Academics First Hosts Supply Drive and Community Meet and Greet

Local extended-day childcare center has openings!

Utica, NY-

Academics First is asking the community to help bring new and fresh items into their childcare center! They are hosting a Supply Drive for new items along with a Meet and Greet and an opportunity to tour the center.

“Wear and tear on toys and items happen much faster in a childcare setting. New and fresh items will ensure our children have to tools to continue to grow and learn,” stated Pastor Kathy Hughes, CEO of Academics First. “We are asking the community to be a part of our children’s futures by donating needed items to fill our center as we begin to offer more availability.”

You can purchase items to donate from Academic’s First Amazon Wish list and bring them to their Community Event or ship them directly to the center at TINYURL.COM/AFSUPPLYDRIVE.

Anyone is welcome to attend Academics First’s Community Event on Saturday, May 22 from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm located in the DeSales Center Building, 309 Genesee Street, Utica. Community members can meet the staff and tour Academics First. A donated item from their Amazon Wishlist is appreciated but not required to attend.

Academics First, the Mohawk Valley’s first and only extended-day childcare center, opened its door less than one year ago, right in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic. This local non-profit childcare center is serving our community in a new way, by offering care Monday through Friday, 6:00 am - 6:00 pm with a plan to offer weekend hours this summer.

While they care for children from 6 weeks to 12 years old, they currently have available spots for children 3 years to 12 years old.

“Many community members still are not aware that we are here! While we are in Utica, you do not have to live in Utica to utilize our childcare center,” said Stacy Hill, Executive Director of Academics First. “Our goal is to offer a safe, affordable, and reliable childcare center with hours beyond the 9-5 workday to accommodate the modern family’s needs.”

For more information about Academics First, including career or childcare availability, visit

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

About Academics First

Academics First is the Mohawk Valley’s first and only NYS Licensed extended-day childcare center. They provide an affordable, quality, safe, and reliable educational environment with operating hours to fit the modern family’s needs. The non-profit organization is led by local clergywoman Pastor Kathy Hughes of Deliverance First Ministries.

Established in 2020, Academics First is the product of the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative- Utica (ESPRI-U), as an investment in combatting poverty and creating economic mobility for residents in the City of Utica, NY. United Way of the Mohawk Valley led the project, starting with convening the community to identify a solution to create mobility for residents and advancing the common good for all. United Way MV and Deliverance First Ministries worked hand in hand to launch this one-of-a-kind childcare center.

For information about Academics Frist visit

For information about Deliverance First Ministries visit


About United Way of the Mohawk Valley

Since 1921, United Way of the Mohawk Valley (United Way MV) has been a human service leader helping thousands of local individuals and families by bringing people and organizations together to solve our community’s challenges. As one of the area’s top funders, dozens of programs rely on United Way MV funding each year.

United Way MV is a leader in innovation through projects and initiatives addressing crucial community issues in the impact areas of health, education, and financial stability, such as childcare through the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative (ESPRI), Ready for Kindergarten, Free Tax Prep, 211, and housing and homelessness efforts.

For information about United Way of the Mohawk Valley, to donate or to get involved visit, or call 315–733-4691.