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Published by orickenbacher, 2018-10-16 15:11:22

Spring 2018 Magazine

Our Spring Quarterly Update gives you an inside scope as to what's going on at YMCAs in New York State!

STRONGER Ys
IMPROVING LIVES

ALLIANCE OF NYS YMCAs QUARTERLY UPDATE

SPRING 2018

WE’RE BREAKING Alliance of New York State YMCAs
DOWN THE 465 New Karner Rd, 1st Floor
Albany, NY 12205
STATE BUDGET (518) 462-8241
ymcanys.org
PG. 6
www.ymcanys.org SPRING 2018 1
WE HEPA

CHECK IF A TRAINING
IS COMING YOUR WAY!

PG. 8

FLIP TO THE
BACK COVER FOR

THE Y SPOTLIGHT!

2018
EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

Anne Brigis Jamey Mullen
President Secretary
YMCA of Long Island
Norwich Family YMCA

PA NROETESFIRDOMENTHTE Sharon Levy Buddy Campbell
Vice President Treasurer
I am delighted to be serving in the capacity of YMCA of Greater New York
Board Chair of the NYS Alliance. It is an honor to YMCA Buffalo Niagara
serve in this role, and I look forward to continued
growth and success of our statewide advocacy Mark Williams
efforts. Vice President
YMCA of the Twin Tiers
It is a joy to have the opportunity to work with an
incredible staff team led by our Executive Direc- 2018
tor, Kyle Stewart, as well as a passionate group of BOARD OF DIRECTORS
volunteers. The New York State Alliance was one
of 5 state Alliances from across the Movement Brian Bearor Kevin Killeen
that received funding from Y-USA for the Thriving Glens Falls YMCA Plattsburgh YMCA
Ys Initiative. I was also delighted to preside over
our Regional meeting that took place on Long Is- Vanessa Boulous Hank Leo
land. It was day filled with fun, fellowship, and YMCA Retirement Fund YMCA of the Greater
the opportunity for all of us to learn, grow and
thrive. Donna Boyle Tri-Valley
YMCA of Long Island
The next few months promise to be particularly Chuck Maze
exciting as we identify common themes for col- David Brown Rockland County YMCA
laboration and potential regional opportunities. Capital District YMCA
Rick Peterson
We are working hard to make the Collaboration Paul Callahan YMCA of the USA
For A Cause Meeting a very special night to re- Capital District YMCA
member with our National Y-USA President, Kevin George Romell
Washington, in attendance. Mark Eckendorf YMCA of
Jamestown Area YMCA
I look forward to working with each of you. I am Greater Rochester
always an email or phone call away, so please Mike Grammatico
reach out and let me know how I can best support GLOW YMCA Gareth Sansom
you. YMCA of

Gratefully, Broome County

Gregg Howells James Vaughan
YMCA of Rye Frost Valley YMCA

Jerry Huncosky
Frost Valley YMCA

Anne Brigis, President & CEO, YMCA of Long Island

2 SPRING 2018 ALLIANCE OF NEW YORK STATE YMCAs

TABLE OF CONTENTS
WHAT’S INSIDE THE SPRING UPDATE

POLICY

4&5 THE EMPIRE STATE OF Ys

Recap of our Grassroots Advocacy Actions Days
in late February

6 STATE BUDGET BREAKDOWN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S
Taking a closer look at the need-to-know points
of the Final Executive Budget WELCOME MESSAGE

HEALTHY LIVING With the first few months of 2018 hav-
7 HEALTHY LIVING HEADLINES ing flown past us, the Alliance is excited
to share with you our first ever Stronger
HEPA Success Story: Article published in Ys, Improving Lives Quarterly Update. We
hope this Update keeps you in the loop
Afterschool Alliance, Afternoon Snack Blog with what is happening at Ys throughout
the State, as well as at the State Capitol.
8&9 HEPA HELPINGS
Now that the busyness of the State Bud-
Recap of recent trainings, and a look-ahead of get is behind us, the Alliance team is fo-
what’s to come cused on furthering statewide initiatives
and developing more opportunities and
10 TAKING IT ONE STEP AT A TIME resources for our Ys.

