The Y is a cause-driven organization that is for youth development, for healthy living and for social responsibility. That’s because a strong community can only be achieved when we invest in our kids, our health and our neighbors.
Kids have powerful voices at the Block Party.
Three very different stories, from very different presenters, one shared message… the Metro Y is supremely committed to youth development.
Mary, age 10, approached the podium with her mom and without a care in the world. She proudly introduced her family. She talked about swimming, her Special Olympics gold medals and playing with her brothers and friends. There was no doubt in the minds of more than 250 guests that the West Essex YMCA was one of Mary’s favorite places in the world. Her mom Marnie shared a heartfelt appreciation for the responsiveness of the West Essex YMCA staff in not just accommodating a little girl with Down’s Syndrome, but rather collaborating and creating a new approach to inclusion. Read Full Story >
Compassion and sense of oneness is not something we can teach, be we can appreciate it when we see it in action.
On July 18, 2012, in less than one-hour, the Minisink program lodge at the Fairview Lake YMCA Camps was ablaze and ultimately destroyed by what Sussex County fire officials have determined to be a lightning strike. No one was harmed during the blaze. The entire lodge structure was totally destroyed and was unsalvageable. Though program equipment, the popular ETC plaques and color war flags are gone, what remains is priceless – 100 years of memories of our amazing camp.
Bringing experts and concerned members of the community together to promote change.
Darkness to Light, a nationally recognized authority on the issue of child sexual abuse prevention and creator of the award winning Stewards of Children curriculum has partnered with our YMCA to inform, educate and mobilize advocates for children. The Metro YMCA of the Oranges has set a goal to train 5% of the adults in our YMCA service area about how to protect children. This 5% goal represents what the research tells us is the critical point for positive change in a community. The Y intends to facilitate this change through training individuals and engaging community partners including local civic and volunteer groups, non-profits, school districts and local government.
Metro YMCA is leading the way in providing the opportunity for local change.
Across our seven Branches 430 staff have been trained in the Stewards of Children curriculum. EVERY Metro YMCA Branch has made a commitment, focusing on a year-end goal of training 100% of full-time staff and 50% of part-time staff.
The South Mountain YMCA is leading the way in keeping kids safe with 100% of their staff trained. The South Mountain Branch has also secured the commitment of the Maplewood Kiwanis Club to be a Partner in Protection. This partnership includes a commitment to have 90% of the organization’s members trained in the Stewards of Children program. Local organizations such as the Kiwanis and Rotary have also made donations towards the purchase of additional training materials and books so that others in the community can be trained.
Healthy U is a collaborative partnership between the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance and the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey with the goal of combating childhood obesity through nutrition education, physical education and family involvement.
The Healthy U program uses the CATCH (coordinated approach to child health) curriculum to promote physical activity and healthy eating among youth 3 -13 years old. CATCH teaches kids that eating healthy and being physically active every day can be fun.
The after school program has been a part of Healthy U since 2008 The goal is to promote healthy habits that can last a lifetime by demonstrating, and learning about the importance of, physical activity and good nutrition.
The teens have leadership qualities when they enter the program, but when they finish the program, they understand what it means to lead.
YMCA Leaders Club is a program for teens, ages 12-17, which focuses on academic achievement, leadership skills, social development and career awareness. The program provides opportunities for participants to gain confidence, improve overall self-esteem, engage with a diverse group of peers and ultimately prepare for college and future careers. Participants learn that leadership often requires listening, cooperating and service, all of which positively impacts their world.
Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children under fourteen.1 We believe all children should know how to swim and be safe in and around water at all times. That’s especially true in New Jersey with the many lakes, rivers, oceans and reservoirs.
Learning to swim is a critical safety skill for any child living near water. YMCA SPLASH is a water safety and basic swimming skills program offered free of charge at our Ys. Children learn basic swimming skills and practice safety habits while in and around water, which results in a sense of accomplishment and increased self-confidence and security while near water. In 2011, the SPLASH program has taught more than 3,000 youth to be at ease in water and learn basic water safety skills. This year we hope to teach even more!