Greater Scranton YMCA Receives Grant Award

In June, 2023, the Greater Scranton YMCA was awarded a $15,000 Community Needs grant from the Scranton Area Community Foundation. Grant funding will support the expansion of the Y’s Early Learning Center.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 public health emergency, the need for child care services in our community has grown substantially. Enrollment in the Greater Scranton YMCA’s early childhood education programs has grown significantly, with more than 60 children currently on a waitlist.

The Greater Scranton YMCA is limited in space and at maximum capacity. In order to open an additional 30 child care spots each year, the Greater Scranton YMCA will renovate its second floor, which is currently being used for storage and the location of H-VAC. Through renovating the space, the Greater Scranton YMCA will create three new classrooms, each licensed to serve up to 10 children. The classrooms will specifically serve children ages zero to two, as the need for infant care is great.

“Thanks to incredible community partners like the Scranton Area Community Foundation, the Greater Scranton YMCA will grow its Early Learning Center to serve more children and families from our community who are in need of care,” said Trish Fisher, President & CEO, Greater Scranton YMCA. “Through expanding the center to open an additional 30 spots annually, we will provide parents and caregivers with a safe, nurturing environment for their children to thrive in while they are able to work. We are so grateful for this support.

The Greater Scranton YMCA Encourages Healthy Weight in Youth

September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and as children and families start their new school-year routines, it’s a perfect time to reflect and refresh your family’s healthy habits. Many families, though, need support changing their habits together to help children who are overweight or obese reach and maintain a healthy weight. That’s why the Greater Scranton YMCA — a leading community-based organization dedicated to improving health—wants to help families through improved eating habits and increased physical activity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of obesity affects about 14.7 million, or one in five U.S. children and adolescents. Obesity can increase risk for health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and some cancers. According to the 2019 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey and 2018-2019 Pennsylvania Growth Screening Index, 33 percent of Pennsylvania adults and 18 percent of Pennsylvania children in grades K-12 are affected by obesity, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

“Experts now have a heightened understanding of the necessity to provide families with assistance in altering their eating and physical activity patterns,” said Trish Fisher, President & CEO, Greater Scranton YMCA. “At the Y, we’re delighted to collaborate with families, extending support as they strive to incorporate changes to help children grow up at a healthy weight.”

The Y also promotes open communication between families and their healthcare providers regarding their children’s health. “A child’s healthy weight cannot be determined based off of appearance,” said Fisher. “Working with healthcare professionals guarantees that families receive accurate guidance and support.”

The Greater Scranton YMCA is helping families improve their health and help youth grow up at a healthy weight through incorporating opportunities for daily physical activity in our early childhood education and school age programming, as well as through offering numerous youth sports programs throughout the year.

While outside support is key, developing healthy habits begins at home. The following tips are some great ways to incorporate healthier eating habits and more physical activity and into your daily family routine:

· Eat & Drink Healthy: Make water the drink of choice and encourage everyone to fill half their plates with fruits and vegetables by offering two or three colorful options at every meal. As a family choose a new fruit and veggie every week to taste together. Place a full pitcher of water on the table during meals and allow children to pour their own water. Keep full water bottles available in the car and back packs.

· Play Every Day/Go Outside: Children should have at least an hour a day of unstructured play outside (when possible) and break a sweat at least three times a week by getting 20 minutes or more of vigorous physical activity. Join your children in games that get your hearts pumping and body moving.

· Get Together: Eat as a family as frequently as possible. Involve kids in meal planning, preparation and clean up. In addition, adults should take a break from electronics and spend one-to-one time each day with their kids, enjoying one another’s company.

· Reduce Recreational Screen Time: Time spent in front of a television, computer, tablet, cell phone or video games should be limited to two hours or less per day. Make a family plan to reduce screen time at home (i.e., turn off screens during meals, charge electronics/screens in the kitchen overnight, go for a walk after a meal, set a timer to remind you to power down the screen).

· Sleep Well: Kids and adults need to keep a regular sleep schedule; unwind together in the evenings by reading a book or listening to soft music to ensure the body is preparing for sleep. Kids are growing and need 10-12 hours of healthy sleep per night and seven to eight hours for adults.

Reasons to Get Your Child Involved in Y Afterschool Programming

As another summer winds down and a new school year is on the horizon, the Greater Scranton YMCA wants to remind parents and caregivers that the Y’s afterschool program is a place where children can remain active and engaged during their time out of school – a critical time for all school-age children. Below, we’ve listed five reasons your child should get involved with Y afterschool programming once school starts!

Physical Activity The Y’s afterschool program combines learning with play. Each day, we provide physical activity which is vital to the overall health and wellbeing of every child in our program. Some physical activities include pool time, outdoor play, gym time and more.