A look into the new Walk with Ease Pilot Pro- In addition, we look forward to progress-
gram in Oneonta, aimed at getting the community ing with our Thriving Ys initiative - de-
moving veloping opportunities for Ys to collab-
orate and to inherently strengthen our
SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY impact on New York State. The upcoming
Strengthening Ys. Better Together. Col-
11&12 Y-CORPS: GIVING BACK TO OUR laboration for a Cause Meeting will be
ACOrecMapMofUthNe I2T0I1E7SY-Corps trip, sending stu- the perfect occasion to come together,
and engage in constructive conversations
YOUTH DEVELOPMENTdents throughout NY and PA. amongst Y Leaders, Key Volunteers, and
13 Staff from every region of our State.
2018 YOUTH AND GOVERNMENT
The Alliance staff and I look forward to
Looking back at this year’s Youth and continuing to promote your good work
Government (YAG) State Conference and encourage you as dedicated, impact-
ful community leaders. Thank you for
14 FOR THE SAFETY OF OUR YOUTH all that you do for the Statewide YMCA
movement!
The passage of the Child Protection Improvement Take care,
Act (CPIA) and what it means for youth-serving
organizations

15 EFFECTING CHANGE: MODEL
LEGISLATION PASSED AT YAG
Kyle Stewart, Executive Director
Alliance of NYS YMCAs 3

www.ymcanys.org SPRING 2018

POLICY

EDIT: OLIVIA RICKENBACHER
PHOTO CR

To further emphasize the reach we had
on Twitter, the Alliance gained a total
of 7,500 impressions over the five-
day period and an increase of 230%
in post engagement. On Facebook, a
total of 2,570 people were reached
with our message and post engage-
ment was 167% higher over the five-
day period.
So, what does this mean?
It means that more community members and

ETHME PIRE STATE of YsY-Advocates received our message, and resulted
The 2018 Grassroots Advocacy Action
in a higher level of individuals that acted on it. Our
Quorum Action Letters were distributed by almost 300
Days represented a unified Y voice from participants, with a total of 792 actions taken!
Buffalo to Albany, Plattsburgh to Long
Island. Not only did our online presence during the Advo-
cacy Action Days make an impact, so did your efforts
in meeting with legislators in their district office or
Time has flown since our 2018 Grassroots Advocacy hosting your representatives at your Y. These critical
Action Days back in February, but the reverberation of conversations in the member’s home districts are of-
your efforts still echoed, long after. As you may recall, ten more effective because it allows for increased time
this year’s advocacy strategy differed from years past. spent building relationships and educating on behalf of
Instead of inviting Ys to convene at the Capitol for one- our cause.
day of advocating, we extended the time period in order
to foster an increased level of engagement online. With your help, we were able to have many of our
budget requests included in the 2018-19 Final Budget
Utilizing social media is increasingly prevalent in the despite the challenging fiscal situation our State faces.
non-profit advocacy world due to its unparalleled ability Our priorities the Final Budget include:
to engage individuals with impactful stories and reach
the audiences in which those stories resonate most. By
driving conversations on Facebook and Twitter, we are • Restoration of Advantage Afterschool to
able to build and maintain relationships with the mem- $22.3 million – an increase of $2.5 million from last
bers of our communities that we would normally be un- year’s budget, restoring funding to the FY 16-17 level
able to engage with.
• An additional $10 million to the Empire State
Over the duration of the Advocacy Action Days, we After School Program, bringing the total investment
saw a dramatic increase in awareness of our cause, in the program to $45 million – an increase from last
measured by the overall engagement with our Call-to- year’s $35 million total.
Actions.

