YMCA of Metro Atlanta to Expand Early Learning Program in DeKalb County

Head Start grant provides opportunity for 250 DeKalb County students to enroll in Y program

The YMCA of Metro Atlanta announced it is expanding its early learning program in DeKalb County. The Y’s South DeKalb Early Learning Center will merge into and become Lithonia-based YMCA Academy at South DeKalb (2924 Evans Mill Road, Lithonia, Ga. 30058) on Nov. 1.

The Y’s expansion in DeKalb County was made possible by a federal grant from the Office of Head Start/Early Head Start, a program promoting school readiness of children ages birth to five from low-income families. The grant will allow the Y to provide early learning education to an additional 250 students. Those interested in enrolling their child can call 404-420-5800 or visit https://ymcaatlanta.org/program-locations/early-learning/.

“We are thankful to the Office of Head Start/Early Head Start and are excited about the opportunity to expand our comprehensive early learning program to additional children and families in DeKalb County,” said Dr. Andria McMichael, Senior Vice President of Early Learning at the YMCA of Metro Atlanta. “Over the last decade, the Y has increased its efforts around accessing quality learning opportunities for Atlanta’s youngest citizens, with a focus on low-income communities.”

The Metro Atlanta YMCA has received funding from the Office of Head Start/Early Head Start since 1999 to promote school readiness by enhancing cognitive, social and emotional development of children. The grants allow the Y to provide children an early learning education that encourages growth in language, literacy and social and emotional development.

“At the Y, we are committed to providing the resources children need to develop educationally, emotionally and physically,” said Lauren Koontz, President and CEO of YMCA of Metro Atlanta. “By investing in our youngest generation, we are helping to prepare them for a bright future and to make a difference in their community.”

To address every aspect of a child’s developmental needs, the YMCA of Metro Atlanta implements four programs: Read Right From the Start, STEAM Learning, Start for Life and Early Learning Readiness; each of which focuses on an area of a child’s physical and cognitive growth to enrich the early education experience and prepare them for success.

The Y currently serves families and children in DeKalb, Fulton, Barrow, Elbert, Madison and Greene Counties. Of the 3,000 students Metro Atlanta YMCA Early Learning Centers serve, more than 2,000 are enrolled through Head Start or Early Head Start. Additionally, another 500 students are educated in partnership with Atlanta Public Schools, and the remainder are enrolled in traditional early learning programs, which are heavily funded through YMCA fundraising. For a complete list of early learning centers, visit www.ymcaatlanta.org/early-learning.

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About the YMCA of Metro Atlanta

For more than 160 years the YMCA of Metro Atlanta has been impacting lives and strengthening communities. As Atlanta has grown, the YMCA has also evolved to meet the changing needs of our community. Well-thought-out planning, while engaging stakeholders at various levels, provides the backdrop for sustainable change and positive impact at the YMCA of Metro Atlanta. By providing impactful services and support networks, and building bridges between people from all backgrounds, the Y has maintained its relevance, helping to create stronger, more cohesive communities for all.   https://www.ymcaatlanta.org/160