Ann Arbor YMCA to implement social emotional learning program in preschool classrooms

The Y is first center in Washtenaw County to implement PEDALS curriculum

Courtesy: Ann Arbor YMCA

ANN ARBOR – The Ann Arbor YMCA was awarded a grant from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan totaling $3,750 to support the implementation of the Positive Emotional Development and Learning Skills program in its preschool classroom.

The Y will be the first center in Washtenaw County to feature the PEDALS curriculum, which will be offered at the Collaborative Ypsilanti YMCA Child Development Center, Glacier Hills YMCA Child Development Center and the West Washington YMCA Child Development Center.

According to a release, PEDALS improves preschool children’s social and emotional skills by combining an evidence-based curriculum, social emotional assessment or screenings, resources and coaching for educators and administrators.

“We are excited and honored to be the first PEDALS preschools in Washtenaw County,” Ann Arbor YMCA Regional Director of Child Development & Community Outreach Lee Anna Massey said in a release. “The goal is that, in the long term, this is going to help with preschool and grade school expulsion prevention.”

“Research shows that expulsion in early childhood education disproportionately affects children of color,” Ann Arbor YMCA President and CEO Toni Kayumi said in a release. “Preschool expulsion prevention is a priority at our Y because youth who are removed from early education settings often lose the opportunity to develop and practice the very social and emotional learning skills that they need most. Keeping kids in our preschools helps prevent ongoing behavioral problems which could lead to later difficulties in grade school.”

The Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan is a permanent community endowment established by gifts from individuals and organizations. It supports a wide array of causes, including arts and culture, health, education, community development, human services and civic affairs.

The foundation has distributed more than 85,000 grants since its inception in 1984, totaling more than $1.4 billion. It grants funding to nonprofits throughout Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.

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About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.