As we approach one year since the onset of the pandemic, we reflect on how much has changed in our world as well as at our YMCAs. The Camp Curtin YMCA has shifted gears toward even greater social outreach, distributing daily meals, opening its Virtual Learning Academy, and expanding its community trauma response program. The East Shore YMCA provided much-needed showers for our city’s homeless population while maintaining a heightened focus on its residents, ensuring their health, safety, and well-being during this difficult time. The West Shore and Northern Dauphin County YMCAs have safely relaunched several youth sports programs, while continuing to host necessary blood drives. We even celebrated the opening of our newest branch, the Friendship YMCA, to welcome new friends to the Y.
While we slowly work our way “back to normal,” we look proudly on our branches, staff, members, and volunteers for helping us through one of the most challenging times in our history. With warmer months ahead, we’re optimistic that 2021 will be brimming with opportunity and renewed spirit.
Camp Curtin YMCA
Cornerstone Academy students at the Camp Curtin YMCA have started an exciting new program for their afterschool activities! Students can now sign up for a club of their choice at the end of the day. Currently, students can choose between Music, Art, and Fitness Club. In the future, we’re looking to add Dance Club, Chess Club, Entrepreneurship Club, Reading Club, and more. These clubs run from 3:30-4:30 PM every day, but if students have not fully completed their work to the best of their ability for the day, they attend the Homework Club to get direct support on the work they missed. This method has proven very beneficial to the students and has allowed them to ask for help when they need it. The creation of the clubs has encouraged students to get their work done so that they can attend their favorite club at the end of the day!
East Shore YMCA
“I just wanted to thank each and every one of you. Since your reopening in June, life returned to ‘normal’ for my son….The return to a structured learning environment helped my son so much. He has received the extra attention he was craving since our new addition, his baby brother, arrived….He is excited about learning. Not only has all of this helped our family feel ‘normal’ again, but we also feel safe. The staff at the YMCA Child Care Center puts our children’s safety first at all times….I also know that my son has a safe, fun, loving environment to go to while I am at work. We are truly thankful for the YMCA Child Care Center and all of the teachers. I truly hope that other centers are able to follow their lead and guidance to open their doors to our children who need and crave socialization, education, safety, and security.”
This note comes from a parent whose son is enrolled in the YMCA Child Development Center in Downtown Harrisburg. Her kind words are a reminder to us that the Y will always be here to help the community, in good times and bad.
The Friendship YMCA opened to the public on January 18, 2021! Formerly the Friendship Center in Lower Paxton Township, the new Friendship YMCA is our latest branch addition, offering wellness equipment, programming, and services to better our community. Currently, we have a fully-operational (but socially distanced!) Wellness Center and weight area as well as access to the Lap Pool and Gymnasium. Group fitness classes are beginning on Monday, March 1st, which will include water fitness, dance fitness, Spinning®, and more. We hope you can stop by our new facility! Follow us on Facebook for up-to-date information on new programs added at the Friendship YMCA.
Northern Dauphin County YMCA
With uncertainty rounding every corner, youth sports seemed to be another casualty of COVID-19. With increased sanitation and safety protocols, the Northern Dauphin County YMCA is proving that “fun” and “healthy” go hand-in-hand! Youth Basketball League is back for its 2021 season, serving over 60 kids across the community. Youth Basketball League is an awesome place for kids to learn teamwork, skill development, and communication. We’re excited that kids in the area are able to access this productive outlet, especially in these tough times. Thank you to the Northern Dauphin County YMCA staff, volunteers, and members for helping us keep youth sports on the docket!
West Shore YMCA
The West Shore YMCA has continued to hold its volleyball programs, JO Volleyball and Developmental Volleyball, for the 2021 season. Despite COVID restrictions, we are happy to share that most of our sessions and teams are at COVID-modified capacity levels! We’re humbled and delighted by the community response to these programs. As well, we’re thankful for the cooperation and flexibility of the community as we redevelop programs to ensure the maximum health and safety of others. As COVID-19 looms, we’re continuously practicing sanitation protocol and masking up. Thank you for sticking with us, everyone! Follow the link below to learn more about volleyball programs at the West Shore YMCA.
YMCA Center for Healthy Living
According to the CDC, nearly half of adults in the United States have hypertension or are taking medication for hypertension. Having hypertension puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke, which are leading causes of death in the United States. February is Heart Health Month, and the YMCA Center for Healthy Living is challenging you to take charge your (heart) health! If you would like to learn more about how to better manage your blood pressure, you can learn more and enroll in the YMCA’s Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program!
In the words of one of our participants, “This seminar is a great idea because it helps you connect and access the help that is needed in order to control your blood pressure and learn to eat better….Heart problems run in my family, so this is a great way to keep it in check. It’s also great that Amy is still staying connected with us during this time of COVID-19.” To learn more and enroll, visit our website or contact Amy Jacobs at 717-232-3113.
Stay tuned for next month’s goings-on at the Harrisburg Area YMCA!