The Eugene Y and Eugene 4J School District Partner to create a BEST Afterschool Program at Spring Creek Elementary

At the Y, we believe all kids have potential. But statistics show a large number of children from low-income environments reach kindergarten unprepared and they continue to fall behind in school without proper interventions. This "gap" is known as the Achievement Gap.

The Eugene Family YMCA was awarded a grant from YMCA of the USA to help close the Achievement Gap in our local community. Thanks to this grant, the Eugene Family YMCA and the Eugene 4J School District have partnered together to with the  BEST Afterschool Program at Howard Elementary School.

Since 2000, the BEST Afterschool Program has been supporting the academic and enrichment of students and families at sites throughout the Eugene School District. The partnership between the YMCA and 4J at Howard Elementary will allow each organization to offer students what they do "best" with the shared mission of closing the Achievement Gap.

Every BEST Afterschool Program has three key components; targeted academic and homework support, meal and enrichment. At the Howard BEST Afterschool Program, staff from 4J will offer the students homework and academic support while staff from the Y will provide enrichment activities. Examples of enrichment activities include STEM demonstrations, music and art experiences, field trips to the library, outdoor hikes and much more.

The Eugene Family YMCA Achievement Gap Program is the first YMCA of the USA financially supported Achievement Gap program in the State of Oregon.