The YMCA Children’s Academy at Avenue Welcomes Families To New State-of-The-Art Facility in Near Northside
Style Magazine Newswire | 4/7/2021, 10:49 a.m.
The YMCA of Greater Houston in partnership with Avenue, has announced the opening of the YMCA Children’s Academy at Avenue, a new early childhood education facility at Avenue Center in the Near Northside. This site will assist in creating equity and access to key education programs and address the shortage of early childhood education capacity in this community.
“We’re excited to bring this to the community and increase access to necessary resources for working families. Since the start of the pandemic, the Y has continuously worked to bridge gaps in equity and meet critical needs of the community,” said Stephen Ives, president and CEO, the YMCA of Greater Houston. “The Y has been an early care provider in that community since the 80s. This presents an opportunity to expand that service to include the younger ages in a state-of-the-art building designed to address their unique developmental and educational needs. We’re proud of our continued partnership with Avenue and the ability to facilitate childhood development through cognitive, social and emotional growth.”
“We are delighted to welcome the YMCA of Greater Houston to Avenue Center. The Children's Academy will address the critical need for high-quality, affordable childhood education services for working families,” said Mary Lawler, executive director of Avenue. “As a community development corporation, our partnerships with other local organizations and leaders are some of the most effective tools we have for strengthening communities. We are proud of the partnership that Avenue has developed with the YMCA over the last decade and look forward to continuing our work together to provide the essential resources that improve the quality of life for all.”
The YMCA Children’s Academy utilizes The Creative Curriculum, a comprehensive, research-based curriculum that features exploration and discovery as a way of learning for children from birth through kindergarten. School readiness activities include literacy, songs and music, art, science, outdoor time and physical activities. With enrollment for infant care now open, the center will be able to accommodate up to 70 children ranging from six weeks to five years, offering an all-important service to families which previously lacked in the Near Northside community. To increase access for all families, financial assistance will be available to help with monthly costs.
Located at 3517 Irvington Blvd., Avenue Center features approximately 30,500 square feet of community programming space. In addition to the new YMCA Children’s Academy, the community hub will offer Greater Northside residents access to a wide variety of programs and services, including a new Legacy Community Health Clinic, homebuyer education and counseling, post-purchase and foreclosure prevention counseling, financial education through the BBVA Center for Financial Education, and space for community meetings and training classes.
To welcome families, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was hosted on April 6 at the new state-of-the-art facility. Those in attendance included:
-Sylvia Garcia, U.S. Congresswoman
-Adrian Garcia, Precinct 2 Harris County Commissioner
-Karla Cisneros, City of Houston Councilmember District H
-Elizabeth Santos, Houston ISD Board Trustee
-Sara Montelongo-Oyervidez, Staff Representation from Texas State Senator Carol Alvarado’s office
-Noel Baldovino, Staff Representation from Texas State Representative Penny Shaw-Morales’ office
-Juliette Stipeche, Director of Education for the City of Houston
-Rodney Finke, Partner & CFO, Harvey Builders
-Mary Lawler, Executive Director, Avenue
-Stephen Ives, President & CEO, YMCA of Greater Houston
-Marie Arcos, Executive Vice President of Government and Community Affairs, YMCA of Greater Houston
-Jeffrey Eernisse, prayer
For more information about the YMCA Children’s Academy or ways to get involved, please visit https://www.ymcahouston.org/, and follow the organization on Facebook @YMCAHouston and Instagram @YMCAHouston.