The mission of YMCA READS! is to enable at-risk and disadvantaged childen in kindergarten through third grade no matter their race, economic status, or capabilities to increase their reading skills through structured after-school reading instruction and mentoring.


YMCA READS! is an after-school reading assistance and mentoring program where at-risk and low-income children in kindergarten through third grade develop the reading skills they need to succeed in school.

This early intervention program improves students’ reading skills through mentoring and the use of a research-based, data-driven curriculum. It also helps students achieve or maintain satisfactory school attendance and behavior both essential ingredients to school success.

The YMCA READS! program successfully closes the achievement gap in students’ reading performance with structured curricula delivered by well-trained mentors. The YMCA READS! program teaches literacy skills to students via small group tutoring/ mentoring. Mentoring enhances academic achievement through relationship building and increased academic self-esteem from learning to read.

Currently the program operates in 15 public schools, 9 participating YMCAs in 13 counties in Florida. YMCA READS! is implemented in partnership with the Florida State Alliance of YMCA’s Foundation, Inc. and the local YMCA’s in Florida.  Funding for YMCA READS comes from The Department of Education and the participating YMCA’s.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE IMPACT OF YMCA READS!, Contact Shartrina White, Executive Director, AT 941-585-9932.

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