Who We Are
Fun City Youth Academy is a 501-c-3 nonprofit organization that provides year-round programming in a safe and stimulating environment to help youth reach their full potential.
For more than 40 years, Fun City has offered programs that combine academic work with activities that promote cultural awareness and build positive self-worth.
It has addressed one of the most pressing problems that our country faces: the persistent achievement gap among underprivileged children. There are many successful alumni of the program in the Columbia area who can attest to the program's contribution to their success.
What We Do
The Fun City Youth Academy provides families and their 5-14 year old children with year-round programming in a safe and stimulating environment.
Learning is fun in our programs, as we incorporate creativity and technology into our reading and math lessons.
Opportunities - Fun City kids have the opportunity to expand their world, enrich their ethnic identity, meet successful, caring adults, make friends with other youth and give back to the community.
Year-round programming with the Saturday Academy during the school year and the Summer Academy for eight weeks during the summer break.
Community Playground of Columbia, Inc. DBA Fun City Youth Academy arose out of a church and community response to fill the needs of children in the community for summer daycare, recreation, tutoring and enrichment activities.
Fun City Youth Academy was established in the summer of 1970, with 25 children in the basement of St. Paul AME Church. It was funded by various churches, civic organizations, charitable groups and grant funding. Led by Rev. Melvin West, his wife Barbara, and Mrs. Beulah Ralph, an ecumenical group was formed to develop this vision. This group consisted of Wynna Faye Tapp-Elbert, Sarabelle Jackson and Harold Warren, among others. The program grew rapidly and in 1972 moved to Grant Elementary School. One year later, FCYA moved to the historic Douglass High School. In July of 1973, it was incorporated as Community Playground of Columbia, Inc. (CPCI), a non-profit organization that operates as Fun City Youth Academy. The Summer program moved to West Boulevard Elementary in 2016 and has been there ever since.
About 15 years ago, FCYA initiated a Saturday Program, which began operation at St. Luke UM Church on Ash Street. Throughout the years St. Luke’s has provided housing and support to Fun City for various activities. The Saturday program later moved to the J.W. “Blind” Boone Community Center. Now, the Saturday Academy is located at Progressive Missionary Baptist Church.
Currently, the principal funding for Fun City Youth Academy programs is provided by the County of Boone, the City of Columbia, Heart of Missouri United Way, Veterans United Foundation, and Joe Machens Ford Lincoln.