December 2016 Newsletter
Stay Connected
As the close of the 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts approaches, and we prepare for the 191st to start in January, your Alliance has been working hard to identify the YMCAs public policy priorities. 


Public Policy Focus Groups

The Alliance held three small Public Policy focus groups in October and one final large focus group at the Annual Meeting in November. Y CEOs and Senior Leaders attended for a robust discussion on what 
should be  the  public policy   priorities  of
the Alliance. The feedback the Alliance staff received is to continue to focus on at risk youth, early education and out of school time programs, physical activity for youth and adults, and third party reimbursement. Some new priorities emerged from the focus groups and these include: substance abuse, homelessness and housing, feeding programs, and behavioral services for youth in our care. We will continue to explore how the Y and our advocates can make a difference in this areas. In the next newsletter be on the lookout for our specific public policy priorities.
Camp Regulations

Thank you to everyone who took the time to review the draft of the new camp regulations and provide us with feedback. We are currently compiling that feedback into written and verbal testimony and the Alliance staff will be testifying publicly in Worcester on December 5th. When the final regulations are released we will make sure to communicate them throughout the Massachusetts Ys and make ourselves available for any questions you may have.
  State Elections
As all know, national and state elections were just held. In total there are 12 new legislators in Massachusetts coming into the next session. We urge you  to meet with your  elected officials, especially if they are  new. Invite them to  your Y to see all the  amazing work you do!

Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Updates 

We are happy to let you know that the Early Education Rate Reimbursement has been approved by the Department of Administration and Finance. Centers should begin to receive their retroactive rate increases in December or January. The Youth-At-Risk and HomeWorks funding has still not been released. We are in constant contact with the Department of Public Health and continue to wait to hear about those funds.

YMCA State House         Advocacy Day

 February 2nd, 2017

National Advocacy              Days

     March 6th-8th

Alliance of Massachusetts YMCA's Annual Meeting 2016

A big thank you to everyone who attended this year's Annual Meeting! 
For those who didn't attend, here's a recap of the event: 


 This year, we were fortunate to have  Cindy McDermott ,  Vice President, Membership and Social Responsibility from  YMCA of the USA present her Strategies on How to Attract  and Engage Y Members and the Communities We Serve


    Shavon Stallings, HR & Leadership Development Director,       YMCA of Greater Boston presented tips on Recruiting,               Retaining, and Inspiring Emerging Leaders 

   Kate-Marie Roycroft, Director of Public Policy for the              Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs presented on How to Lend        Your Voice as a Y Advocate

  Audrey OliverJD, Account Manager,  Praesidium, Dorcas  Tomasek Consultant, Redwoods Insurance Group presented on  How to Protect Your Youth and Your Bottom Line When Crisis  Strikes

Thank you to Bruce Macdonald, Sal Didomenico, and Steven Howitt for your meaningful contributions to our Ys and thank you to our wonderful keynote speaker, Rev. Emmett Price III. Congratulations to Shakyra Antoine and Emily Daponta for your many successes in Youth and Government! 

HEPA Grant Success
Voices For Healthy Kids Grant

The Alliance was successful in its application for a grant through    
the American Heart Association and Robert Wood 
Johnson Foundation for the Voices for Healthy Kids 
Campaign. The goal of the funding is to integrate a portion of the  Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) evidence- based standards into current preschool and after school program standards, help to  expand technical assistance for QRIS, and ultimately  draft legislation to create a meaningful and lasting  impact on children's health.

Grant Opportunity
Legal Assi stance for Our Veteran's Grant Program
Utilizing $355,000 funds received by the Massachusetts Attorney General's Off
ice (AGO) fr om a settlement with Sprint and Verizon, the AGO is pleased to announce the Legal Assistance for Our Veterans grant opportunity. The Legal Assistance for Our Veterans grant is designed to fund legal aid groups, legal clinics, or non
profit organizations who 
will focus on helping Massachusetts veterans, including those with a less than honorable disch arge status, gain access to veterans' services, including, but not limited to: discharge status upgrades, health benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs ("VA") healthcare system, housing & education assistance, general legal representation, and veteran-specific employment. 

The AGO intends to offer grants to existing legal aid groups or nonprofit organizations with experience working with veterans, who will focus on increasing access to services for veterans. Special consideration will be given to applicants who can demonstrate that the grant will be used to serve underrepresented veteran populations, such as women, minorities, and LGTBQ veterans.

