Hot Potato!

One of the fun and educational games we play during the YMCA after-care program at Hartford PreK Magnet School is “Hot Potato”.  As you can see on the kids faces they enjoy this game very much.  In this picture Madison passing the ball to Chayse.  We use a very soft ball and we sing hot potato and when we say “STOP” whoever the ball ends up with is out of the game until we start over. I personally like playing this game with this age group because it teaches them sharing, how to follow the rules and appropriate reactions when they do end up getting out because it isn’t anyone’s fault, just timing.  Funny thing is when they get the ball they don’t want to give it up again!

Written by Chamyra, Child Care Aide



The Annual Meeting…. An Amazing Night!!!!

This past Wednesday evening was the Greater Hartford YMCA’s 161st  Annual Meeting. It’s amazing to think that people have been getting together for this type of meeting for so many years!!

The Annual Meeting is an opportunity to celebrate all that the Y represents and the wonderful  work we do. It is also an opportunity to meet new members of our GHYMCA family and connect with ones we already know. It also gives us the chance to meet new members of the boards at each facility and speak with people who have benefitted and thrived because of the programs we are able to offer.

When I am at these type of events I am so awed to hear of how so many people have been touched by their experiences with the Y.  We reach so many different ages of people, demographics and needs. I continue to be so inspired by the work we do and I am so proud to be part of it.

Sue- Downtown


Because of the LIVESTRONG Program, I can.

“After 12 weeks of the LIVESTRONG at the Y Program, I was physically stronger and had far more endurance and balance than before. More importantly, I had confidence that I could get in even better shape. After the program finished, I joined a gym near my home and began working out 6-7 days a week, doing Spinning, core classes and Boot Camp.

I am in better health now than I was prior to my cancer diagnosis. My blood pressure is great, my cholesterol is great, and I weigh what I weighed in high school.”

-Robert, West Hartford/Tri-Town LIVESTRONG at the Y Participant  LIVESTRONG at the YMCA

The Month of Colors

What kid doesn’t love a rainbow? What’s more fun to make your own! This was The YMCA at the Hartford Pre-K Magnet Schools way of helping our student memorize the colors of the rainbow. Our staff drew the colors of the rainbow with crayons on construction paper before we handed them out, then we passed out colored shapes so that they can match the color of the shapes and paste them onto the rainbow. It’s getting closer and closer to the end of the year and our preschoolers will have to take their test to past onto kindergarten is this is a easy and fun way to help them learn!!

Written By: Chamyra Walton – Child Care Aide


Family Fun Night

We had such a great time at Family Fun Night this past Friday at the Pitkin Community Center in Wethersfield. We put together fun activities, a prize that the children could “enter to win” and information on our upcoming programs and summer camp! The night was organized by the Wethersfield Early Childhood Collaborative (WECC) as a way for parents to enjoy a fun night with their children while getting information on different resources for families in the area.

It’s always great when I get to step outside of the office and see firsthand the families that we serve. Interacting with people over the phone is so different than getting to do so in person. I usually don’t get to see our Program Directors in action, so watching Jeff engage with his families and witnessing how much they value him was awesome. I can tell that not only do the children love and trust him, but the parents do as well.

-West Hartford/Tri-Town YMCA

Family Fun Fair 1 Family Fun Fair 2

Community comes together to support cancer survivors

I spent Saturday, March 22nd in tears at the Y.   I think that I cried at least 6 times that day in front of members, staff & visitors at the Farmington Valley Y.  I don’t often let my emotions overcome me when I’m at work but this day gets to me…every year.  Why?  Because once a year, hundreds of people come to the Y to support cancer survivors.  The rush of people, music, support and love poured out in their honor quite literally brings me to tears.

I have a close friend that went through intensive treatment for cancer.  I watched how it impacted her family.  I stood by her as she went to the barber shop to have all her hair shaved off.  I was there for her after surgeries and treatments.  So I can’t help but get caught up in the moment when people come together to support the women & men that have had to endure these life changing experiences.

I’m so thankful for the communities we serve!  Because of them, we help survivors find their new-selves.  We help them better manage pain.  Get strength & flexibility back in more than just the physical way.  We help them gain support through a new network of friends that know just what they are going through.

On March 22nd, more than 120 people came to the Y, donated funds, donated time and rode in our Annual Bike for the Battle event that raised $23,230!  It will ensure that any cancer survivor at any stage can come to the Y for the LiveSTRONG at the Y program for free.  Thanks goes out to our committee members that worked SO hard on the events – Jackie, Suzi, Gary, Cheryl, Linda, Amy, Janice, Lindsay, Jen, Misty, Adam & Meg.  We love you!

Bike for the Battle 257Bike for the Battle 371

LiveSTRONG at the Y graduates sharing their stories

LiveSTRONG at the Y graduates sharing their stories

Bike for the Battle 106

This is what it means to be a team!!!

Being such a small staff at Downtown, we pride ourselves in good communication between departments and excellent teamwork.

Recently, this has been put to the test and proven to be true. With  the pool at The Learning Corridor closed for repairs…staff from the pool have been coming to Downtown to help out at the Welcome Center. Last week, our FootLights program held it’s annual “Taste of Culture” event and members of staff from our wellness department, member services department and Read to Succeed supported this event by making food and attending the event. Tomorrow we are hosting a wellness fair in collaboration with Hartford Hospital an staff from our wellness department will be helping out and FootLights will be performing at the event. This is teamwork at it’s finest!!

Working together between departments makes us a stronger team and a more successful facility. Let’s go team!!!

Sue- Downtown.

Taste of Culture

On April 3rd, many of our “Let’s Dance” Program students participated in a joint performance project with Footlights at our downtown YMCA branch. Our students performed two pieces. The first dance featured our young dancers between the ages of 7-11; students learned the entire dance in a special two hour workshop the weekend before. This cultural dance piece was choreographed by Lael, dance instructor with Footlights. The second piece of a praise dance piece performed by our Sunday Liturgical class and choreographed by Lacien Blake. Afterward the students enjoyed the “Taste of Culture” buffet that featured cultural foods.

pic 1 pic 2 pic 3

Battle of the Burrito Fundraiser

We had a great time at our 2014 Battle of the Burrito Fundraiser! It took places at Moe’s  Southwest Grill and a portion of the evenings sales will be going to our Annual Campaign. It was great to interact and catch up with some of our families,staff members and friends. Howie the Hawk even made an appearance which the kids (and staff) LOVED.

Battle of the Burrito Fundraiser

Thank you so much to those of you who came and showed your support. We hope to see you again next year!

-West Hartford/Tri-Town YMCA

Battle of the Burrito Fundraiser2