The Sherman Lake YMCA Outdoor Center in Augusta is ready to provide enhanced learning opportunities for kids this summer. It’s happening in part due to the Y being named a recipient of grant funding from the Michigan Department of Education. $2.3 million is being shared by several YMCAs around the state to assist kids and families with learning options to help recover from the last year of education disruptions and better prepare for the upcoming 2021-2022 academic year.

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The Sherman Lake YMCA Outdoor Center is situated about halfway between Battle Creek and Kalamazoo and serves kids, families, and schools, from a wide area of both Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties, along with several other nearby counties in SW Michigan.

The Sherman Lake Y’s Integrated Education programming is already utilized by more than two dozen schools in the area to bolster their curriculum throughout the year.  Sherman Lake YMCA CEO Zach Klipsch says the grant funding opens up a number of new opportunities. “The Sherman Lake YMCA Outdoor Center has been a leader in camp programming and character development since the very beginning. The pandemic has created opportunities for us to serve our community in new ways like meal distributions, blood drives and in-person virtual school. This grant will give us the opportunity to serve children in a deeper way this summer and we are excited to help them recover academically and as well as facilitating friendships and social-emotional growth.”

Fran Talsma, Executive Director for the Michigan Alliance of YMCAs, says the participating Y’s are uniquely positioned to help kids be better prepared for the upcoming school year. “To effectively combat COVID learning loss, in- and out-of-school learning needs to be connected and seamless. We have the capacity and expertise to support schools and help achieve positive outcomes for students.”

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