The Robert H. Spitz Foundation Awards Grant to the Greater Scranton YMCA

In September 2023, the Greater Scranton YMCA was awarded a 20 ,000 grant from the Robert H. Spitz 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 the YMCA’s waitlist for services capped at 150 children.

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 was previously 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 1 0 children. The classrooms will specifically serve children ages zero to two, as the need for infant care is great.

“We are so grateful to the Robert H. Spitz Foundation for their generosity,” said Trish Fisher, President & CEO, Greater Scranton YMCA. “The need for child care services in our community is great and this project will allow us to serve more children and families in need. Parents will be able to return to work knowing their child(ren) are in a safe and nurturing environment while in our care.”

Construction is estimated to be complete and students enrolled in the new classrooms in quarter three, 2024. For more information about the Greater Scranton YMCA’s Early Childhood Education Programs, contact Tressa Parker, Education Director, at or visit the Y online at

The Greater Scranton YMCA Receives Grant from PPL Foundation

The Greater Scranton YMCA is pleased to announce it has received a $2,500 Energizing Education grant from the PPL Foundation. These funds will support the Summer Scholars Program, a six-week academic and enrichment program designed for elementary students who are struggling with reading. The goal of the program is to prevent summer learning loss through a combination of literacy instruction, enrichment activities aligned to literacy instruction and positive youth development opportunities.

Without access to educational activities during the summer, children who are already behind in reading are at risk of falling further behind their peers. For children who need additional help with their reading skills, the Greater Scranton YMCA is proud to offer the Summer Scholars Program for children entering first, second and third grades at the Mid Valley and Dunmore School Districts. The Summer Scholars Program supports cognitive, physical and social-emotional growth while focusing on helping children improve their literacy schools. Breakfast and snack are provided and the program is offered at no cost.

“The Greater Scranton YMCA is so grateful to the PPL Foundation for their generous grant award,” said Trish Fisher, President & CEO, Greater Scranton YMCA. “Providing all children with access to educational opportunities over the summer months is crucial to continued academic success. Our Summer Scholars Program targets young students who are struggling with reading, providing them with the tools and resources needed for success at the start of their next school year.”

For more information about the Summer Scholars Program, contact Helen Cruser at

The Greater Scranton YMCA Recognizes Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

The Greater Scranton YMCA recognizes the impact of Alzheimer’s in communities and the impact physical activity has on preventing it. Below, the Greater YMCA has information on ways to stay active.

June is National Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. Worldwide, more than 55 million people are living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Did you know that studies have shown that physical activity reduces the risk of cognitive decline? At the Greater Scranton YMCA, we promote the importance of physical activity at any age! Just a little bit of activity can go a long way in helping improve brain health. Check out some of the great offerings in our community below, which can be used as a great start on anyone’s health and wellness journey:

Silver Sneakers focuses on strengthening muscles and increasing range of movement for daily life activities. Participants can use hand-held weights, elastic tubing with handles and a Silver Sneakers ball. Often a chair is used for seated exercises or standing support.

The Art of Connection: Spirited Art® is an optimistic, creative painting class for folks who want to learn the basics of acrylic painting in the company of great friends. In each class, we will show you step-by-step how to create your own masterpiece that you can be proud of and take home. Spend some time and relax with us.

Enhance®Fitness is a proven, community-based senior fitness and arthritis management program. Its purpose is to help older adults become more active, energized and empowered for independent living. For more information about Enhance®Fitness, contact Brandon Whipple.

Personal Training: Training with our certified personal trainers is a great way to get in shape safely, efficiently and effectively. They provide the motivation necessary for you to achieve your goals with regular fitness testing, personalized programming and accountability.

For more information, please contact Brandon Whipple, Program Director, at or visit

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.

The Greater Scranton YMCA Offering Tips to Keep Kids Safe

The Greater Scranton YMCA wants to ensure that water safety doesn’t get lost in our community’s eagerness to jump into summer. As temperatures rise, kids want to cool off, whether that is in home pools, ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, or oceans. And that means the risk of drowning is as prevalent as ever. For National Water Safety Month this May, the Greater Scranton YMCA is encouraging parents and caregivers to reinforce the importance of water safety skills with the whole family.
“As ‘America’s Swim Instructor,’ the Greater Scranton YMCA annually teaches more than 1,250 children valuable water safety and swimming skills,” said Trish Fisher, President & CEO, Greater Scranton YMCA. “Now more than ever, it’s important to remind parents and caregivers that water safety needs to be top-of-mind as families start to return to their favorite summertime activities.”
As part of National Water Safety Month, the Greater Scranton YMCA is encouraging parents to play an active role in promoting water safety and providing five tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable swimming experience for all.

Make sure children know to always ask permission before going in or near the water. Teaching your children to be water smart is the first step in water safety – be sure they understand the importance of asking permission before going in or near the water.
Never swim alone or without a water watcher. When children are swimming, make sure they are actively supervised at all times. Teach your children that they should only swim in locations where a lifeguard is on duty, or where a responsible adult agrees to watch the children in the water without distractions.

