Mission: The mission of the y is to put christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. The y's promise is to strengthen the foundations of communities. With a commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility, the y ensures that every individual has access to the essential assets needed to learn, grow and thrive. Our mission and promise is practiced every day through a wide variety of programs that serve children, families, adults and seniors of all ages, races, income levels and cultural backgrounds. In 2017, we provided over $1,400,000 in financial assistance to people who would have faced economic barriers to participate in membership and programs at the y. When you look around the y, you will see people of all ages, genders and races. The y's commitment to diversity reflects a belief that people from all backgrounds benefit from ongoing interaction with each other.
Programs: Youth development:our y is committed to nurturing the potential of every child and teen. We believe that all 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 y programs focus on youth development, such as special needs programs for youth, teens and adults with disabilities, youth sports, after school programming, youth aquatics and preschool childcare programs. These programs offer a range of experiences that enrich cognitive, social, physical and emotional growth. We offer four preschool programs at our sites- one at each of our two branches, one at ncci holdings inc. (a corporate based program) and one at the volen center, a local senior center. Almost 540 children attended preschool in 2017, with those demonstrating need receiving financial assistance. Our goals are to provide affordable, quality childcare for preschool children ages 3 months to 5 years, to provide working families with a safe place for their children while they work and to prepare children to enter elementary school ready to learn. Camp programs were attended by 1,657 children in 2017, each child averaging around 5 weeks, with more than 15% of the children receiving financial assistance. Our day camps allow parents to maintain employment and provide for their families, while giving children an opportunity to experience developmental assets, character development, physical activity, and socialization with children of various abilities and ethnic backgrounds. Summer camp also offers children an opportunity to try new things and learn new skills through sports, aquatics and a variety of fun and educational field trips. The y sports program promotes fair play and builds self-esteem. Leagues and classes ensure that children learn the importance of teamwork as well as the rules of the game. While skills of the game are taught, the character values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility are most important, teaching children self-esteem and sportsmanship. We offer basketball, cheerleading, flag football, soccer, swim lessons, swim team, t-ball, martial arts and volleyball programs each year. Approximately 3,500 children and teens participated in our youth sports programs last year.
healthy living:the y is a leading voice in improving the nation's health and well-being. We bring families closer together, encourage good health and foster connections through wellness, sports, enrichment and shared interests. This is particularly important as our nation struggles with an obesity crisis, families strive for work/life balance, and individuals search for personal fulfillment. As a membership-based organization, wellness programs are at the core of our programming. More than 150 fitness classes per week are offered and provide important health benefits such as cardiovascular conditioning, muscular strengthening, endurance improvement and body fat reductions. Spirit, mind and body classes such as yoga and pilates affect health and wellness by reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, improving circulation and increasing flexibility. In a partnership with bethesda memorial hospital, we offer an on-site physical rehabilitation program to our community. This allows an individual to receive land or aquatic physical therapy with licensed therapists. Upon completing the program, participants receive a customized fitness program to encourage faster healing and strength training. The ultimate goal of the ymca's health and wellness programs is to create healthier lifestyles among individuals and their families with a focus on reducing the threat of health issues by establishing goals for our member and helping them achieve those goals. The y continues to play a significant role in improving the health of our community.
social responsibility:our y believes in giving back and supporting our neighbors. We have been listening and responding to our community's most critical social needs for 46 years. Y programs, and volunteer opportunities, are examples of how we deliver training, resources and support that empower our neighbors to effect change, bridge gaps and overcome obstacles. In 2017, we engaged more than 65,000 y members, participants, volunteers and community partners in activities that strengthen ourselves, our communities, and pave the way for future generations to thrive. The y believes that it has a role in stimulating volunteerism, building citizen leaders of all ages, and providing the opportunities for people to give back addresses an important societal need and transforms our county into a welcoming community. This effort not only enables the y to accomplish its mission, but will also provide the volunteers with life-changing leadership development opportunities. The y is committed to teaching by word and example; that there are many ways to consider others before self and to develop one's gifts, enabling individuals to do important things for their community. To this point, about 1,100 volunteers have provided services to the y through involvement in our three boards, as coaches on the sports field as well as in many of our other areas as program and policy volunteers. Prime time:ymca of south palm beach county has partnered with prime time of palm beach county with funding support from the children's services council of palm beach county to provide ymca physical activity and wellness expanded learning opportunities to out-of-school time sites throughout palm beach county. Prime time sets quality standards and a system of performance through assessment, technical assistance and resources as well as offering a broad and diverse range of program enhancements to after school providers. During the 2017 fiscal year, the y served 60 afterschool programs and summer camps throughout palm beach county and impacted nearly 7,000 youth and adults. Community support:in 2017, $1,242,000 was donated by individuals, businesses, and community partners to help more than 26,000 individuals receive financial assistance. In addition, the y received about $462,000 in funding so that programs such as community family days, caridad summer camp (children of migrant workers), weekend special needs respite care and drowning prevention/water safety may be provided free to the community. The y is proud to have launched a robust drowning prevention initiative in palm beach county with a focus on safety around water beyond the y's traditional swim instruction. This program's purpose is to engage and educate parents about the importance of water safety skills and provide more of america's youth access to water safety lessons. Nearly 16,348 swim lessons were conducted in 2017 and 84 at-risk groups identified by community strengthening agencies such as nonprofits, churches, schools, preschools and community centers received water survival lessons. Additionally, we provided 7,920 land-based education opportunities and raised public awareness via 18 media instances in news outlets. With the strengthening of our community wide task force, watersmart palm beach county, we are collectively working on a goal to develop a single place for water safety resources in palm beach county, as well as to develop common language and shared services in partnership with other family strengthening agencies. Special needs program:the y is one of the few facilities to offer a program such as our special needs program in the palm beach county area. The y recognizes the vital necessity in offering our services to the community's children with disabilities and is even meeting the rising needs of programming for children with autism. The program is inclusive of trips for social development and life skills training, as well as, community trips to inclusions with children in our other y programs. After school care for children with disabilities is limited by the school district. The program is inclusion-based and provides appropriate staff-to-child ratios to accommodate children who are high and low functioning for children ages 5 to 22 years. Children who are higher functioning enjoy 75% of the day integrating with typically developing children. They are from northern broward county to west palm beach and receive transportation from their elementary, middle or high schools to the y to participate in the program. In 2017, over 49 youth, teens and young adults with disabilities participated in special needs programming at the y. Y bike program:as of 2012, florida has been ranked the #1 state to be injured on a bicycle, (bureau of transportation statistics). To combat this statistic, the y responded by creating the ybike program. This program launched in 2013, to provide biking skills, riding etiquette and safety helmets to our community children during the school day. This class course focuses on distributing important safety habits and information as well as refining biking techniques. Through the program, knowledge is gathered to help keep our children safe on our roads. In 2017, more than 6,200 children graduated from the program throughout the school year and nearly 10,000 youth participant in a community rodeo or bike education event. This program also teaches bike safety in the y's afterschool programs and summer camps including special needs populations.