4 SPRING 2018 ALLIANCE OF NEW YORK STATE YMCAs Continues on page 5

Continued from page 4 POLICY

• Our $400,000 line-item allocated for Ys to contin- MEET OLIVIA!
ue to implement Healthy Eating and Physical Activity
(HEPA) Standards in YMCA programs. State Alliance
Communications and Policy
In addition, the Final Budget included a language
modification making non-profit community organiza- Coordinator
tions - like the Y - eligible for capital funding through [email protected]
the State and Municipalities (SAM) Facilities Program.

We are happy with the resulting Executive Budget and
feel that our Advocacy Action Days represent a suc-
cessful first implementation of a new strategy! All of us
at the State Alliance thank you for your hard work and
dedication during that time! We look forward to next
year - to share more stories of all of the communi-
ty strengthening and impactful programs and services,
that you provide to New Yorkers everyday.

Yonkers Family YMCA welcomed Lieutenant Y ADVOCATES
Governor Kathy IN ACTION!
Hochul, and
Assembly-
woman
Shelley
Mayer

YAG Youth Gov- The Patchogue
ernor, Aminata Family YMCA
Toumbou, hosted Assembly-
chatted with members Garbarino
Assemblyman and Gandolfo; Eric Hofmeister, District
John McDonald at Director, on behalf of Senator Tom Croci;
the Capital District and Donald Rettaliata Jr., Patchogue Y
YMCA’s State of the Y CVO.
Address at the Capitol.
www.ymcanys.org SPRING 2018
5

POLICY

SBTRAETAEKBDUODWGENT

In case you don’t have time to read through the recently passed Executive
Budget here is a breakdown of the need-to-know inclusions and line-items!

EMPIRE STATE AFTER-SCHOOL: The final budget YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM: A $1.5 million
includes the Executive proposal for an additional restoration for the Youth Development Program was
$10 million for a new round of grants, bringing the included in the final budget. This brings the appro-
total investment in the program to $45 million. New priation level to $15.6 million – the same level as last
funding will be eligible to school districts or not-for- year.
profit community-based organizations.
SUMMER YOUTH EMPLOYMENT: Keeping the pro-
ADVANTAGE AFTER-SCHOOL: The final state bud- posed level that was included in the Executive Bud-
get includes a $5 million restoration, bring-
ing the total funding to $22.25 million. get, the total appropriation level was $40 mil-
This represents a $2.5 million lion. A $4 million increase over last year’s
increase from last year’s budget. Enacted Budget.

EXTENDED LEARNING TIME: CHILD CARE SUBSIDIES: The final
Included in the final budget is budget includes a $7 million resto-
an appropriation of $21.6 mil- ration for child care subsidies that
lion for the continuation of ex- were cut in last year’s final budget
tended learning time grants to and includes directive language
school districts or school dis- aimed at how the increased feder-
tricts in collaboration with non- al funding from the FY 18 Omnibus
profit community-based organiza- bill should be used.
tions. This is a $1.59 million increase
over last year’s budget. CHRONIC DISEASE PREVENTION: The
final budget included funding for the Obe-
EXTENDED SCHOOL DAY/VIOLENCE PREVENTION: sity/Prevention Program at $5.9 million and Hy-
The final budget included the same level of funding pertension Program at $692,000.
as last year’s budget, $24 million.
NONPROFIT INFRASTRUCTURE
COMMUNITY SCHOOLS AID: The final budget in- CAPITAL INVESTMENT PROGRAM (NICIP): Al-
cluded the proposed Executive Budget’s $200 million though not expanded this year, the final budget in-
to support the conversion of schools identified as cluded a language modification that made nonprofit
“struggling” or “persistently struggling” to commu- community-based organizations eligible for the State
nity schools and Municipalities (SAM) Facilities Program. This in-
clusion is a recognition of the vital role that nonprof-
UNIVERSAL PRE-K: Included in the final budget is its play in our communities.
$360 million, the same level of funding proposed in
the Executive Budget. This is a $15 million increase HOMELESS HOUSING ASSISTANCE: $64 million was
over last year’s budget. included in the final budget, keeping funding at the
same level as last year.

