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February Newsletter
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February, 2015
List of Contents
2015 Summer Learning Loss Pilot

The Alliance and Y-USA are beginning the process of registering Massachusetts Y's for the Summer Learning Loss Pilot for summer 2015. 

This is our second year of working on a Summer Learning Loss pilot with Y-USA. We are excited to continue this partnership as this pilot will become the model for other state Alliances' Summer Learning Loss work throughout the country.


Overview of Pilot

To participate in this summer long (6 week) pilot, sites will use a portion of your Youth At Risk funds to hire a certified teacher per grade, assign a Y staff site director, teach children from 2.5 hours a day, 4 days a week in the Four Block Model at a camp/summer site with a field trip on Fridays. Sites will use the STAR pre and post assessments to measure their students learning during summer. This pilot does not include a specific lesson plan to teach from but does include suggestions and other materials to assist teachers and site directors. 


New to the pilot this year is that we will be offering monthly check in calls and webinars for site directors (and hopefully teachers, schedules permitting) beginning in early March. We are also expanding the grade levels that this pilot can be offered to, last year the pilot was only offered to rising third graders, this year it can be offered to rising first, second, and third graders.


To Participate:

Please attend the webinar if you are interested in learning more:


  • Welcome and Orientation

If your Y is interested in participating in the pilot, please contact Kate-Marie by February 16th.

Measurement Tools for Summer Learning Loss

The Alliance would like to thank all Ys for their commitment to using their Youth at Risk Funds to continue working on closing the Achievement Gap during the summer. In order to do this and to continue to advocate for the Youth at Risk Funds it is essential that we have good data to back up our work. As each Y Association begins to plan their summer learning work for 2015, the Alliance will be offering three different tools for your use in measuring the gains in months made by your learners. As always, if you are partnering with your school system, United Way, or another partner to do pre-and-post tests the Alliance will happily accept that data. In the upcoming months we will be offering a webinar training on how to use these three tools. 
  • Lets Go Learn: DORA Assessment
    • This is an online assessment for $7 per student. We highly recommend that sites use this assessment as it removes the responsibility of scoring the tests from your staff 
    • This is a free paper based Assessment. 
  • Out of School Time Environment Scale 
    • This is available online and paper based. We highly recommend this is done in conjunction with DIBLES. 
We will be sending information on these tools out to every YMCA CEO in the upcoming weeks. If you would like the information sooner please contact Kate-Marie at

2015-2016 Legislative Agenda
Massachusetts Health Connector 
We have recently been contacted by the Massachusetts Health Connector for a partnership opportunity to help enroll people before the deadline. MA Health Connector is the site that helps qualifying individuals enroll in health insurance such as MassHealth. 

The enrollment deadline is February 15. They have asked if our Ys can place posters and brochures about the deadline in a busy area . Ys will be receiving two posters, one in English and one in Spanish, and 50 brochures from MA Health Connector over the next week. If you are able to, please put these up in a well transited area- we would greatly appreciate it!

Y Member Spotlight
It's always a good feeling when we hear of stories in our Ys that showcase all the impact our movement creates. Below you will read of impactful stories from real members. 
We hope this incentivizes you to keep being part of the great work you do:


"I first went to the YMCA to play basketball. However, within those walls I learned the nooks and crannies of becoming a young man capable of improving his community. Through the mentoring program I gained confidence in myself, was kept off the streets and learned to network with people. Being at the YMCA with other teenagers taught me about responsibility, the importance of hard work and giving back. Now, my goals are to graduate high school this year and get accepted into a good college. The road ahead seems bright, but I will never forget where it all started- the place that taught me, helped me, strengthened me 
- the YMCA."



Mimi & Michael

Age 24, Mimi Clark has long considered exercise a chore, until she met 15-year old Michael O'Neil. 

Michael was paired with Mimi as her swim coach at the Charles River YMCA in his hometown of Needham last winter. Not until the lessons began, however, did Clark and O'Neil each learn that the other is on the autistic spectrum too.  

Mimi's mother, Amanda MacMullan, said "They're at different places [on the autism spectrum], but Mimi zeroed in on Michael being like her right away"

"She knew he would understand her and support her."

Mimi's mother said the program was like "finding an oasis in the desert" because recreational and social opportunities, along with their funding sources, have dwindled as her daughter has gotten older. At the Y, Mimi was able to get more physical activity while interacting with others.

Free Computer Science Clubs with Google
Google's Computer Science First provides free, easy-to-use computer science (CS) enrichment materials that target and engage a diverse student population. 
  • Clubs can be run by community volunteers with no computer science experience! 
  • Themed clubs attract students with varied interests; such as Art, Friends, Music, and Storytelling.
Click here for more information, or email here for questions.

YMCA Scholarship Opportunities
Northeastern University 


Northeastern University's College of Professional Studies and the Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs have teamed up to provide an opportunity to help YMCA employees in Massachusetts complete their undergraduate or graduate degrees. This scholarship is offered through a formalized partnership to provide all eligible staff members with the opportunity to pursue their educational goals. 


For questions, click here


College for America

"To help working adults succeed, we've built a degree that is extraordinarily affordable, flexibly paced for busy schedules, online, and uniquely applicable in the workplace."

The degree option is available through a partnership between College for America and the YMCA. It is not available to the general public." 

For more information click here

Walden University 

"The YMCA is in a national partnership with Walden University; this brings a 15 percent tuition reduction for all full-time and part-time YMCA staff, YMCA Volunteers, and their immediate family members, (parent, spouse/domestic partner, or child) on all Walden graduate degrees and certificates as well as our bachelor degrees for adults.  You can imagine the benefits this will bring to your MetroWest YMCA Inc. YMCA staff and volunteers!"

For more information click here


Your Alliance 
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