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September 2015 Newsletter
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Healthy Living

The National Institute of Health's National Institute of Aging has declared the month of September in the name of their Go4Life Campaign. This campaign is dedicated to physical fitness, specifically for those who are experiencing the later stages of aging.
Youth Development
Social Responsibility

Safe Street Smart TripsAmerica Walks and the Every Body Walk!  Funding Opportuntiy. Collaborative are pleased to announce a new micro grant program designed to assist local walking advocates build on the momentum of  the newly released Surgeon General's Call to Action.   

Funder:  MA Service Alliance 
Deadline:   9/25/2015  
Grant Title:  Youth Development Volunteer Initiative Funding

1: Establish a new youth development program within a youth-serving agency that will utilize new or existing volunteers;
2: Expand a current youth development program within a youth-serving agency in order to serve a geographic area not currently served or to increase the number of youth served through the engagement of volunteers;
and/or 3: Create or enhance a youth development program at a Volunteer Connector Organization. 

Eligible:   Governments, tribes, nonprofits 
Awards:  Up to $10,000  Link.  

Be on the lookout for these two funding streams [e1]  !
Capital Funds for Early Education and Afterschool
Early Education and Out of School Time Capital Fund (EEOST) has been reauthorized at another $4million. This is a highly competitive process and several Ys have been successful in the past. We are expecting the RFP out by December and the Alliance will be available for technical assistance if requested.
PreK Funding
Department of Early Education and Care received $500,000 for Commonwealth Pre-K grants in FY16. We are monitoring and expecting an RFP out by December. 

Your Alliance has been working hard on the YMCAs behalf to support or in some cases change legislation and regulations that will have an effect on our Ys, our communities, and our Commonwealth.  Since the beginning of the 189th General Court in January 2015 the Alliance has offered testimony on the below pieces of legislation and regulations.
HB379 - An Act relative to comprehensive sexual abuse prevention education
HB429 - An Act relative to ensuring the wellbeing of all children in the Commonwealth
HB1888 - An Act relative to diabetes prevention-
SB84 - An Act creating an interagency child abuse and neglect prevention task force-
SB221 - An Act creating the Home Works Program-written testimony from Kate-Marie.
SB318 - An Act to promote quality physical education-
HB3498 - An Act providing for a donation check-off box on state tax returns for the Massachusetts Youth in Government program-
Minimum Wage regulations
Earned Sick Time Regulations
The Alliance and some of your Y colleagues will be offering testimony on the below bills in September.
H336/S266 An Act to improve educational outcomes for children in the Commonwealth from birth through school age
H443 An Act to support schools and communities to increase opportunities for physical activity
HB429 - An Act relative to ensuring the wellbeing of all children in the Commonwealth (which is being heard by a second committee, the Joint Committee on Education)
If you have any questions or want to know more about these bills or the legislative process contact Kate-Marie Roycroft at or 978-237-2021.
To see our whole legislative agenda click here.
Youth Development NewsYouth

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has announced our second annual Safe Streets Smart Trips Massachusetts High School Video Contest and they invite your high school students to participate.

This may be a great opportunity for Ys with Achievers or similar high school programs.
The Safe Streets Smart Trips video contest calls on students to write and produce a one minute video to promote safe driving, bicycling, and pedestrian behaviors.  Video submissions should include a call to action that demonstrates what high school students, their peers and families, along with the greater community, all need to do in order to see a world where there are no pedestrian or bicycle injuries or fatalities.  In addition the videos should have a message that speaks to one or both of the following Massachusetts statistics:
  • One pedestrian is killed every five days and one bicyclist is killed every month.
  • Two pedestrians are hospitalized every day and one bicyclist is hospitalized every three days.
The video contest is open to all Massachusetts high school students and now features two entry categories - a freshman/sophomore category and a junior/senior category.  A grand prize and runner-up will be selected in each category.    
The winners will be announced at the statewide Moving Together Transportation Conference in November. The winners, along with school representatives, will be invited to the luncheon portion of the conference where the videos will be showcased to a large audience of transportation professionals.  This can be a great opportunity to demonstrate your Ys community involvement and commitment to social responsibility.    

