The Monsanto Family YMCA on Page Boulevard, and its predecessors – the Pine Street, Page Park and City North branches – share a remarkable history. Over the course of a century in North St. Louis, the YMCA has educated and inspired young leaders, housed and fed U.S. Army troops, started Camp Rivercliff, established a public affairs forum and created the Page-Park Junior Kindergarten School, which was a prototype for the national Head Start program.
Since the current facility opened in 1981 and was renamed to recognize a generous contribution by the Monsanto Company, the Monsanto Family YMCA has become a national model for what not-for-profit organizations can do to address family needs in the inner city. By providing a safe haven for youth, an excellent preschool child care program and a means for uniting neighbors and neighborhoods, the YMCA is a large part of community life in North St. Louis.
In 1998, the YMCA Performing Arts Center on Clay Street, which opened in 1996, became part of the Monsanto Family YMCA branch. The center houses the YMCA Boys Choir, modeled after the Harlem Boys Choir, a computer and learning resource facility, and programs from Positive Steps dancing to tumbling and more.