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March Newsletter
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March , 2015
List of Contents
Put MA Kids First Coalition

The Alliance and other leading early education and out-of-school time organizations have joined to form the Put MA Kids First coalition to "promote quality early ed and out-of-school time." 

In the past 15 years there has been $114 million moved away from early education and out of school time by the state. The coalition is working to restore that funding. In FY16 we are asking for $50 million. 

In order to effectively advocate for legislation surrounding the coalition's work, it is important to engage our communities and legislators. The YMCAs' members and communities are our biggest strength and getting their support will only cultivate support for the Y and the work we do. 

We are asking to promote the Put MA Kids First Facebook page, Twitter account, and sign up for the email list


Click here for the document detailing the loss of funds and the specific budget request for this fiscal year. 

Legislator Visits
Improving channels with legislators
As our efforts grow and we learn more with each session, we recognize areas of growth. Engaging our legislators is what kept funding protected for Y programs, it's what keeps the Ys at the forefront of industry breakthroughs and how we serve our communities best. 
An encouraged practice is to build trusting relationships with legislators. Invite them to Y events, annual meetings, photo-ops, and everything in between. It helps them connect with the communities they serve, and it helps you build relationships with them. It's a win-win. 
Of course, the more you engage the better your standing. If you can make the bold move of inviting your elected official to take part in your board, even better!
Immunizations and the Y

Below you will find useful and necessary resources and guidelines for dealing with vaccination issues at YMCA sites

Early Education and Before/After School Massachusetts Laws & Regulations:
  •  Parent/Child Responsibility 
    • By 24 months (two years) all children enrolled in preschool or daycare must have written documentation of immunizations for Hepatitis B, DTAP (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis), Polio, Haemophilus influenzae type B (pneumonia, acute bacterial meningitis, among others), MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) and Varicella(chickenpox). 
    •  In order to enter Massachusetts schools, children need have all of the above vaccinations, starting in grade seven they must also have immunization to meningitis 
    • Records (certificate) of immunizations for childcare/preschool to keep on file
  • Site Responsibility
    • Staff must be immunized and provide proof of immunity (written documentation) to measles, mumps and rubella.
    • Sites must keep immunization records for each child in their care
    • Before- and after-school programs are not required to have immunization records on file if they are on file for each child with his/her school, but site must ensure that they are.

Camp Massachusetts Laws & Regulations: 

  •  Parent/Child Responsibility 
    • All campers 18 years and younger must have written documentation of immunizations for Hepatitis B, DTAP (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis), Polio, Haemophilus influenzae type B (pneumonia, acute bacterial meningitis, among others), MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) and Varicella (chickenpox) and produce this before attending camp. 
      • The camp regulations for dosage have not yet been updated to reflect the dosage amount required by the school regulations. DPH and DEEC recommend that camps abide by the school dosage regulations. 
      • To see a memo with directions from DPH click here.
    • Parents need to provide, for each camper, a form or letter signed and dated by a physician or designee, or a dated report from the Massachusetts Immunization Information System, provided that either document specifies the month and year of administration and the type/name of the vaccines(s) administered to the camper. 
  • Site Responsibility
    • Sites must keep on record, for each camper, their immunization certificate
    • Staff 18 years and older must have written documentation of immunizations for MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) unless born before 1957, and DTAP (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis) and produce this after receiving a conditional offer of employment.
    • Sites must keep on record for each staff 18 and older their immunization certificate 

Exemptions to Immunizations:

  • Religious or medical exemptions are allowed in Massachusetts (philosophical is not) 
    • No child shall be required to have any such immunization if his or her parent(s) objects thereto, in writing, on the grounds that it conflicts with their sincere religious beliefs or if the child's physician, nurse educator, or physician assistant submits documentation that such a procedure is contraindicated

Denying Services based on Immunizations:

  • Sites cannot deny service to any children without immunization if it is for religious or medical reasons and they have written documentation
  • Sites can deny service to a child if they have not been immunized for a non-religious or non-medical reason. 
  • Sites can deny service to a child if they do not have documentation of immunization
Drug Abuse Prevention Program - The MAP 
The Massachusetts Project (MAP) is a collaboration between The Alliance of MA YMCAs and The Herren Project. 
The MAP is a speaking series by former professional basketball player, Chris Herren. The Herren Group is partnering with Ys to engage communities and build on the YMCAs' community presence and engagement.

Having suffered through addiction, Herren, speaks to youth and community members to warn of the consequences of drug abuse. For more information and to connect with the initiative, please like the Facebook page, and follow on Twitter.

The series will follow Herren at the following YMCA area locations: 
  • Athol YMCA on March 10 & 12
  • Pittsfield YMCA on March 17
  • Springfield YMCA on March 19 & 20
  • Greater Boston YMCA on March 31 & April 1
Paid Sick Leave Seminars
"Last November Massachusetts voters approved a firs-in-the-nation law requiring that employers offer sick leave to all employees. In some cases paid. 
There are opportunities to learn how to comply with the new law which takes effect July 1, 2015. 

Things to consider as an employer:
  • Do I have to offer paid or unpaid leave?
  • What records must I keep to ensure compliance?
  • Are all employees eligible for sick leave?
  • What best practices should I follow?"
Seminars covering the new sick leave law will be offered at the following locations:
  • When:
    Friday, March 20, 2015 7:30 AM
  • Wh ere:
    McLane Law Conference Room
    300 Trade Center, Suite 7000
    Woburn, MA 01801 
  • When: 
    Wednesday, March 25, 2015 7:30 AM
  • Where:
    Upper Cape Cod Regional Tech School
    220 Sandwich Rd
    Bourne, MA 
  • When:
    Thursday, March 26, 2015 7:30 AM
  • Where:
    Hilton Garden Inn
    59 Andrews Parkway
    Devens, MA 01434
To register, please call Chris Carlozzi at (617)482-1327

LIVESTRONG at the YMCA Certification Opportunity
The Hockomock Area YMCA is having a "LIVESTRONG at the YMCA" certification class. They have openings for other Ys to participate in this great opportunity. The class will be taking place from the 6-7th of May. 
Any interested Ys can register here.

Additionally, if you have any questions the contact at the Hockomock Area YMCA is Kimberly Cohen.

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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