Regional Ymca, Inc.
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2 Huckleberry Hill Road Brookfield CT 06804 USA
The regional y is a community service organization committed to building healthy lives through programs that strengthen the spirit, mind and body for all. With a focus on nurturing the potential of every child and teen, improving our community's health and well-being and providing opportunities to give back and support neighbors, the y enables youth, adults, and families to be healthy, confident, connected and secure. The y is accessible to all regardless of age, income or background. We turn no one away who cannot afford to pay; financial assistance is offered to individuals and families who cannot afford membership or program participation.
Memberships:our y is a cause driven organization, committed to strengthening our community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. People of all ages and walks of life turn to our y because they know that we are here for them, as we have been for over 150 years in the greater danbury area. As a result, 8,500 people in our community are receiving the support, guidance, and resources they need to achieve greater health in spirit, mind and body. This is particularly important as our nation struggles with an obesity crisis, families struggle with work/life balance, and individuals search for personal fulfillment. In a time of rising obesity rates, especially in our youth, the regional y continues our commitment of meeting healthy standards for nutrition and physical activity in our early childhood and afterschool programs. Our programs promote connections, support systems and friendships between members and staff, as well as building self-confidence and self-esteem. Members are encouraged and supported in becoming their best self. We look to make a meaningful and enduring impact in the lives of our neighbors. With this as our goal, we make sure that the y is accessible to all people. We are here to ensure that everyone, regardless of gender, income or background, has the opportunity to live life to its fullest. At the y, no child, family or adult is turned away for an inability to pay, and financial assistance is offered to all who cannot afford membership. In 2014, our y provided $110,146 in financial assistance to individuals and families, allowing them to participate in programs that empower them to overcome obstacles, and to be healthy, confident, connected and secure. Additionally, the open door membership program provides membership opportunities to many more individuals and families, and is based on their household income; individuals and families whose income falls below a certain level are offered participation in the program, reducing their membership fees by 25%. More than 110 open door memberships were offered in 2014. As part of our focus on our community and social responsibility, besides financial assistance to our members, we also provided military service members and their families with discounted memberships, allowing the service members to physically prepare before heading off to training or active duty, and offering their families a place to feel safe and connected while their loved one is away.
youth development: our ymca is committed to nurturing the potential of every child and teen. We believe that all kids deserve the opportunity to discover who they are and what they can achieve. That's why we help young people cultivate the values, skills, and relationships that lead to positive behaviors, better health, and educational achievement. Our preschool child care, before & after school care, and school readiness programs offer a safe and nurturing environment for children to learn, grow and develop the social skills needed in school and for life, and peace of mind to parents struggling to meet the needs of caring for their children and the demands of their work life. 495 children were served at our child care centers in 2014, with $204,367 provided to families in financial assistance. Other programs, such as leadership development, arts & humanities, youth sports, youth swim lessons and day camps, offer a range of activities that allow children to have fun, build self-esteem, develop interpersonal skills and make lasting friendships and memories. In these difficult economic times, our day camps alone provided $94,888 in fee assistance, while our other youth programs provided $147,463, affording opportunities to kids that otherwise might not be available to them. Our youth programs are working towards closing the achievement gap in academics and addressing summer learning loss, too prevalent in our community. Our child care programs are designed to meet the individual needs of children and provide them with learning skills to help them in school. To emphasize and support the work kids learn throughout the school year, our before and after school programs, summer day camps and escape to the arts program all have an academic component. - our preschool program at grassy plain continued to prepare children for kindergarten, including nearly 1/3 of danbury school readiness students. 96% of our "graduates" had the literacy, math and social skills they need for kindergarten. In contrast, overall danbury school readiness scores are 81-86%. - our school age program was awarded a $165,491 grant from the grossman family foundation to enroll 15 academically at-risk, low-income danbury children in our summer instruction and 15 in our school year program to support their scholastic progress. 73% of the grossman-funded students maintained or improved their dra scores over the summer. Overall, 81% of the danbury students in our summer programming who were evaluated maintained or improved their dra scores. - in fall 2014, the children's center was selected to participate in an online pilot learning program - coordinated by fairfield county's community foundation and the connecticut after school network - to use khan academy's resources to improve students' math skills. - camp greenknoll had another strong year. 693 kids spent the summer with us. End-of-camp tests reveal we're mitigating summer academic slide through the educational activities we are building into our camp programs. - 73% of the campers tested maintained or improved their math skills - 64% of campers tested improved their reading skills, and another 36% maintained their skills. Meanwhile, the statistics for childhood obesity are frightening. The average childhood obesity rate in non-minority populations in ct is 1 in 4, considered "good" compared to the rest of the nation. And the statistics for danbury are rising, especially among the hispanic population. As many as 40% of danbury children are considered overweight/obese by the 6th grade. Promoting healthy lifestyle choices to children, including good nutrition and physical activity, is a key focus of the y's youth programs. With this goal, the y, in partnership with the united way of western ct and the coalition for healthy kids (20 organizations strong), developed and implemented the scram (students can run and move) program, which offers physical activity and a healthy snack to students each day after school. In 2014, our scram (students can run and move) afterschool fitness and nutrition program helped nearly 400 children - and their families - get active, learn how to eat healthy, and significantly improve their fitness levels. Scram is proven to increase students' fitness skills by 60%, improve their nutrition knowledge as much as 95%, and stabilize/improve their bmi rates (up to 67% of the students are considered overweight/obese at their initial baseline evaluation). Scram is now available in five danbury elementary schools. Good nutrition is a key factor for a healthy lifestyle, and access to fruits and vegetables is crucial to encouraging children to eat more of them. In partnership with the trust for public land, a school garden was installed at ellsworth elementary school. The garden is used to teach students about good nutrition, and crops are harvested for healthy snacks. In addition, weekly trips were made to the danbury farmers' market with children participating in the scram program, where each child had the opportunity to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables for their families. In our youth swimming programs, children have fun in the water, build self-confidence, develop life-saving skills and make lasting memories. Our aquatics programs taught 706 children how to swim and be safe in the water. And our 200 mako swim team members continued to blow the competition "out of the water" at meets. One of our swimmers qualified for usa swimming's junior national races and attended a select national camp for swimmers; statistics show that 30% of the swimmers that attend this camp will go onto the olympics. With the help of the y, kids are developing the values and skills that lead to positive behaviors, better health and educational achievement, and parents can be assured that whatever activities their children are engaged in, they will have a safe, positive environment in which to play, learn and grow.