Supervise your children whenever they’re in or near water. Whether it’s bath time or taking a dip in a pool or waterfront, make sure your children are within arm’s reach at all times.
Don’t engage in breath holding activities. Children should not hold their breath for a prolonged amount of time while swimming, as this can be dangerous.
Wear a life jacket. Inexperienced or non-swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life

Don’t jump in the water to save a friend who is struggling in deep water. If a child finds
their friend in deep water unexpectedly, their natural reaction may be to jump in the water
to try to save them. Even if a child is a great swimmer, a panicked person will overpower
them, pulling the rescuer underwater. The Y’s Safety Around Water program teaches the
“reach, throw, don’t go” concept of using a long object to reach for them and pull them to
safety. By using this technique children can help their friend without compromising their
own safety.
To learn more about the Greater Scranton YMCA’s swim programs, please contact Leslie
Kopa, Aquatics Director, at (570) 828-3112 or

The Greater Scranton YMCA Summer Food Program

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, around 22 million kids receive free or reduced-cost meals thanks to the National School Lunch Program. However, once the school year ends, only 17 percent of those same kids are able to access free meals over the summer break, leaving many children without during the summer months.

The Y is working to fill that gap, and thanks to support from the Walmart Foundation, will help keep children healthy and well-nourished this summer, ensuring that kids reach their full potential. Participating youth will receive both food and fun through nutritious meals and snacks, while also enjoying recreational and learning activities aimed at keeping bodies and minds active. Y sites across the country, including the Greater Scranton YMCA, will offer the Summer Food Program to any child under 18. Children enrolled in early childhood education programs at the Greater Scranton YMCA are currently benefiting from the Food Program and will continue to do so throughout the summer. Additionally, the Greater Scranton YMCA partners with the Scranton School District to provide meals and snacks to school age youth enrolled in our Summer Day Camp Program, which kicks-off June 12th.

Now in its thirteenth year, the Summer Food Program is part of an existing national partnership between YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) and the Walmart Foundation to address child hunger, which is more prevalent during the summertime. Made possible by a grant from the Walmart Foundation, the Y is better able to reach kids in need. The program is part of the Y’s year-round effort to address child hunger; during the school year, the Y’s Afterschool Meal Program provides a combination of learning activities and healthy snacks at the end of the school day.

In summer 2022, the Greater Scranton YMCA served 13,110 meals to children enrolled in Summer Day Camp and Early Childhood Education Programs. This summer, due to increases in program enrollment, the Greater Scranton YMCA projects serving 24,900 meals and 15,825 snacks to children enrolled in Summer Day Camp and Early Childhood Education Programs. To learn more about the Greater Scranton YMCA’s Food Program, contact Katie O’Neill at
“Hunger has a lasting impact on the development of children,” says Trish Fisher, President & CEO, Greater Scranton YMCA. “Giving kids access to nutrition-filled meals allows kids to focus,
learn and become empowered to reach their full potential. The Y’s Summer Food Program helps make sure kids can enjoy healthy and delicious meals and snacks all summer long.”
This year marks the program’s thirteenth year and the Y’s ongoing commitment to helping kids achieve their full potential by nurturing their physical, mental and social-emotional development. Since the start of the Summer Food Program, the Y has served over 220 million healthy meals and snacks to hundreds of thousands of kids.

Greater Scranton YMCA to Present Healthy Kids Day

The Greater Scranton YMCA is hosting the Y’s annual Healthy Kids Day® on May 6 from 10:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m. This free, annual event features a variety of family-friendly activities to encourage healthy kids, healthy families and a healthy start to the summer season. 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.
Additionally, as part of the Y’s Wellbeing Initiative, the Greater Scranton YMCA will welcome two guest speakers to the event:
• Taes Leavitt, a two-time Juno award winner and creator or television and stage content for kids as one half of the musical duo, Splash’N Boots;
• Kelley Perotti, a two-time black belt, two-time Masters World Champion and an elementary motivational speaker who focuses on the life-changing power of kindness.
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.

To learn more about Healthy Kids Day®, visit or email Brandon Whipple, Senior Program Director, at


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

The Greater Scranton YMCA Joins Five Days of Action to Protect Children

The Greater Scranton YMCA is participating in the Five Days of Action, April 24-28, 2022. The Five Days of Action is a week long campaign to raise awareness and inspire adults to take action to protect children from sexual abuse.

The Greater Scranton YMCA encourages adults and organizations to join in marking this special week as the Greater Scranton region comes together to make the community a safer place for children to live, learn, and play. With summer right around the corner—when children gather for activities and camps, it is a wonderful time to bring attention to the simple ways we can all make the children in our community safer. The Know. See. Respond. campaign is back this year, tying in three impact areas –preventing child sexual abuse at both summer camp and in youth sports, and internet safety. “The children of our communities have the right to a happy and safe childhood, and it’s our responsibility as adults and organizations to stand up to protect that right,” said Trish Fisher, President & CEO, Greater Scranton YMCA. “By joining in the Five Days of Action campaign, we hope to inspire other organizations and members of our community to create safe spaces that protect children from sexual abuse.”

For more information about the Five Days of Action, check out the Greater Scranton YMCA’s blog post. For more information and resources about the prevention of child sexual abuse, visit From Darkness to Light. For more information about the Greater Scranton YMCA, 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.