The YMCA is launching a new initiative, in partnership with the Frederick County Government, through the Office for Children and Families and the Frederick County Public Schools.

This grant will provide funding to the YMCA that supports daily activities that will include the following: sports and recreation; tutoring and academic enrichment; arts and humanities; readiness training for college and careers; and service learning and community service.

Research indicates that students that are actively involved and engaged in structured “out-of-school” programs demonstrate an improvement in their academic accomplishments, and social and behavioral outcomes, compared to students who do not participate in enrichment activities. The YMCA has also partnered with Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley and New Spire Arts to create a comprehensive program that will also include weekly off-site field trips.

The S.T.A.R.S. program will be hosted at three locations, serving students from the following five Middle Schools: Thurmont, West Frederick Middle School, Crestwood Middle School, Governor Thomas Johnson Middle School, and Monocacy Middle School. The goal will be to serve a minimum of thirty students from each location and to ultimately create a solid program base of participants that will support a stand-alone program at each campus.  The first year, the YMCA will plan to transport Crestwood students and Monocacy students off-site, depending on enrollment.

Program registration began on August 21, 2017, at the Downtown YMCA.  YMCA staff will also be in attendance at each of the five Middle School Open Houses and Back to School Nights to provide more detail on the program specifics and assist with on-site registration. The S.T.A.R.S. program will begin on Monday, September 18, 2017, from school dismissal until 6:30 p.m., and will operate Monday through Friday.

For additional information on the program description, daily activities, and how to register, visit the website and contact Julie Marker, Youth/Teen Coordinator at or call 301-663-5131, ext. 1227. View their advertisement on page 3.

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