Bright Beginnings: Back to school at the Jerry Long YMCA

Published 12:05 am Thursday, August 10, 2023

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CLEMMONS — The Jerry Long Family YMCA took 75 students in need shopping on Tuesday for clothing and school supplies for the upcoming school year via its Bright Beginnings program.

Volunteers met at the Jerry Long Y at 7:15 a.m. to be paired with their “shopping buddy” before heading to Target and returning to the Y to wrap up at 12:30 p.m.

The YMCA recognizes the importance of a child’s cognitive, emotional and social development and aims to empower them. With 1 in 5 North Carolina children living below the federal poverty level, school essentials can be challenging for some families to purchase.

YMCA Bright Beginnings provides them with backpacks, clothing, school supplies and a back-to-school shopping experience they may not have otherwise.

Each year the Y works with staff at Forsyth County elementary schools to identify students most in need. The Y collects backpacks and supplies before taking students shopping for clothes with community volunteers who purchase items using a gift card provided by the Y.

“Back-to-school season should be an exciting time for all students regardless of their circumstances,” said Miranda Wyatt, executive director of the Jerry Long Family YMCA. “Feeling confident before starting a new school year is crucial for a child, and by giving them the tools they need, we help set them up for success.”

YMCA Bright Beginnings is made possible through contributions made to the Annual Impact Fund, which provides financial support for YMCA programs and initiatives that positively impact the community’s health and well-being.