Why I Work At The YMCA

A parent had recently adopted two children whom she had been serving as the foster mother for. Due to the adoption and the state not providing child care aid anymore, she could no longer afford to come to the Tri-Town after school program. However, we were able to increase her Financial Assistance another 25% so that her children can come to a safe and trusted environment. I can’t even begin to describe how great it felt to make that phone call.

“I did not expect this at all and am truly so thankful!!” – F.A. recipient

-Jeff Spadaccini, Tri-Town Program Director

95210 Program

“Today, we had an ice-cream party for the kids as a reward for a contest that the YMCA After-School Program had. They won a contest for sleeping the most hours in a month for the 95210 Program.”
-Cheryl Tracy, Child Care Provider at Highcrest Elementary School

Our Program Director, Jeff Spadaccini, has begun to implement 95210 into his Child Care Programs in order to paint the “whole picture of health” for them. 95210 is a community-wide strategy for promoting child health and life-long healthy habits. With simple health messages behind each number, it’s a great tool for helping children improve their well-being and Jeff has done an awesome job implementing it into his Child Care Programs!

95210 Tenets 
Get at least 9 hours of sleep
Eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables
Limit screen time to 2 hours or less
Get at least 1 hour of physical activity
sugary drinks and tobacco

-West Hartford/Tri-Town YMCA

The Big Picture Deck

Last week during our West Hartford/Tri-Town staff meeting, we used the Big Picture Deck; a tool that many Ys use as a fun way to get to know each other better. It was really cool to learn things about my fellow co-workers that I didn’t know, even though we see each other almost every day.It’s easy to get caught up in your busy schedule and forget to take the time to deepen your relationships with your co-workers, staff, volunteers, etc. but when you take the time to do so, it can be very rewarding.

Big Picture Deck

Getting to know our Tri-Town Program Director

Jeff SpadacciniFun facts about Jeff Spadaccini

Hometown: South Windsor, CT

Education: West Virginia University
Criminology and Forensic Psychology

Favorite Food: Chinese (yum)

A Celebrity Jeff Admires and Why:  Robin Williams because he is hilarious and is also a great person.

What Jeff likes most about working for the Tri-Town YMCA: “I really love how you are able to meet so many people who have taken part in a YMCA program of some sort. Wherever you go, people know about the YMCA and it really brings a sense of connection and community to my life no matter where I am .”

Getting to know our West Hartford YMCA Program Director

William head shot for camp guideFun facts about William Noha

Hometown: Middletown, New York

Education: University of Buffalo
BS Exercise Science

Favorite Food: Dinosaur-Shaped Chicken Nuggets

A Celebrity Will Admires and Why: Jackson Katz, because he is an excellent advocate and role model for all children in our society

What Will likes most about working for the West Hartford YMCA: “Nothing beats getting the opportunity to bring a smile to a child’s face. Plus, I like the challenges that come with working for a non-facility YMCA. I think I can bring new and exciting ideas, while building on the success of our current programs.”

February is American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month and as a non-profit dedicated to strengthening the community through healthy living, the West Hartford YMCA urges everyone to take steps to prevent chronic heart diseases so that they can live long and healthy lives.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the cause of one in four deaths each year in the United States. Our branch has made a commitment to help raise awareness of heart disease and how to prevent it. Simply eating healthier, exercising for at least 30 minutes each day and making sure to get enough sleep can help you avoid heart problems.

Like our Facebook page to see the various facts and articles on heart heath that we will be posting this month and remember to take care of your heart!!

American Heart Month

Take a cue from the kids

Rain or shine (or snow), we make sure the children in our Vacation Club have a blast. Jeff Spadaccini, our Tri-Town Program Director, didn’t let a little snow stop the kids in his program from having fun yesterday. With rosy cheeks and red noses, they built snowmen and played on the snow-covered playground. Jeff called the office and told me how much fun he had. He hadn’t played in the snow like that since he was a kid! That’s one of the great things about children- they have the ability to make you feel young again. When you start to take life too seriously, take a cue from the kids and remember that life is too short to fret the small stuff. Working with children is so rewarding and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to do so.
TT Vacation Club

Amazing Tri-Town Summer Camp Feedback!

“When bringing my children to the YMCA Summer Camp, I felt that I was not just dropping my children off at any camp. YMCA Summer Camp is a place where my children felt safe and participated in fun activities daily. It felt like the staff had great expertise in summer camp resources and were committed to providing a high-quality, age-appropriate experience.

At the Y, the staff is passionate about quality and safety.  Parents can enjoy peace of mind knowing that their child is participating in meaningful activities and experiences that align with their needs and abilities.”

– NancyTT Summer Camp

This is what it’s all about.

“Much to my surprise, I have enjoyed the LIVESTRONG program at the West Hartford YMCA in partnership with The Playground. The coaches are patient and kind and showed me how to build my strength while challenging me. I feel stronger physically and I am no longer intimidated by going to a gym.  In fact, I am seriously considering joining when the program ends in order to continue to enhance the benefits that the LIVESTRONG program has provided me. As you know, better physical health also leads to stronger mental well-being, so it is all good.”

– Christina, LIVESTRONG AT THE Y participant


West Hartford YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day

While looking through old pictures, we found photos from our 2012 Healthy Kids Day which brought back some great memories. This year’s Healthy Kids Day will take place on April 26th at the St. Thomas Seminary and we can’t wait! Children’s health and well-being should be a concern and priority for the whole community and we’re happy to help out. We have the opportunity to show children and families that exercise and wellness doesn’t have to be miserable, it can actually be fun! The key is to find what works best for you and stick to it.

We have some great ideas for Healthy Kids Day this year and are hoping for a great turnout. The fact that this event is completely free of cost and open to the public is great because I would hate for a family to miss out on this experience due to financial struggles. We hope to see some familiar faces at the event, everyone is welcome!

-Samantha Molodetz, West Hartford YMCA