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Scott County Family Y

Olivia Blaire, 7, rides a tricycle after a push from Lexi Hatch, 6, in the kids gym at the Davenport Family Y. The YMCA, as one of its many programs, holds a Kids Club through its Child Care and Family Services branch through state funding as well as YMCA fundraising.

Andy Abeyta, QUAD-CITY TIMES

As it expands summer services, the Scott County Family YMCA has licensed two more of its facilities through the Department of Human Services. 

Frank Klipsch, with the Y, announced this week the organization will now offer DHS licensed programs at its North and West YMCAs. He also said Scott County will offer its first YMCA Achievers Leadership Academy this summer.

"We have worked with schools to hand-select 20 teenagers each week for an intensive program," Klipsch said. "Considering most of these people are those in the most at-risk situations, we expect some life-changing impacts." 

In a news release, YMCA officials said having DHS-certified programs helps the organization with its mission of closing the opportunity gap for at-risk and low-income individuals. The curriculum includes hiring licensed teachers and instructors, including time for reading and enrichment in daily programs and measuring progress.

"Running the highest-possible quality programs that are state-certified require a tremendous amount of work and planning," Child Care Executive Director Deb Gustafson said. "The process of training and certifying the dozens upon dozens of staff to ensure our affordable programs deliver life-changing experiences to people from all financial and social-economic backgrounds takes months of work. But we are up for the challenge because that is precisely what the YMCA is here for." 

In addition to third-party assistance in the DHS licensed programs, the Y provides more than $1.5 million in support each year for those who cannot afford programs, including $750,000 from its annual campaign, according to the news release. 

On average, the Scott County YMCA serves 1,000 children, including 100 kids through the new licensed DHS programs. 

For more information, visit the Y's website

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