Y-ASPIRE (After-School Program for Inspiration, Recreation and Education)
Y-ASPIRE serves the youth and parents from Guilford, Putney, Brattleboro, Dummerston, Bellows Falls, Westminster, and Saxtons River.
Check out our short video of Y-ASPIRE highlights here.
Key benefits offered by Y-ASPIRE:
- runs not only after-school on typical school days but also for full days during all school vacations and on most holidays, as well as for half days on all in-service days,
- enriching curriculum that includes homework help, literacy development, physical activity, nutritious snacks, arts, and group projects organized around a monthly theme,
- develops and supports 36 of the 40 "Developmental Assets" that research has shown to support "thriving behaviors" and decrease "risk behaviors,"
- high-quality, reliable staff of youth development professionals,
- affordable rates with a number of financial assistance options,
- family activities focus on connecting families (with each other and with other families) and on family health.
- the program takes place right at your child's school.
- Y-ASPIRE is a licensed school age child care program which ensures high standards of safety, proper staff training, and an age-appropriate curriculum. This licensing also allows parents to access the Child Care Subsidy Program which provides financial support to parents who are working or in job training programs.
Each day of a Y-ASPIRE program includes physical activity, nutritious snack, study time and a group project. It is our main objective to provide safe and reliable care in a fun, enriching environment that emphasizes social and emotional growth. Through various activities, students in the Y-ASPIRE program develop "life skills" such as cooperation, problem-solving, group decision-making and leadership. They also learn more about themselves, their community and their world. Most activities are centered around a monthly theme such as Different But the Same, Our Community, Kindness and Justice, My Family, and Our Natural World. To enhance literacy skills, we use the YMCA KidzLit literacy program. Developed specifically for YMCA after-school programs, KidzLit involves ASPIRE participants in a variety of fun reading, writing, art, drama and other activities related directly to our YMCA core values (caring, honesty, respect and responsibility) and our Y-ASPIRE monthly themes.
Each Y-ASPIRE site is led by a Site Director and a Program Assistant(s). The Site Director has met stringent licensing criteria for professional training and experience. Our participant:staff ratio is below state requirements of 13:1.
Hours and Days of Operation
The Y-ASPIRE program runs from the minute school is dismissed until 6:00 PM on all school days (6:15 in Walpole). In addition, we offer full-day care (from the school's start time until 6:00 PM) on most days that school is not in session. This includes school vacations, teacher in-service days, parent-teacher conference days and some holidays. On early release days or days where there is an unscheduled early closing we provide care beginning at the earlier dismissal time. This provides parents with an additional 200 hours of care beyond the typical "after-school" hours.
Y-ASPIRE does NOT run on unscheduled full-day closings due to snow or emergencies. (We do run a Snow Days Program in Brattleboro on these days.)
What Y-ASPIRE parents have to say
- "The program was a great mix of physical exercise and 'mental' exercise."
- "ASPIRE teaches valuable life skills they don't always get elsewhere."
- "In addition to the great program, the 'seamlessness' of vacation and early release coverage was superb!"
- "We don't really need after-school care, but (child's name) wanted to attend because she heard it is a great program."
- "This program enables me to continue with my career."
- "Thanks for another great year!"
What the research says about quality after-school programs like ASPIRE
- A meta-analysis spanning 68 studies of afterschool conducted by the University of Illinois found that students participating in a high quality afterschool program attended school more, showed improved behavior, received higher grades and did better on tests compared to non-participating students. They also found that participants in afterschool programs improve significantly in three major areas: feelings and attitudes, indicators of behavioral adjustment, and school performance and that participants have reduced problem behaviors (e.g., aggression, noncompliance and conduct problems). (2010)
- Positive results, as well as more positive self-esteem, increased as the frequency of attendance in the programs increased (Baker & Witt, 1996).
- Parents report that the programs have helped them be more productive at work (Feister, Reisner & Castle, 2000).
If you would like more information about our Y-ASPIRE program, please call us at our office nearest you: Bellows Falls(802) 463-4769; Brattleboro (802-246-1036); Springfield (802-885-8131) or email us at