Healthy Eating Habits Teaching children the importance of nutrition and healthy eating is key to their success – both in and out of school. The Y’s afterschool program ensures that kids in our community are provided with healthy afterschool snacks when they are in our care and are taught healthy eating habits

Academics, Arts & STEM
The Y’s afterschool program helps fill gaps in schools and communities where some academic and recreational activities may be limited. Kids can improve their study habits and reading skills; gain exposure to the arts; find a love for STEM activities and much more.

Character Building Kids in our afterschool program at the Y demonstrate improvement in the values, skills, attitudes and behaviors needed for success in school and in life. Kids and teens can achieve, feel a sense of belonging and explore new interests. Check out some of our social and teen programs here.

Safety Standards It is vital that children have a safe, enriching environment for learning, both in and out of school. The Greater Scranton YMCA’s afterschool program upholds the highest level of safety standards.

For more information about the Greater Scranton YMCA’s Afterschool Program, contact Kevin Mellow, Afterschool and Summer Day Camp Director, at

YMCA to Host Annual McGrath Golf Tournament

Registration is open for the Greater Scranton YMCA‘s 4th Annual Harry P. McGrath Memorial Golf Tournament & Dinner Celebration. This year’s tournament will take place on Friday, September 15th at Glen Oak Country Club. Event proceeds will benefit Summer Scholars, one of the Greater Scranton YMCA’s two Summer Learning Loss Prevention Programs.

The luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m., golf at 1:00 p.m., cocktails at 6:00 p.m. and the dinner/program at 7:30 p.m.

Summer Scholars is a free research-based and research-proven six-week summer learning program with a goal to get elementary students on track to read at or above grade level by the start of their next school year. This summer, the program is serving rising first, second and third grade students attending the Mid Valley School District. Since the program began in 2016, more than 200 children have participated. Participants’ days consist of 2.5 hours of literacy in the morning followed by lunch and enrichment in the afternoon. The program is instructed by certified teachers and YMCA staff.

Harry McGrath was a proud member of the Greater Scranton YMCA. He specialized in education law, advocating for the rights of all students, particularly those with special needs. It became his passion to improve the quality of education for children living in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Proceeds from the tournament will support the Y’s Summer Learning Loss Prevention Program, a six-week program serving rising first and second grade students who are struggling with reading and are attending the Dunmore and Mid Valley School Districts.

“Our dad worked tirelessly so that children in this area had the necessary tools to succeed in school,” said Betsy McGrath Ardizoni, Event Coordinator and Greater Scranton YMCA Board Member. “The Summer Learning Loss Prevention program is consistent with his goal of using his legal career to positively impact the lives of the children he was privileged to represent, and our family is humbled and grateful to honor his legacy through a program he would undoubtedly support.”

For more information about the tournament, including sponsorship opportunities and registration, visit the Greater Scranton YMCA online or contact Betsy at (570) 768-6118 or Meghan Carnevale, Mission Advancement & Marketing Director, Greater Scranton YMCA, at

Winner Announced in YMCA Lap Swim Challenge Fundraiser

On Saturday, June 17th, the Greater Scranton YMCA held its Inaugural Lap Swim Challenge. The event was a great success, raising $3,602 for the Greater Scranton YMCA’s Stingrays Swim Team. We had 38 community members participate in the challenge.

The grand prize winner, Rachel Frissell, swam 134 lengths of the pool in the allotted 45-minute challenge time frame. She will receive an annual membership to the Greater Scranton YMCA. Attached are the results of the challenge.

Greater Scranton YMCA Receives Grant

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation recently awarded the Greater Scranton YMCA a $ 3,000 grant to support its summer literacy program, Summer Scholars. This local grant is a part of the Foundation’s largest, one day literacy donation of more than $13 million throughout the 47 states in which Dollar General operates to support adult, family and summer literacy programs.

The Greater Scranton YMCA’s Summer Scholars Program is a free research based and research
proven six week summer learning program with a goal to get elementary students on track to
read at or above grade level by the start of their next school year. In summer 2023, the program
will serve rising first, second and third grade students attending the Dunmore School District.

Participants’ days consist of 2.5 hours of literacy in the morning followed by lunch and enrichment
in the afternoon. Enrichment activities include field trips, as well as trips to the Greater Scranton
YMCA for use of the pools. The program is instructed by certified teachers and YMCA staff.

Greater Scranton YMCA To Hold Safe Around Water Campaign

The Greater Scranton YMCA is offering two, one-week swim lesson sessions at a reduced rate this June

The Greater Scranton YMCA will once again host its Annual Safe Around Water Campaign this June. This year’s campaign will be held Monday through Thursday from June 19-June 22 and June 26-June 29. The Safe Around Water Campaign is open to Y members and non-members and costs $10 per week. Children can register for one week or two.

