Before and After School Care for K-5

When school is out, you can trust the Y to provide an engaging experience for children in their own school. The Greater Wichita YMCA’s KEY Academy allows children to deepen understanding of and relationships with their schoolmates through active play and collaboration on fun, engaging projects. The inclusion of a healthy breakfast in the morning, snack in the afternoon, and support for homework and learning ensure a well-rounded program.

Key Academy is owned and operated by the Greater Wichita YMCA as a school age program within the Child Care and Camp branch of the association. The KEY Academy program is licensed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and open to children, regardless of YMCA membership status.


Key Academy Content and Daily Activities

When participating in Greater Wichita YMCA KEY Academy programs, your children will think they are simply having fun, but you’ll have the peace of mind knowing they are not only expanding their minds and social skills but developing lifelong healthy habits. Enrolled Kindergartners through students age 12, will benefit from:

Physical Activity
  • Youth in enrolled in our AM sessions participate in 20-30 minutes of morning exercise from yoga to calisthenics they are moving, getting the body and mind active for a great start to the day. When they head to class they are energized and ready to learn. 
  • Afternoon session include 30-45 minutes of active play daily. Student participates in planned physical games and activities that teach team work and good sportsmanship. Weather permitting children spend time outdoors daily. 
Healthy Eating
  • All KEY Academy program sites participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program and include a healthy breakfast (AM) and snack (PM) in program enrollment fees. 
     

 

Y-Chats
  • Daily opportunities for youth and adults to connect and “chat” are skillfully designed and planned to help kids develop self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. 
  • Chats are schedule in advance. Parents are encouraged to track themes and monthly calendars for insights on area of focus and monthly questions so they can continue the conversation at home. 

 

Homework Support
  • KEY Academy staff set aside 30 minutes, each Monday–Thursday afternoon for quiet activities and to support those with homework and assignment completion. 
  • Study time reinforces positive learning habits and can allow more family time each evening. 

 

Afternoon Enrichment Activities
  • This year’s “BIG IDEAS!” topics have been expanded to capture and keep kids’ interest. Students will spend four-to-eight weeks exploring each topic to allow more time for learning, and expanded, activity-based exploration including perspectives kids have maybe not yet discovered. 
  • In addition to weekly themed activities youth will explore science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) lessons designed for all age groups, creative art projects, and character education that focuses on our four YMCA values; caring, respect, responsibility and honesty. 

 

Building Community
  • Considered in every activity and interaction within Key Academy programs, day-to-day interactions and team building activities with peers and Y staff focus on growing positive relationships and skills to avoid, minimize the frequency.
Parent Calendars Keep Everyone Involved
  • Each Key Academy staff offers a complete calendar – with all themes, activities, schedule changes, and information parents could want or need to stay informed. Parents can get copies of each site’s calendar from staff or by contacting the Greater Wichita YMCA Child Care and Camp administrative office

Themes and Big Ideas

Key Academy activities build on themes – or BIG IDEAS! – that are chosen to ensure all kids can participate and benefit from participation and to keep daily content new, fresh, and exciting. 2020-2021 academic year themes include:

SESSION 1 | AUGUST

KIDSTRUCTION: BUILD YOUR TRIBE

School year begins with expectations being set to build lasting friendships thru teambuilding actions to foster interaction, embracing positive feelings about themselves and others thru teambuilding activities that support working together.

SESSION 2 | SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER

CHARACTER COUNTS: BECOMING A HERO

Students discover real life – heroes in our community, create your own super hero, learn hero qualities (Helping, Encouraging, Reaching Out) and displaying how character counts through an initiative that showcases caring, honesty, responsibility and respect through different projects.

SESSION 3 | NOVEMBER, DECEMBER

IT'S A SMALL WORLD: CELEBRATING DIVERSITY

Celebrate culture as we prepare our passport to travel the globe to learn about diversity thru different cultures. Explore games, crafts, lifestyles/traditions and foods from across the globe as we learn from each other and appreciate exclusion and diversity.

SESSION 4 | JANUARY, FEBRUARY

WINTER GAMES: INDOOR MADNESS

Learn the importance of how fitness can keep us healthy and active, even during the winter months. Join us for Indoor Madness as we compete in the Winter Games. Making team flags, minute to win it challenges, team competitions and good old fashioned fun make these Winter Games, madness.

SESSION 5 | MARCH, APRIL

THE WORLD AND YOU

Students will learn about Rainforests, Oceans, Weather, and Endangered Animals. Students discover their role in recycling and celebrate Earth Day as we discover

SESSION 6 | MAY

SUMMER LUVIN’

The year ends with activities, shared memories, and discussion of summer plans, options and fun activities that get kids ready for summer.