Kevin Washington President & CEO YMCA of Greater Boston 316 Huntington Avenue Boston, MA 02115 617-927-8125 | email
Jeff Conway, Chair Elizabeth B. Burnett, Vice Chair Eileen M. Connors, Vice Chair William I. Huyett, Vice Chair Brian H. Kavoogian, Vice Chair Richard C. Waters, Treasurer Mark S. Ain Hope A. Aldrich Richard H. Aldrich Brant Binder Kevin J. Blake Daniel F. Conley Donald E. Conover C. Michael Daley David A. Damassa Kevin A. Foster John P. Fowler David G. Fubini Michelle W. Hecht Professor Cornelius K. Hurley Evelyn Kaupp Robert E. Kenney Teresa K. Koster Maria Manning Matt McPherron C. Ann Merrifield Tara Murphy Charlayne Murrell-Smith Jack R. O'Connor Jill W. Onderdonk James P. Palermo William M. Parent Charles R. Parrott Cynthia L. Strauss Nancy Stuart Tanisha M. Sullivan, Esq. Alan W. Tuck Kate Walsh Frederick A. Wang Faith S. Weiner M. David Wilkins
YAWKEY FOUNDATION AWARDS GRANT IN SUPPORT OF WEST ROXBURY Y EXPANSION The Yawkey Foundation recently awarded a $500,000 grant to support the renovation and expansion of the West Roxbury Y. This funding will help to create a modern state-of-the-art facility that better supports the needs of the West Roxbury community. Through the renovation of this valuable community asset, we can continue to ensure that Boston remains a city that is accessible and welcoming to children, families and seniors through programs that support their healthy development. Learn more about our plans for the West Roxbury Y online.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the updated West Roxbury Y is scheduled for January 29 and is open to the public. Contact Marion Kelly for more details.
THE Y IS HELPING MEMBERS STICK WITH THEIR NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS In order to help members increase their chances of achieving their New Year's resolutions, Joann Donnelly, the Y's Executive Director of Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Programs, recommends following the SMART principles.
"The SMART acronym is a useful guide for creating reasonable health and fitness goals," says Donnelly. "And a bonus is that it's easy to remember!"
Specific - Your goal should be specific ("I will exercise 3 times per week for 30 minutes") instead of general ("I want to get healthier").
Measurable - How will you measure whether or not you are successful? What is important for you to know?
Achievable - Be realistic with your goals. If you currently do not exercise, 3 days per week to start might be more realistic than 5 days per week.
Relevant - Set a goal that has meaning for you in your life, not anybody else's.
Time - Set a time limit to check in with yourself; do not leave goals open-ended.
In addition, the YMCA of Greater Boston is helping members of the community jumpstart their new year by waiving the joiner fee at all 13 of our branches. Members can achieve their resolutions this year through our many programs and in our state-of-the-art fitness centers. Members can bring their friends to experience the Y during our free guest weekend January 24-27. Email us or visit your local Y to learn more.
STATE STREET FOUNDATION FUNDS TEEN AND ADULT EDUCATION PROGRAMS Nearly 500 teens and adults will be better prepared to succeed in the 21st century economy thanks to a recent $100,000 grant from the State Street Foundation to the YMCA of Greater Boston. With this funding the Y will support hundreds of Boston teens pursue high academic achievement and career goals resulting in graduation and acceptance to an institution of higher learning. The grant will also support more than 120 unemployed and underemployed adults find sustainable professional employment that provides a living wage and benefits from themselves and their families, through our International Learning Center and Training, Inc. programs.
Y HOSTS ENGLISH CLASSES FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS The Y's International Learning Center (ILC) and the Egleston Square Y have partnered with Egleston Square Main Street (ESMS) and Hyde Jackson Square Main Street (HJSMS) to launch Boston's first ever Business English for Speakers of Other Languages. This pilot program was developed after ESMS/HJSMS surveyed business owners and learned that limited English capacity was listed as the primary constraint while trying to generate additional revenue, create new jobs and access new technology programs.
Currently the class has nine students, all business owners from the Egleston and Hyde Park/Jackson neighborhoods, who range in age from 30 to 50 and come from various professional backgrounds. All are Spanish speakers and their level of English varies. Beyond gaining conversational experience and confidence, the group has also gained a new network of businesses to cross promote, recommend and share marketing ideas with. The students often meet outside of class for extra practice. There is a nominal fee for participants, which is supplemented by the Y and a grant provided by the Boston Main Streets Foundation. "We are extremely excited about this creative partnership with the YMCA," said Gerald Robbins, Hyde/Jackson Square Main Street Executive Director. "In only 3 short weeks, I have already seen new English language signage created by one of our merchant-students to attract English-speaking customers and have had English conversations with our student-merchants whereas before I'd be speaking to them in Spanish."
VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: JIM HALL Jim Hall is a self-employed consultant who has been volunteering with the Waltham YMCA for 12 years. He continues to volunteer as a fitness floor instructor.
How has the Y influenced your life? Volunteering at the Y has enabled me to perform valuable service to my community, with all ages and social groups, while learning more about fitness techniques and equipment for myself and sharing it with others. I have made many good friends with the staff and early morning clients.
Why did you decide to volunteer with the Y? A fellow participant in my aerobics class was a volunteer and recruited me as a fitness instructor. The fitness director was very supportive and encouraging, offering much valuable training.
In your opinion, what is one of the greatest impacts the Y has on the Greater Boston community? It offers programs for everone. For example, in our swimming pool there are sometimes 6-month-old infancts being introduced to the water with their parents, and 80-year-old seniors doing arthritis exercises at the same time. I feel this very graphically demonstrates how the Y can serve everyone in the community.
AFTERSCHOOL SITES PARTICIPATE IN NATIONAL PILOT PROGRAM The YMCA of Greater Boston's Child Development and Out of School Time (OST) Programs have been selected to participate in a YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) Signature Afterschool Academic Support and Enrichment Pilot Program during the 2013-14 school year. This program is designed to address the growing disparity in academic achievement between children of lower and upper income environments.
The goal of the Y-USA pilot program is to increase student achievement and reduce risk-taking behaviors through a balanced program model built on academic intervention, health and enrichment programming. In addition to homework help, fitness and arts enrichment, the comprehensive framework includes turoting, college and career exploration, service learning and 21st century skill development.
This program model depends heavily on a strong partnership between the Y and schools. In Boston, the Y's OST sites at Guild and Winthrop Elementary Schools are participating in the pilot.
NEW AFTERSCHOOL SITE OPENS IN ROSLINDALE In September 2013, the West Roxbury Y opened an afterschool site in Washington Beech, a mixed-income housing development in Roslindale, after seeing a need for quality care for school-aged children. Within weeks, staff was able to see the impact the Y was making in that community, which has a high percentage of non-English speakers.
"I thought the mother of one of my afterschool kids was very upset," said Colleen, Site Director at the Y's Washington Beech afterschool location. "She didn't speak English, and I assumed that she was upset because she had some kind of problem. Instead, Carlos's mom was telling me how grateful she is for the YMCA afterschool program because it has helped her son in so many ways. With tears in her eyes, she said, 'I have not received one phone call from school since September 25 (the day the afterschool program opened), and my son, for the first time in his life, was awarded student of the month.'"
The Washington Beech afterschool site currently serves 26 children, grades K2-7, with a goal of increasing the capacity to better meet the need in the community.