The staff of Salem’s nonprofit organizations are ready to launch another year of exciting programs for the youth in our city. These programs and their experienced and passionate staff take advantage of the many resources the region has to offer, including historic locations, natural resources and cultural institutions. Strong partnerships between organizations allow the city’s youth to have a myriad of experiences. Please check with each organization about their final schedules before registering.

LEAP for Education

LEAP programs teach students academic and life skills needed to perform at higher levels in middle and high school. Students also receive ongoing personalized support and community connections that help them graduate from college and create a future based on their strengths and interests.

All LEAP all programs are free to participants, including free transportation and snacks. Bilingual staff are available in all programs to support English Language Learners.

Middle school: Expanding Horizons at Collins Middle School is a partnership between LEAP and the Salem Public Schools. Any Salem student in grades 6-8 is welcome in this program that is steeped in STEM, arts and college and career exploration. All programs are designed to build critical thinking, problem solving and provide opportunities for social-emotional development. Free transportation for Saltonstall students to the Collins School is provided. Contact Meghan Murtagh at Monday-Thursday, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

High School: The Teen Center, located at LEAP at 35 Congress St., will be open Monday through Thursday from 2 to 6 p.m., offering academic help, community service, a program for English Learners (who earn stipends) and other youth-inspired activities rich in the arts and technology. For more information contact Jesenia Tejada-Perez at

A few spots are available in the College Success Program for 11th and 12th graders looking to explore, apply to and find money for college or other post-secondary pathway. For more information, contact Susan Ward at LEAP is located at Shetland Park, 35 Congress St. (978) 740-6667

Pathways for Children

Pathways for Children’s Head Start program, which has been a mainstay in the Salem Public Schools, recently consolidated into the Horace Mann Laboratory School in partnership with Salem State University, community leadership, and the Salem school system.

Head Start is a comprehensive, federally funded education program-serving children 2.9 to 5 years of age. The program is free to income-eligible families. Although income is the primary basis for admission, homeless families and foster children are categorically eligible and at least 10% of slots are reserved for children with disabilities. Head Start emphasizes that parents are the child’s first and most important teachers and parents are supported in this role through frequent parent/staff communication, home visits, phone calls and parent/teacher conferences. Parents are encouraged to participate in the program in a variety of ways, from volunteering in the classroom or on field trips to serving on committees or attending workshops that are offered. Bicultural and bilingual teachers and interpreters are available. To learn more about Head Start, contact

The Family Enrichment Program provides free, high-quality, evidence-based programs designed to help support and strengthen the family unit. Programs help children and families succeed in overcoming barriers wrought by challenging circumstances. Pathways’ most comprehensive Family Enrichment Program offered in Salem is the Nurturing Program. This 15-week family education curriculum supports parents by sharing positive approaches to discipline, stress management, communication and other life skills. To learn more about this and other programs, contact at or (978) 236-4101.

Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem

The Boys & Girls Club offers a high quality, after school program, for children 8-18 years at Collins Middle School. The club engages in a formula for impact that ensures that success is within reach of every young person. The club is open Monday through Friday from 2 to 6 p.m. for 8-to-12-year-old members (fee of $25) and 2 to 8 p.m. for teen members (fee of $10). The club is open during February and April vacation and professional development days and opens early for early dismissal days. For more information, please contact Grace Duran at or (978) 744-0915 for 8-to-12-year-old members and Emi Perez for teen members.

The Kids Club at the Tabernacle Church (50 Washington St.) and Saltonstall School is a licensed after-school program that offers high-quality care after school for children ages 5 to 12. The Kids Club at the Tabernacle Church runs from 2 to 6 p.m. and at the Saltonstall School from 3 to 6 p.m. Each program runs Monday through Friday as well as on professional development days and February and April vacation weeks. Transportation is offered from all elementary schools to Tabernacle Church. Please contact Doug Bollen at for prices. For more information, visit

The For Kids Only Afterschool operates Monday through Friday from school dismissal to 6 p.m. at the Bates Elementary School. Each day, students receive homework help and participate in project-based learning activities and hands-on enrichment classes (creative and dramatic arts, STEM, dance and music, yoga, etc.). A nutritious snack, opportunities for social-emotional skill building and physical fitness activities are also offered.

The private tuition rate is $25 a day; EEC vouchers are accepted and FKO Helping Families scholarships are available. Dedicated slots for Bates School students are available via teacher recommendations. Families can register online at For more information, contact Patricia Namey at or (978) 778-0189 or visit

Salem YMCA

At the YMCA after-school programs, learning continues after the bell. Children in grades K-8 enjoy fun, engaging and developmentally appropriate activities that include creative arts, STEM, sports, fitness, games and crafts.

The YMCA at Bentley Academy Charter School, Carlton Elementary School, Horace Mann Laboratory School and Witchcraft Heights Elementary School provide after-school care, Monday through Friday, from dismissal to 6 p.m.

The STEAM program is located at the Salem YMCA (1 Sewall St.( for children attending all Salem Public Schools. Free transportation is offered from all schools to the Salem YMCA, where after-school care is offered daily until 6 p.m. The STEAM program allows children to select specific activities including sports, technology, education, arts and music.

All school-based and YMCA-based programs offer full days of care for school breaks and many school closures.

Program fees vary based on location and attendance schedule. Vouchers are accepted and financial aid is available for those who qualify. Please contact Jon Prentice at for rates or visit YMCA’s website

This is one in a monthly series of columns from the Salem Partnership’s Community Advisory Board for the Salem Public Schools. Erin Truex is the director of Development for LEAP for Education (, Elise Sinagra is the communications manager for Pathways for Children and Laura O’Neill is the major gifts officer at Pathways for Children (

Trending Video

Recommended for you