Skip to main content

It can be difficult for any parent to give their kids the best start in life. Dannie Boucher feels this pressure four-fold, being a single mother of four children who are all looking to her for support.

“There is no way I can stretch myself to cover all of their needs,” explains Dannie. “I get home after work and struggle to make dinner, let alone be there for my kids mentally and emotionally. I find it impossible to help with all of their homework.”

The YMCA’s Beyond the Bell after school program was developed to help children who are at risk of falling behind academically in school. The program provides a safe place for children to learn, and to develop emotional and social skills.

“The staff help Deacon (7), complete his homework,” says Dannie. “The program also provides positive social reinforcement for Xavier (9), who struggles with ADHD; it teaches him how to treat others. And for Chloe (11), Beyond the Bell helps her feel accepted and supported. It is a place where she has met friends and where she feels she can be herself, which is important for a young girl.”

Dannie explains her belief that it takes a village to raise a child and that Beyond the Bell staff and volunteers provide the supportive community her children need.

“I can’t even say how appreciative I am of the program,” says Dannie. “It affects the kids in a profound, powerful way. And it’s not just them, it’s me too. The staff go above and beyond for our family.”

The YMCA Beyond the Bell program wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of community donors.