First Friday: March 2022
Helping Children to Find Their Voice and Navigate Life's Challenges
The past few years have been challenging for everyone and we are just beginning to understand the full impact on young people. What we do know is that we’re seeing an alarming rise in mental-health related crises for children ages 5 – 17.
The YMCA has a long history of developing and adapting programming to meet the needs of the communities we serve. Aligning with our pillar of youth development, we continue to prioritize programs and offerings that enable all children to grow, develop and explore.
For many years prior to the Pandemic, our YMCA has led a national program called STRIDE, which was a character-development and fitness program focused on elementary-age boys. The program has positively impacted thousands of young men and their volunteer coaches over the years, but after ten years it was time to revisit.
Our staff partnered with a team of graduate students from the School of Health Sciences at West Chester University to leverage our existing STRIDE curriculum into a new program in 2022, open to all, aptly named STRIDE for ALL.
After more than a year of planning, partnering and collaborating, we’re thrilled to launch STRIDE for ALL to six area elementary schools this spring. The curriculum, provided as an after-school program for children in grades 3 – 5, will focus on equity, inclusion, social anxiety, mental fitness, bullying prevention, respect, conflict resolution and physical wellness. The ten-week program will culminate with a one-mile obstacle course race and team challenges at our 54-acre Upper Main Line YMCA campus.
Our hope is to provide every child with the opportunity to build their self-confidence, develop a love of physical activity and realize that everyone has something valuable to offer.
There are many opportunities to get involved in the STRIDE for ALL program. For more information, please contact Geisa Corbitt, program coordinator.
Thank you for your ongoing support of the YMCA of Greater Brandywine.
President & CEO