the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina participate in Bright Beginnings last year when students were heading to a school year that began virtually due to the pandemic, the Y also created a program to help support students through an unusual school year.
The Y’s E-Learning Academies offered a safe, clean, and nurturing space for students to learn and do their virtual school assignments, where they had access to tutors who could offer in person assistance.
Last school year, the Y served close to 650 students in the E-Learning Academies, or ELAs, at nine different locations in 2020.