Prizes will include:
Grand Prize Winners - iPad, $300 cash prize, additional sponsor prizes
Runner-up Winners - iPad, additional sponsor prizes
Please help us to encourage your students to participate in this video contest. There is no limit to the number of students who can participate. All video submissions must include the enclosed registration form and must be signed by a school official and emailed to Jill Porazzo at  no later than Monday, October 5, 2015 by 5 p.m. EST.
Please circulate the attached submission guidelines and encourage your students to have fun, be safe, and get creative! For more contest information, please go to
Good luck to your students and let's work together to promote Safe Streets Smart Trips.


The Alliance Childhood Obesity Committee supports Food Day on October 24th and we hope your Ys will too. Food Day inspires Americans to change our diets and our food policies. Every October 24, thousands of events all around the country bring Americans together to celebrate and enjoy real food and to push for improved food policies.

Below are some easy ideas for how your Y can be part of Food Day: 
Put fruit by membership desk
Healthy Recipes by membership desk
Send a newsletter home with recipes for cooking with children
Host a healthy food day event with local vendors
Host a health day for the community
Cooking demonstration
Physical activity demonstrations
Kick off a food-based service project
Partner with the Farmer's Market to offer healthy food and physical activity outside of Y
Healthy food staff cook off challenge
Show the Fed Up Movie: Here is the link.

Healthy Living
Go4Life Campaign 

The National Institute of Health's National Institute of Aging has declared the month of September in the name of their Go4Life Campaign. This campaign is dedicated to physical fitness, specifically for those who are experiencing the later stages of aging. The organization, in collaboration with the White House Conference on Aging, is currently asking for partners and participants alike to aid in the initiative to increase physical activity in the elderly.
The YMCA has long been a champion of physical activity and wellness and endorses the Go4Life Campaign.
Incorporating goals we set for ourselves and the subsequent action we take to fulfill those goals, health and wellness remain a lifelong process.  In order to become and remain healthy and maintain a healthy lifestyle, everyone must take it upon themselves to actively work on wellness in everyday life. This maintenance becomes especially important as an individual ages, as age oftentimes means the onset of physical and mental strain.
YMCAs across the country focus on physical wellbeing by incorporating programs and activities seamlessly into the lives of children and families. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the YMCA is in full support of the efforts put forth by the Go4Life Campaign.
The Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs asks Ys to take part in this campaign, either by developing their own efforts and activities for elderly physical activity, or by simply advocating for the current efforts and activities put forth by the Go4Life's website. To learn all about how you can partake in this amazing month-long  cause,
click here and let us know what you did!
Social Responsibility 
Call to Action: Every Body Walk!
Collaborative Micro Grants to accelerate implementation of effective strategies to promote walking and create safe, walkable places.

America Walks and the Every Body Walk! Collaborative are pleased to announce a new micro grant program designed to assist local walking advocates build on the momentum of the newly released Surgeon General's Call to Action.   

This one time award will fund 10-15 community groups up to $2500.00 for activities designed to increase local walking programming and stimulate community demand for infrastructure improvements that provide accessible, safe walkable places for the entire community. Grant applications (link below) are due by 5:00pm EDT on October 15, 2015.
To make and keep walking and walkability a priority in neighborhoods and communities, a strong, connected group of local activist and dedicated organizations is needed. This micro grant program is designed to assist those groups and organizations in setting priorities and implementing targeted projects to get them started.
Micro Grant Applicants
Successful micro grant applicants will have an existing focus on walking and walkability.   Applicants may be part of a host organization or a stand-alone non-profit. They must have a formalized structure, organized plan of priorities and accountable leadership.
The goals of these grants are:
  • to increase the number and diversity of community members focusing on walking,
  • to strengthen local walking advocacy organizations,
  • to increase the number and types of model practices being implemented in local communities, and
  • to build on the momentum of the Surgeon General's Call To Action on Walking and Walkability by providing local communities resources and support for implementing the recommendations.
Eligible activities can be found in the EBWC Getting Started Practice Guide, the CTAWW and CDC The Community Guide.

Are you ready for the 2016 General Assembly of YMCAs?
Join us next summer,  July 14-17, in Kansas City, Missouri, for the Y's premier leadership development conference designed to connect, educate and inspire staff and volunteers! 
Financial assistance is available and applications will be accepted Sept. 21-Oct. 23.  Learn more about the application process and find helpful planning resources on Exchange

General Assembly is an unparalleled opportunity to network with colleagues from across the country, deepen your connection to the Y cause and get a first-hand look at where the Y is headed.  Stay tuned for our mainstage speakers announcement later this month.

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