October 25, 2018
The YMCA of Metro Chicago’s Community Schools Initiative (Y-CSI) collaborates with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and other organizations to provide high-quality afterschool programs and services for students in grades K-8, at partner school locations. This year, students attended YMCA Camp MacLean in Burlington, Wisconsin for a week. They made new friends, swam, made crafts, played sports like baseball and archery, and sang camp songs.
Over the past 6 years, more than 100 CPS students have been given the opportunity to experience the outdoors at Camp MacLean. “We are so incredibly grateful for this partnership,” says Y-CSI Executive Director Eric Werge. “The mission of our Community Schools programming is to expand our students’ horizons by offering them new and exciting experiences, and nothing is more new and exciting to our students than leaving home for a week and going to summer camp! I think we may be seeing some future camp counselors as a result of this partnership as well!”
According to Camp MacLean Executive Director Jeff Tremmel, “Before the partnership between Y-CSI and Camp MacLean, we struggled to recruit children from neighborhoods that historically were excluded from the camp experience due to economic, cultural, and social barriers. Y-CSI bridged that gap and the Y’s Mission Advancement team helped secure a vital source of funding through the YMCA of the USA Camp Access Grant. These partnerships enable us to bring together diversity, innovation, and collaboration to make an impact on youth that we would not otherwise be able to do on our own.”
Learn more about the Y-Community Schools Initiative at ymcachicago.org/communityschools.