The YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta Leadership and Learning Center officially opened its doors this month in Vine City. This is a place that serves the community through early learning, youth development, workforce training, health and wellness, and community building.
The Center houses the YMCA of Metro Atlanta’s 55,000 square-foot headquarters and the state-of-the-art Arthur M. Blank Early Learning Center at E.A. Ware. Opened at the start of the new school year, the Center will empower approximately 90 low-income children from the community to start kindergarten on track for long-term academic success. Accessible early education is essential. Children in low-income neighborhoods face a steeper hill and fall short of key educational milestones at a higher rate than others. A facility like this not only goes a long way in providing support at an early age, it symbolizes opportunity, empowerment, and equity in the community.
The benefits of Head Start programs are clear. Children who take part make significant progress in language, literacy, math, and social development. They leave Head Start programs like this one better prepared to enter elementary school. And many years down the road, Head Start kids have a higher likelihood of graduating high school and going on to college.
The Chick-fil-A Foundation Training Center, which opened in May 2019, serves as a hub for innovative professional development and staff training for those in early learning, afterschool, health and wellness, and more. The Y will deliver professional development for more than 4,000 Y employees from across the Southeast through the onsite regional training program. The training center is also available for use by community organizations.
The Kaiser Permanente Community Wellness Center will host free classes for the community as well as a market and café serving healthy food options.
Invest Atlanta provided $2.5 million through the TAD grant approved on Thursday, and Atlanta Emerging Markets, Inc., Invest Atlanta’s certified community development entity, contributed a New Markets Tax Credit allocation.