While low income and poverty present a multitude of cascading problem for families, the impact is especially dire for children.

Closing the achievement gap

Children from low-income backgrounds are faced with an academic disadvantage compared to their middle-class counterparts before even starting school. Reading at grade level by Grade 3 is a crucial milestone that predicts future school success. Three quarters of children from low-income neighbourhoods fail to meet this milestone.

YMCA Beyond the Bell™ has been helping to break the cycle of poverty by closing the achievement gap. Children participate in YMCA Beyond the Bell™ at no cost to their families, supported by our generous donors and funders who believe that financial circumstances should not be a barrier to the academic success of children.

How To Donate

2020 Fundraising Goals


will help up create safe online forums and programming.


children and families have been supported by YMCA Beyond the Bell™


Programs offered across Hamilton, Burlington, Brantford and Ohsweken.

Our Impact

YMCA of Hamilton|BurIington|Brantford regularly measures the success that YMCA Beyond the BellTM achieves in realizing program goals and closing the achievement gap.

Our most recent YMCA Beyond the BellTM Report Card revealed many meaningful achievements made by children completing the program.

  • 72% of children were performing at or above their grade level in math
  • 91% of children felt that program leaders helped them with personal problems.
  • 86% of children thought YMCA Beyond the Bell was fun!
  • 92% of parents believed that their children were learning new social skills and that YMCA Beyond the Bell™ was motivating their children to learn.

Our Programs



YMCA Beyond the Bell™ is an after school and summer program that combines recreation, academic assistance, nutritional snacks, and socialization activities all aimed at building confidence, developing social skills, promoting physical activity and enhancing academic achievement.


Earlier this year, we reached out to over 200 YMCA Beyond the Bell™  families from low-income areas that many children are feeling sad, lonely, and bored, and are missing social interactions with their friends during these times. We have responded by connecting with them through online forums and providing program activities.

Want more information?

As needs continue to grow, the role of the YMCA in our community will be even more critical. If you would like more information about YMCA Beyond the Bell™ and other ways you can support, please enter your name and email and our Development Team will be in touch.