healthy living:the y is our community's leading voice on health and well-being. We bring families closer together, encourage good health, and foster connections with new and old friends through fitness, sports, fun, and shared interests. Our programs are designed to help people of all ages and abilities create realistic goals for self-improvement and disease prevention through an active lifestyle, good nutrition, behavioral changes, stress management and education. In 2014, 8,500 people engaged in our healthy living activities, such as family wellness, group exercise classes, personal fitness, programs for active older adults, water activities, walking groups, arts & humanities, diabetes prevention & management, and healthy lifestyle and nutrition education. As the area's health & fitness leader, we continued to take our health expertise and programming into the community to combat one of the region's greatest health threats: childhood obesity. - the regional y leads the coalition for healthy kids, a group of community partners that is focused on promoting good nutrition and physical activity to school children, teaching them healthy habits at a young age with the goal of getting the entire family involved in making healthier choices. - to support its commitment to reduce childhood obesity, the y began implementing hepa standards (healthy eating and physical activity standards) in the fall of 2011 and continues to lead this effort today. All of our programs that serve children in childcare programs are serving only healthy snacks and beverages, including holiday and birthday celebrations, and screen time is kept to the minimum needed for students to complete homework assignments. All of our programs have made a tremendous effort to make sure children in their care are physically active on a daily basis through play time, snowtime, swimming lessons, and indoor fitness. - last summer, 13 raised beds at the ymca children's center were overflowing with produce. The center's children were responsible for all aspects of the garden, from planting to harvesting. The garden was a great tool to use in identifying healthy eating options. The children used the fresh ingredients as snacks and in various cooking projects, and sold the produce at their own farm stand. - in addition, escape to the arts now has an indoor tower garden that will be used to supplement the after-school cooking program, allowing for fresh ingredients. - children participating in our scram program also made weekly trips to the danbury farmers' market to learn about and buy fresh produce. 240 individual trips were made in 2014. On each trip every child was given a coin valued at $10 to select and purchase fresh fruit and vegetables for their families. - last year, 16 families participated in the fit kid program, a collaborative effort between the regional y, family and children's aid and western connecticut health network. Through this multidisciplinary approach, children who have been diagnosed as obese by their pediatricians, along with their families, learn basic nutrition education, how to increase physical activity and receive behavioral support in a group setting. Families are now making healthy lifestyle changes such as reading food labels, children have tried out for sports teams that they did not have the confidence for prior to the class, and they have increased their self-esteem overall. The y officially launched the diabetes prevention program in october 2014. As many as 50,000 adults in our service area are at-risk of developing diabetes. We've teamed with area health leaders to screen and identify residents with pre-diabetes and invite them to enroll. Physicians in the western ct health network are now able to refer patients to our program via electronic medical records. Our first diabetes prevention session began in october with 8 participants. The program stresses healthy lifestyles by helping participants adopt healthy behaviors that will last. Participants learn about healthy eating, portion control, how to read food package labels, and how to balance eating and exercise. Participants can reduce and even eliminate their diabetes risks by losing 7% of their weight and exercising up to 150 minutes a week. People living with pre-diabetes and diabetes can find support at the y with a registered dietitian and fitness specialists on staff to help them continue building a healthy lifestyle, and those who are unable to afford membership to improve their health outcome may apply for scholarship. In 2014, 38 members participated in fit in 12, a 12 week program designed to engage and support the new or experienced exerciser. Members have reported feeling more confident, they have lost weight, gained energy, tried new things such as swimming and zumba, and many have moved on to participate in other healthy living programs at the y. Each year, the y holds its popular lose to win program, a 12 week competition that strives to get participants to try new things in order to make healthy lifestyle changes and lose weight. Participants are encouraged to meet cardio and strength training goals, attended nutrition classes, and complete challenges in order to earn points. 96 members registered for lose to win in 2014, and as a group, participants lost 625 pounds, 4. 25% weight, and 80. 75 inches from their waists. Through our ymca at work initiative, the y offers offsite fitness programs at companies and organizations. Healthy employees are more productive and cost businesses less in healthcare premiums, but many employees don't have the time or ability to get to the gym. Now, the y will bring the gym to them. We currently have the program up and running at 8 companies, and are planning more for the future. We are also a participating partner with silversneakers, a leading fitness program designed exclusively for active older adults, which offers a basic membership and access to amenities through their health plan's benefit package. Over 1,000 seniors stayed fit and active through silversneakers classes in 2014. These programs are examples of how we deliver the resources and support that empower our members to effect lasting personal change. We're here day in and day out to provide the resources needed by our community, the greater danbury area, to address the most pressing social issues.
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