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. 
  • We make meals and snacks social, giving kids a chance to connect and build relationships.


  • 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. 


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. 2023-2024 academic year themes coming soon!

2023-2024 BIG IDEAS

SESSION 1 | Let's Get Connected

Dates: August 10th – 18th

Skillastics Kit: N/A


  • It’s the beginning of the school year, and we are starting strong with activities that build relationships and get kids and staff connected.

SESSION 2 | Ready, Set, MOVE!

Dates: August 21st – September 15th

Skillastics Kit: “Let’s Move in School”


  • Let’s get things moving! These sessions movement activities include running, jumping, and throwing activities building motor skills aligned with the National PE Standards.


SESSION 3 | Huddle UP

Dates: September 18th – November 17th

Skillastics Kit: Sports Kits (select 2 / 4 weeks each)


  • We are focusing on sports during this session. We have a variety of sports—Volleyball, Basketball, Tennis, and Soccer. During this 8 week session each school will select 2 of the 4 sports to try. These sport specific kits are designed to combine maximum participation, cooperative learning activities, and sport skill development in atmosphere of fun.


SESSION 4 | STEM for the Win

Dates: November 27th – December 22nd

Skillastics Kit: STEM 


  • At KEY Academy, we love STEM! Skillastics has a kit designed specifically to focus on physical movement while combining what the kids are learning about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics!


SESSION 5 | Fueling Mind, Spirit and Body

Dates: January 2nd – February 2nd

Skillastics Kit: Fitness Skillastics / Elementary Nutrition


  • The Fitness Skillastics unit is a powerful resource that helps kids learn new ways to improve fitness skills while simultaneously gaining nutritional awareness. Kids will learn about healthy habits that will keep their minds, bodies, and spirits healthy and happy.

SESSION 6 | There's No "I" in Team

Dates: February 5th – April 5th

Skillastics Kit: Sports Kits (select 2 / 4 weeks each)


  • This is our second sports session. Youth will have experienced all the sport specific Skillastic kits after this session. In addition to sport skill development, cooperative learning and fun for all, this session will also focus on good sportsmanship and what it means to be a team.

SESSION 7 | Character is KEY

Dates: April 8th – May 3rd  

Skillastics Kit: Character is Cool


  • We have been learning positive character traits all year. Let’s spend a few weeks focusing on them. Youth will have a unique opportunity to develop social emotional skills, aligned with national core competencies and our Y-Chat concepts all through active play that fosters cooperation.

SESSION 8 | Speed Into Summer

Dates: May 6th – May 24th

Skillastics Kit: Speed Stacking


  • The last two weeks of school will be all about our Speed Stacking kits. This Skillastics unit offers a unique assortment of physical activities that enhances moderate to vigorous physical activity building agility, coordination, and SPEED. Let’s see how fast you can move!