Welcoming Week 2023
We believe our community is stronger when everyone feels welcome and we work together for the common good. Celebrated annually at the YMCA, Welcoming Week is a chance for neighbors—both immigrants and U.S.-born residents—to get to know one another and celebrate what unites us as a community.
From Friday, September 8 - Sunday, September 17, 2023, all branches of the YMCA of Greater Brandywine will celebrate Welcoming Week.
Ongoing activities are planned such as:
- Music from a variety of countries will be played during some group exercise classes.
- In many of our Childcare and Early Learning Centers, Before and After School care programs and Child Watch children will enjoy special crafts, activities and foods from around the world. (Make sure to keep an eye out for their displayed works in the lobby.)
- Special displays and maps showing where YMCA members are from and sharing why our members and staff are "welcomers."
- Flags and decorations hanging in the lobbies from around the world.
Here's what you can expect at some of our different locations around Chester County.
- Recipe of the Day - featuring a different country or region every day
- Educational activity for children - Passport to the World
- Cultural Dishes and Recipes - our ForeverWell members will be sharing their favorites
- Cultural Trivia and Positive Words
- Learn more about cooking with the virtual YMCA 360 class
Kennett Area YMCA
- Learn how to say “welcome” in 23 languages - we'll have them posted around the branch, with a QR code to the country to learn more
- Different Cultures - we'll feature a different continent each day, with a featured recipe, sport, and music
- Bollywood Dance pop-up - September 14 at 9:15 AM
Lionville Community YMCA
- ForeverWell ESL Basic Conversational English Classes - On Friday September 8 and 15 from 12:30 - 1:45 PM
Teaching English as a second language in a situational and conversational style. No cost to members, please register.
- Movie Night at the Y – Casablanca - on Friday September 9 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM
This beloved film has entertained generations since its 1943 debut – but did you know that almost all of the movie’s roughly 75-person cast were immigrants? Casablanca is more than just a love story. It is a film about, and stocked with, the waves of refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe during wartime. And many of the actors playing those roles were, in fact, refugees. Enjoy this timeless film that many consider a true ‘refugee’ story.
- Pop-Up Indian Folk Dance Demonstration – Garba on Wednesday, Septemeber 13 from 6:00 PM
Get introduced to the Indian Folk Dance styles of Garba, a Gujarati folk dance celebrated in Navratri, a celebration lasting nine nights. Register as part of Cardio Dance FIT - Family Friendly with Rosalee.
- Youth Art Show – Artist Reception Friday, September 15 from 6:00 - 7:00 PM
Youth pottery and arts participants display and showcase artwork from Summer Sessions. Wednesday evening Artists Reception to take place with light refreshments. (Art displayed in lobby for duration of Welcoming Week)
- How Faith Encourages Us to Welcome - Wednesday, September 13 TBD
As part of the YMCA’s Welcoming Week and in partnership with the Interfaith Action Committee of Chester County, the Lionville Community YMCA will host a panel discussion on how various faiths embraces others and a spirit of welcoming. This is an engaging learning opportunity featuring a panel made up of religious leaders from Catholicism, Judaism, Islamic and Hindu faiths discussing how they use sacred religious texts in their teachings and ways to encourage welcoming one another. Light food provided.
- Welcoming Week Pop-Up Yoga with Live Music on Friday, September 15 from 12:00 - 1:00 PM
This yoga class is for all levels, all bodies and all people. Together we will lengthen, gently strengthen and move to the music gifts of queer artist Dr. Cyfi.
Oscar Lasko YMCA and Childcare Center
- World Flags throughout the lobby/hallways
- Large world map in the front lobby for members to put stickers of origin on.
- Laminated "Welcome" in different languages throughout the building
- CELC will conduct a international week- with different focus each day
- Gymnastics will offer free trial open gym times for all community members to try
- BASE will do culture based arts & crafts with School age kids
- ECF will offer free trial/bring a friend classes for community members
Upper Main Line YMCA
- Countries of Family Origin and Staff Spotlights - all week long, tune into our Upper Main Line YMCA Facebook page as our team shares interesting family origin stories and staff spotlights.
- Parents Night Out Multi-Cultural Games and Crafts
- Spotlight a Continent and Music Around the World
Join us in the Lobby when you arrive at UMLY to learn more about music from around the world and different facts from our seven continents.
- Animals from Around the World - Lobby Presentation on Thursday, September 14 at 5:00 PM
- Open Doors International Dance Party for All Abilities on Friday, September 15 from 6:30-8:30 PM
West Chester Area YMCA
- Open Mic Human Library and Poetry Slam on Monday, September 11 from 5:30 - 7:30 PM
Join us to share a Human Story or Celebrate Diversity - present your own story/artistic piece to help the community come together in understanding or just come to listen and learn. Contact Laura Schofield-Pierson to schedule your time and story.
- Inclusivity Rocks on Thursday, September 14
- Diabetes Information with Main Line Health in the lobby on Thursday, September 14 from 9:00 - 11:00 AM.
- ForeverWell Recipe Exchange on Tuesday, September 12, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM.
- Mahjongg Tutorial on Monday, Sept 11 - Join us in the lobby for a Q&A tutorial of Mahjongg
- Intro to Group Exercise Classes - All week long!
- Handprint Map of the World - Throughout the week, our childwatch kids will add their flair to a map of the world!
- Love Your Body Posts throughout the Y