The Gates Public Library and the Westside Family YMCA are excited to announce a partnership to educate preschool children, which is the first of its kind in the Western New York region and one of only a few in the United States and Canada.
The numbers of families with children seeking a preschool education exceeds the space available through the services offered by Gates and Chili. As a result, dozens of potential students are being turned away each year. In collaboration with the YMCA, Gates Public Library will be providing two classrooms in an adjacent building that will be used to educate well over 100 children annually who may not otherwise have access to a preschool education or before- and after-school care.
The YMCA has been offering preschool classes, as well as before- and after-school care, for children for more than 30 years, making the organization a natural partner in this critical endeavor. The YMCA is Monroe County’s largest childcare provider, and offers scholarships and a sliding-payment scale for families. Information on reduced tuition can be fond on the YMCA’s website at bit.ly/Westsidechildcare.
“By sharing our best-in-class resources we can provide the best possible childcare and preschool education to the children of our community,” said Chris Mangone, district vice president of Westside Operations for YMCA of Greater Rochester. “This unique partnership between a town and a YMCA presents a tremendous opportunity for education.”
An additional benefit to the community is this program will not cost the Town of Gates taxpayers any extra money. It is being paid for by a combination of a $229,330 grant, private donations gathered through fundraising, and capital reserve funds. When the Gates Public Library was built in 2011, 7,400 people attended to a library program. In 2016 that number grew to 33,300, outpacing existing ability to meet the current demand for educational library programs for all ages.
“A failure to educate these children today will result in a future where America can no longer out-innovate other countries,” said Gates Public Library Director Greg Benoit. “For centuries the world has looked to the United States for technology developments such as the electricity, air travel, medical treatments, and technological wonders that bring humanity together like the internet and smartphones. If we wish to retain our leadership position in the world, we must educate these children. Our future depends on it.”