The Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs has made a commitment to reduce the achievement gap in the youth it serves. All YMCAs in Massachusetts offer a summer literacy program for their campers. Similarly, throughout the school year YMCAs in Massachusetts offer a variety of literacy initiatives in their after school and early education programs.

The Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs runs a Summer Learning Loss Pilot across a number of its YMCAs. The goal is reduce regression among rising third graders in the area of decoding and fluency. Students participate in a 6 week program during their summer camp that includes direct and explicit reading instruction from a teacher.

In 2014, Massachusetts YMCAs' summer achievement gap programs recorded a 90% increase of a month or more in literacy levels for students who participated in outcome measurements.  


Youth and Government uses the YMCA core values of Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility to teach teens in grades 9-12 how they can participate in the democratic process. Participants have opportunities to develop skills, make friends and learn how they can make a difference.

The YMCA Youth and Government motto is Democracy must be learned by each generation. Every person can make a difference. Youth and Government helps participants acquire skills to take into the future:

  • Public speaking/communications
  • Greater understanding of democratic process
  • Enhanced leadership skills
  • Application of moral and ethical values to life decisions

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