Did you know that a child who can’t read at their grade level by Grade 3 is less likely to graduate high school? That’s a crucial milestone that three-quarters of kids from low-income neighbourhoods fail to meet; a significantly higher proportion than their middle-income peers. Researchers call this difference in achievement levels the ʺachievement gapʺ.

The YMCA Beyond the Bell program helps close the achievement gap. Delivered as an after-school program, Beyond the Bell offers a curriculum that includes numeracy, literacy, recreation, nutrition and values. We help children from low-income areas reach a level of academic achievement, life skills, and confidence to keep pace with their middle-income peers — breaking the cycle of poverty and increasing their chances of a successful life.