The Annual Safe Around Water Campaign gives children the opportunity to learn new swimming skills designed to help keep them safe in and around the water. These concentrated lessons will incorporate safety around water skills so needed by all of the children in our community.

“Here at the Y, we believe all children should learn how to swim,” said Trish Fisher, President & CEO, Greater Scranton YMCA. “For so many, though, the financial resources are not available to afford swim lessons. Through our Annual Safe Around Water Campaign, it is our goal to offer swim lessons to children from our community who may otherwise not have access.”

The Safe Around Water Campaign is generously supported by the Kiwanis Club of Scranton. Lessons are first come, first served. To view the schedule and register, visit the Greater Scranton YMCA online. For questions, contact Leslie Kopa, Aquatics Director, at

About the Y
Driven by its founding mission, the Y has served as a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community for more than 175 years. The Y empowers everyone, no matter who they are or where they’re from, by ensuring access to resources, relationships and opportunities for all to learn, grow and thrive. By bringing together people from different backgrounds, perspectives and generations, the Y’s goal is to improve overall health and well-being, ignite youth empowerment and demonstrate the importance of connections in and across 10,000 communities nationwide.


Taes Leavitt and Kelley Perotti will offer free speaking events for children in the greater Scranton region.

DUNMORE, 04/25/2023 – As part of the Greater Scranton YMCA’s annual Healthy Kids Day® event on May 6th, and in conjunction with the Y’s Wellbeing Initiative, two renowned youth speakers – Taes Leavitt and Kelley Perotti – will offer motivational words to children and families in attendance. Taes Levitt will speak at 11:30 a.m. in Gym B and Kelly Perotti will speak at 12:15 p.m. in Gym B.

Taes Leavitt is a two-time Juno award winner. She has spent the last 15 years creating empowering television and stage content for kids as one half of the musical duo, Splash’N Boots. Her goal is to empower kids to move confidently through their big feelings. Her research has revealed that the number one thing that holds people back is not knowing how to navigate big feelings— such as bullying, failure, guilt, sadness, and heartbreak. Her knowledge of children’s entertainment, combined with developmental psychology and mindfulness practices, has led to the creation of her program, which is approved by pediatricians and psychologists.

When Kelley Perotti was invited to attend a martial arts class, little did she know it would genuinely change the course of her life. Now, Kelly Perotti is a two-time black belt, two-time Masters World Champion and an advocate for kindness and resilience. She is an elementary school motivational speaker focusing on the life-changing power of kindness. Kelley holds a 5th-degree black belt in martial arts, is a 1st-degree black belt in Jiu-Jitsu, holds a World Title, and owns her own martial arts studio where she trains hundreds of students to strive for greatness.

“At a time where our mental and emotional health has never been more important, social emotional learning is a critical component for the development of our youth,” said Kevin Whelley, Director of the Wellbeing Initiative, Greater Scranton YMCA. “In 2021, 1 in 5 adolescents experienced a major depressive episode within the previous 12 months, and those numbers are likely only increasing. Social emotional learning teaches children how to identify their emotions and develop empathy and the skills and needed for improved self-control and stress management. Increased emotional intelligence allows our children to be more engaged students, better friends and/or siblings and more resilient in the face of day-to-day stressors.”

The Y’s Wellbeing Initiative offers the Greater Scranton YMCA, and our community, a myriad of opportunities to enhance and support their emotional and mental health and wellness.

We do this through a combination of educational and awareness programming, specialized instruction, social-emotional learning, workshops and seminars and community collaborations. The Wellbeing Initiative was made possible thanks to Community Project Funding from Congressman Cartwright’s Office. Programs are offered at the Greater Scranton YMCA, Greater Carbondale YMCA, Greater Wyoming Valley Area YMCA and Wayne County YMCA. Programs are free for Y members and non-members.

Sponsored by Eggland’s Best, Healthy Kids Day’s mission is to turn fun and play into lifelong memories. Some featured activities include a Kids Fun Run that kicks-off at 10:30 a.m., vendor fair, petting zoo, rides, bounce houses, entertainment and more. The celebration will run from 10:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m.

Locally, Healthy Kids Day is sponsored by Community Bank, Matrix Fitness, TOPP Business Solutions, Cal Mal Vending Services, Northeastern Rehabilitation Associates, NET Credit Union and Rainey & Rainey CPAs.

For more information about Healthy Kids Day, contact Brandon Whipple at (570) 828-3116 or or visit the Y online at For more information about the Y’s Wellbeing Initiative, contact Kevin Whelley at (570) 774-392-0911 or or visit
About the Y
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 22 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide
opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.

