Achievement Gap

All children and teens have potential, but some may need additional support to reach it. Research shows that young people from underserved and low-income families often start school underprepared and fall behind their peers as a result, creating an opportunity gap. Through focused programming and support, the Y is committed to closing this gap.

Achievement Gap


The Y is closing the academic opportunity gap with pilot programs that improve students’ educational readiness, engagement and outcomes, while helping them grow emotionally and physically, too.



  • 10,000+

    Kids participated in a Y Achievement Gap Afterschool Program in 2017

  • 128 Learning Centers

    More than 120 21st Century Community Learning Centers in 2020

  • 8 in 10

    families in underserved communities say afterschool programs provide homework help and opportunities for reading, writing and STEM

Afterschool Programs

At the end of the school day, children and teens know they have a safe, fun place to go. Our afterschool programs also help them realize what they can achieve by providing academic intervention along with health and enrichment activities.

Summer Learning Loss Prevention

Third-grade reading skills predict high school graduation. That’s why the Y’s Summer Learning Loss Prevention Program helps elementary students who read below their grade-level. The program focuses on phonics, writing and reading to boost literacy skills, plus enrichment activities to support physical and social-emotional growth.

Power Scholars Academy™

Power Scholars Academy™ is a partnership between the Y and the national nonprofit BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life), a six-week summer program designed not only to tackle summer learning loss in math and reading but also to foster physical and social-emotional growth.

Support the Y

When you support the Y, you help give young people a chance at a brighter future, inspire healthy lifestyles and build vibrant communities right where you live.

Building Potential, Closing the Gap

Learn more about how the Y's youth development efforts help close the opportunity gap

  • Education & Leadership

    Our leadership and academic enrichment programs help millions of children and teens build skills and confidence, ensuring that every young person has an opportunity to pursue their best possible future.

  • Child Care Programs

    Child care and early learning programs at the Y focus on nurturing child development by building foundational skills, developing healthy relationships and fostering self-reliance, all in a safe and supportive environment.