On Thursday, March 8 at the monthly Anna ISD school board meeting, Dallas YMCA representative Suzana Delgado-Gray presented the motion to create a three-year contract between Anna ISD and the Dallas YMCA. The purpose of this contract is to help Anna residents with cheap after-school childcare, a motion that was approved during the meeting.

The Young Men’s Christian Association, also known as the YMCA, has been a major part of world culture. The first one was created in 1844 in London as a safe meeting place for boys to share stories and study. In 1851, Thomas Sullivan recognized the necessity to open the same type of safe house in America.

The YMCA has a curriculum written for different age groups within the programs. The company employees a certain person to create these sections. There are different programs within the curriculum that aim to help kids with emotional and intellectual growth. They also offer different clubs for students to participate in. This can help kids learn, get exercise and socialize with other kids their age, without the stress of passing a class.

One major benefit of this three year contract with the YMCA is the share revenue plan. This particular plan is to help support the school system. The YMCA donates back six dollars for every student that is enrolled in their programs. During the 2017-2018 school year, the estimate that has been given back is around 31 thousand. Very few non-profit organizations give to the schools.

Another benefit of this program is the YMCA offers financial aid for families. They help with money for scholarships and even rent. “There is an estimate of 8 to 10 thousand dollars given each year to families in need,” Delgado-Gray said, which can be a major help to most families who are struggling.

The school board also received an update on the expansion of the Anna High School. The additions will include a C.T.E. building, which is a Career and Technical Education wing, and a tornado shelter. The shelter will be multipurpose. This will include retractable seating to change the building from a lecture hall, to a wide space to house students. Huckabee and Associates will also repurpose classrooms to include different areas for more programs.

The construction also plans to add safe zones within the school. Due to the school being made of windows, the idea is to add a few areas that will have the ability to resist tornadoes and any type of emergency. These rooms will be connected to each other, to lessen the number of people entering the hallways. This will add a needed security to the high school.

The cost of this project is projected to be close to $15.5 million, and take up to two years to complete. Huckabee hopes to have it finished by the end of 2019.