About Eggland’s Best Eggs
Eggland’s Best is the #1 branded egg in the U.S. and is an excellent source of Vitamins D, B12, E, B5 and riboflavin. Eggland’s Best eggs have six times more Vitamin D, more than double the Omega-3s, 10 times more Vitamin E and 25% less saturated fat than ordinary eggs. Eggland’s Best’s hens are fed a strictly controlled proprietary, high-quality all-vegetarian diet, which results in a better-tasting, more nutritious egg that stays fresher longer. For more information, visit

Greater Scranton YMCA Provides Tips and Programs During Heart Month

February is American Heart Month, and with recently published research indicating blood pressure control has worsened in both men and women since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Greater Scranton YMCA urges community members to make their health a priority by getting a blood pressure screening. Blood pressure guidelines from American Heart Association indicate that nearly half of all Americans (46 percent) have high blood pressure. High blood pressure is often referred to as “The Silent Killer” because there are typically no warning signs or symptoms.

While high blood pressure and heart disease are serious conditions, the good news is a healthy heart is an achievable goal through lifestyle changes such as lowering sodium intake, eating healthier, and getting more physical activity. Getting help can be as easy as contacting the Y and taking part in the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program.

The Greater Scranton YMCA is continuing its increased availability of the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program – which is part of the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program helps adults at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles to help reduce their chances of developing the disease. Type 2 diabetes is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and people with diabetes are twice as likely to have heart disease or suffer a stroke as those who do not have it.

Here in the Greater Scranton region, we have offered the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program for 12 years. The program provides a supportive environment where participants work together in a small group to learn about eating healthier, increasing their physical activity and making other behavior changes with the goal of reducing body weight by 7 percent in order to reduce their risk for developing diabetes. A trained Lifestyle Coach leads the program over a 12-month period. Increased physical activity and moderate weight loss not only reduce diabetes risk, but also have an impact on lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.

The Greater Scranton YMCA has seen many participants who had previously been living a sedentary lifestyle come through the program and not only improve their quality of life, but go on to attend multiple group exercises classes a week, as well as regularly visit our wellness center and weight room. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program introduces
people to the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and is essential in creating healthier habits both
inside and outside the gym.

In addition to monitoring your blood pressure, reducing sodium intake is a great way to
keep your heart healthy. Per the American Heart Association (AHA), too much sodium in
your system puts an extra burden on your heart and blood vessels. In some people, this
may lead to or raise high blood pressure. Everyone, including kids, should reduce their
sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day (about 1 teaspoon of salt).
Having less sodium in your diet may help you lower or avoid high blood pressure.

“While there are many ways to keep your heart healthy, making a conscious effort to tackle
your blood pressure and decrease sodium intake are two quick, effective ways to prevent
heart disease,” said Trish Fisher, President & CEO, Greater Scranton YMCA. “No matter what
your heart health goal is this year, the Y has a variety of resources to help you get started
and achieve them.”

The Greater Scranton YMCA offers a community of diverse individuals who can support all
people in meeting their health and well-being goals. Learn more by visiting or stopping into the facility, located at 706 N. Blakely Street,
Dunmore, PA 18512.


YMCA to Hold Cooking Classes

The YMCA will be gathering in the kitchen and café every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in January for cooking lessons and healthy habits discussions. 🍽

The Tuesday and Wednesday classes go together, with the Tuesday class a discussion on what will be prepared on Wednesday. Our Thursday class will be a standalone class focusing on preparing meals on a budget.

Registration is required for each individual class. For members, each class costs $5.00 and for non-members, $10.00.

View the schedule and reserve your spot by visiting us online!…/kitchen-club/.

YMCA to Hold Outreach Program

We Are Y is an inclusive community outreach program that provides individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities access to recreational activities that encourage staying active, building interpersonal relationships among peers, self-sufficiency, and aid in developing cognitive abilities.

Recreational activities will rotate weekly and will be followed by light refreshments before departing.

1/5: Post Holiday Craft – Draw what made us most happy during this holiday season!
1/12: Imagination Playground – Obstacle Course and base building
1/19: Habitat Drawing – We will pick a habitat type and then draw out the species that belong to that specific habitat (animals, plants, etc.)
1/26: Create your own Super Hero – We will craft our own unique original super heroes and write short descriptions of them (powers, secret identity, backstory, etc.)

YMCA Receives Grant from North Pocono Student

North Pocono High Schooler Gwendolyn Powell presented the Greater Scranton YMCA with a grant award totaling $5,713.50.

Gwen is a youth competitive golfer, participating in national and local PGA Junior Golf Tournaments. Through her participation in the American Junior Golf Association, Gwen signed up for their Leadership Links Program, which helps youth impact their community and help others by golfing for a cause.