The YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region
The YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region is one the largest and oldest charities in Canada. The YMCA, established in 1867 and the YWCA, established in 1892, have served this community with distinction and passion, developing and introducing services and programs vital to the quality of life of the men, women and children in our community. The two organizations amalgamated locally in the mid-1960s to pursue a future vision with combined efforts of both associations.
The YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region is dedicated to improving the quality of life for children, youth, adults and families through programs that build spirit, mind and body. The Y provides opportunities for personal growth and character development by delivering unique and contemporary programs for everyone regardless of race, religion, creed, ability or economic circumstance. Our four core values – caring, honesty, respect and responsibility – form the foundation of all Y programs.
In order to achieve their mission and vision, the National Capital Region Y provides services in 6 core service areas: Child care, Camping & Outdoor Education, Education & Training, Employment & Newcomer Services, Health, Fitness, & Recreation, and Housing & Support Services
The Y continues to be a socio-economic bridge that reaches out to all people in our region, building diverse communities within each of its service locations that reflects the principle of inclusiveness. The Y ensures that every individual has access to the essentials needed to learn, grow and thrive, keeping the core philosophy of inclusion front and center at all times. No one is turned away from the Y.
As part of the National Capital Region YMCA-YWCA’s commitment to children and youth paired with the growing concerns around inactivity and poor health, the Y took a proactive step to increase opportunities for kids to be more physically active and in reducing some of the barriers to participation. Y Kids Academy is based on the premise that healthy habits start early; by targeting young people, we will be able to help them make healthy choices for the rest of their lives.
Y Kids Academy is a free of charge program open to all grade 6 students across the French and English school boards in Ottawa. Working with a curriculum that has been approved by the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), the program provides children with instruction on the fundamentals of strength training complimented by interactive healthy living lessons to highlight the benefits of being active and making positive, healthy choices.
Each program consists of eight 90 minute sessions over an approximately four week period. The program takes place both during school hours, where students attend through a partnership with their school, and outside of school hours, for students who choose to attend the program independent of their school’s affiliation. The program is offered across the National Capital Region at four of the Y’s Health, Fitness and Recreation facilities. 1-2 new programs are offered every 4 to 6 weeks at each location. Once the 12 hour program is successfully completed, the grade six students receive a complimentary membership to the Y for one year so they can stay active and practice their newly learned skills. The sessions are offered from September to June each year.