Organizational Spotlight: AYS, Inc.

Mission: AYS enriches the learning and well-being of children in a safe, caring and fun environment outside of the school day.

Website: http://www.ayskids.org/

AYS, Inc. was established in 1980, then called At-Your-School Child Services.  The agency began as one after-school program at IPS #70, as the number of “latch-key” children (children who went home alone after school) in the community rose.  While there were community centers at the time, the AYS program at IPS #70 was the first after-school program in Indianapolis available at the school building.  AYS has grown to offer before- and after-school, early childhood, and summer programs in four Central Indiana counties.  We also offer training for our own staff and other youth development workers in the community. 

AYS takes a holistic approach to programming, in an effort to benefit the children that we serve academically, socially and emotionally.  Our curriculum components focus on arts, health, STEM and multi-cultural appreciation.  When the resources are available, we also bring in outside organizations and individuals to deliver special enrichment activities that align with these areas.  We strive to meet the standards established by the National Afterschool Association (NAA), the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Council on Accreditation (Council on Accreditation), and the American Camp Association (ACA).  Our staff members were among some of the first to begin to attain Indiana Youth Development Credentials (IYD), and we as an agency put a strong emphasis on staff training.

AYS’ services are fee-based, but we make every effort to keep our fees low and to ensure that as much of our budget as possible goes into direct service programming.   We pursue grants for special enrichment projects and fundraise in  order to offer scholarships to our programs.  AYS is continuously looking for ways to partner and collaborate with other organizations in order to improve our services, whether it be for enrichment activities, training, or other opportunities.  Many of AYS’ administrative staff also work with other coalitions and groups to promote and raise awareness for the importance of high-quality, out-of-school time opportunities for children in Central Indiana.

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