A Helping Hand
(Manchester, NH) Local grade school students in Manchester’s inner city are enjoying a healthy boost, thanks to a $10,000 charitable grant from the Lincoln Financial Foundation to The Granite YMCA in support of its START program.
Operating five days a week, the Y’s START is an after school program serving low-income students from Henry Wilson and Beech Street Schools in Manchester. Curriculum includes two hours daily of academic tutoring, physical fitness, life skills, nutrition, community building, and teamwork. Because eighty-nine percent of participants speak a language other than English at home, START also helps families who need support understanding American culture and schools.
“Lincoln Financial has been a long-time supporter and wonderful partner for our START program,” said Leslee Stewart, Vice President of Development for The Granite YMCA. “Thanks to their efforts—as well as other local partners—we are able to provide a better foundation for hundreds of children in need.”
The Lincoln Financial Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Lincoln Financial Group, believes in empowering people to live greater lives, which advances culture and empowers greater positive change. Its grant is part of Lincoln Financial’s annual $10 million investment in its local communities’ youth education, economic and workforce development, human well-being and arts programs.
The Y’s START program—along with its companion program STAY (which focuses on middle and junior high students)—is part of the Y’s Youth Opportunities Unlimited Program. The program is centered on reducing the dropout rate in Manchester, which has one of the highest dropout rates in the state.
A major part of The Granite YMCA’s daily mission is focused on working with kids whose lives are complicated by a number of risk factors including poverty, exposure to violence, substance abuse, poor school performance, engagement in risk-taking behaviors, or significant social-emotional difficulties. The Y Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU) programs provide support to students who would otherwise fall through the cracks. Ninety percent of enrolled participants in Y dropout prevention programs live in very low- to low-income families.
“By providing these services at a critical time for children, we are helping to meet a community goal of making sure they receive the support they need to thrive in elementary school and hopefully successfully move to graduation,” concluded Ms. Stewart.
About Lincoln Financial Foundation
The Lincoln Financial Foundation, established in 1962, is a nonprofit organization formed and supported by Lincoln Financial Group. Under the Foundation guidelines, grants are made in the areas of arts, education, human services and economic/workforce development. To learn more, please visit www.lfg.com
About The Granite YMCA
As one of the state’s longest standing and most enduring non-profits, The Granite YMCA focuses on youth development, healthy living, social responsibility, and family strengthening. Across the state, its six branches engage 30,000 men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to improve their health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. In 2016, The Granite YMCA provided financial assistance and free services valued at over $1.63 million to 19,872 individuals. To learn more, please visit www.graniteymca.org.