The following types of organizations are eligible to apply:
  • Non-Profit organizations within MA who serve veterans*
  • Legal Aid organizations / Legal Clinics
*Non-profit organizations must be in full compliance 
 with all annual reporting requirements of both the 
 AGO and the Internal Revenue Service, as applicable, 
 in order to be eligible for funding. 

Submission Instructions:
        Click Here for More Information

Youth At Risk Results

In State Fiscal Year 2016 Ys through the Alliance, Ys in Massachusetts received $900,000 through the Department of Public Health for Ys to match and use for Youth at Risk programming. Data were collected for all 30 YMCA Associations to demonstrate the impact of these programs and partnerships on school-age youth.

Based on reported data, over 
40,000 at-risk youth maintained or gained up to two grade levels of literacy competence over
42,000 demonstrated improvements in math proficiency,  
50,000 children avoided typical summer learning loss. 

Additionally, for children exposed to SAT preparation services, an average gain of 
140 points was demonstrated for SAT scores, and  
100% of high-school students gained acceptance into at least one higher education institution

Services provided to at-risk youth resulted in overall gains in reading competency, word recognition, vocabulary, phonics, and math skills.
Additionally, distributed funds were utilized to provide at-risk youth with greater exposure to Technology and Science, Fitness and Healthy Eating, and allowed for Y's in Massachusetts to offer beneficial mentorship programs and grants to send at-risk children to camp at no-cost. For children who participated in health programs,  approximately 84% of at-risk youth demonstrated increased knowledge of healthy food choices and improved fitness capacity. 

Ys in Massachusetts leveraged the $900,000 allocation into
$62 Million in direct services
and provided
$10.5 Million in scholarships to youth at risk
employed 1500 youth.

Establishing a New Hotline to Report Threats and Harassment

Attorney General Healey established a new 1-800 hotline for residents to report bias-motivated threats, harassment, and violence against racial, ethnic and religious minorities, women, LGBT individuals, and immigrants
that will be managed by attorneys and staff in the AG's Office. The hotline number is 

Any Massachusetts resident who has witnessed or experienced bias-motivated threats, harassment or violence may call the Attorney General's hotline 
or fill out a civil rights complaint form at this link. Residents may also contact the AG's Office through our Facebook and Twitter

Improving Program Facilities for Children

2017 MCAD-Certified Courses for EEO Professionals

The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination is offering four MCAD-certified programs for individuals who provide  employment discrimination prevention training, conduct internal discrimination complaint investigations, and/or respond to accommodation requests. These courses are designed for:
  • Human resources managers, EEO officers, and training directors, and
  • Employment attorneys, diversity consultants and others who provide training, investigations, and/or accommodation process coaching as external consultants to employers.
The four courses offered are as follows: 
(1) Trainer Course 1: Preventing Discrimination in the Workplace
(2) Trainer Course 2: Preventing Harassment in the Workplace
(3) Conducting Internal Discrimination Complaint Investigations
(4) Responding to Accommodation Requests

For more information, please click the link to the Spring Course Flyer
Course Flyer 2017 or click HERE  for more information

Please note that spaces may be limited, and registration is rolling and accepted on a first- come, first- served basis.  If you have any questions about the program or offerings, please feel free to contact by phone 617-994-6072, or by email, at

QRIS Video of State Street ELC

United Way and QRIS leaders developed a video that  will be used 
by EEC on their website and/or in trainings with educators to share 
the characteristics of a high-quality early childhood program, 
discuss the experience /successful measures of developing a 
Continuous Quality Improvement Plan and participating in the 
QRIS grant.

If you want to check it out the link is below:


Congratulations to Stoico FIRSTFED (Swansea, South Coast) YMCA for their first  LIVESTRONG Class 
to graduate! (June 2016)

Alliance Seeking Qualified Interns

We are seeking interns to help us with some projects including healthy living, achievement gap, and advocacy. The positions are unpaid, but make for great opportunities to learn about public policy, advocacy, and serving our Ys. 

These positions are unpaid with flexible hours in our Boston office. It is perfect for undergrads on break, recent graduates, or as capstone projects for undergrads and graduate students. 

Please refer all interested parties to: