New grant helps Helena YMCA with distance learning program

HELENA – After receiving a $1 million grant, the Helena YMCA was able to lower the cost of their distance learning program to just five dollars a day.  

"People will put child care in their budget for summer but nobody planned on having to pay for daycare for the fall," says Judi Allen, Interim CEO, Helena Family YMCA. 

Before the YMCA received the grant money the average cost was about $40 per day. Now this extra money will help families in need of child care, providing full scholarships to 25 percent of students who can’t afford the distance learning program. Allen wants to remind parents the program isn’t too good to be true.  

"We provide breakfast, lunch, and a healthy snack. Where can you get all of that for five dollars and have tutoring and get your kid attending their class meetings, etc.,” says Allen. 

Right now, they have 67 students signed up for the distance learning program but they are looking to grow because they have space for 160 kids. 

"This building has allowed us to do a lot of safety protocols to minimize exposure,” says Allen. “We keep the same 10 kids cohered amongst themselves so they don't comingle with the other pods." 

If you are interested in signing up or would like to find out more information about the program you can do so by clicking here or by contacting Alex Reid, the youth director at 

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