PHOTO CREDIT: OLIVIA RICKENBACHER

6 SPRING 2018 ALLIANCE OF NEW YORK STATE YMCAs

HEALTHY LIVING HEADLINES

HEPA SUCCESS STORY:

THE ALLIANCE OF NEW YORK STATE YMCAS

BY FAITH SAVAIANO | JANUARY 29, 2018 PHO
In recent years, many states across the country
TO CREDIT: FAMILY YMCA AT TARRYTOWN
have started to seek government support to enact
policies aimed at increasing healthy practices in out- Finding that concrete
of-school time environments. While many of these explanations fostered the sup-
efforts are just beginning, few advocates have seen port they needed, the Alliance now uses such strate-
as much immediate success as the Alliance of New gies in advocacy and communication outreach.
York State YMCAs. Now going into its third year Stewart and colleague, Paige Hughes, the Alli-
of state-supported funding, the Alliance of New ance’s director of healthy living, touted the strength
York State YMCAs, or “the Alliance,” has secured a they found in the coalition that was formed between
cumulative $1.3 million for increasing the uptake themselves and other partners in the PHC grant com-
of the Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) munity.
Standards. “This is yet another example of the importance of
relationship-building in advocacy work,” said Hughes.
The Alliance first began to pursue HEPA poli- “It takes more than the staff at one organization to
cy changes at the state level four years ago, when successfully advocate for policies and funding that
the YMCA was awarded a Pioneering Healthier Com- impact a greater cause.”
munities (PHC) grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Seeking independent evaluation of the effective-
Foundation. Through a series of conversations with ness of the state-funded HEPA initiative on YMCA
YMCA staff and volunteers, the Alliance determined afterschool sights across New York, the Alliance
that training and equipment were necessary to ful- commissioned Dr. Christine T. Bozlak from the SUNY
ly implement the HEPA Standards at YMCAs across Albany School of Public Health. Previously, Dr. Bozlak
New York. was a member of the PHC coalition and leadership
team.
According to Kyle Stewart, the Alliance’s executive An important element in securing the funding for-
director, once funding for HEPA training and equip- HEPA was explaining the role that afterschool and -
ment was deemed a priority for YMCAs in New York more broadly - out-of-school time programs play in
and the populations that they serve, the Alliance set advancing healthy habits and lifestyles for our youth.
out to secure support from state lawmakers and pol-
icymakers. Continues on page 11

“We held meetings and follow-up conversations www.ymcanys.org SPRING 2018 7
with the legislative adership in both houses and the
governor’s office, to help us gauge interest and build
a blueprint for our strategy,” said Stewart. “Once we
identified our strategy, we had to stay flexible be-
cause the ‘right approach’ can be a moving target.”

The Alliance initially requested a $1 million line
item for HEPA implementation in the state budget.
Though unsuccessful the first year, the Alliance and
its coalition of partners secured $500,000 in the
second year of their advocacy efforts.

“Advocacy is the Alliance’s mission and in New
York state, we understand that achieving line item
funding often takes several years to accomplish,”
said Stewart. “It wasn’t until we made our case more
understandable that it really made a difference in
our progress. For example, we explained that some
afterschool sites need refrigerators to serve fresh
fruits and vegetables.”

HEALTHY LIVING

HHEEPLAPINGS

BRINGING THE ‘HEPA’ MENTALITY MEET PAIGE!
TO Ys THROUGHOUT NEW YORK STATE State Alliance
Director of Healthy Living
[email protected]

NYS NETWORK FOR YOUTH SUCCESS SPRING CATCH TRAININGS
HEPA TRAINING SERIES LOOK BACK
CATCH THEM WHILE YOU CAN!
With funding from our HEPA Professional De-
velopment Grant, we partnered with the NYS Beginning this April, we’re hosting a series of CATCH
Network for Youth Success to offer a series of Kids Club Implementation Trainings and one CATCH Kids
regional HEPA Trainings focused on how to over- Club Trainer Academy for all YMCA staff. And the best
come challenges to fully embed HEPA at YMCA af- part is… these trainings are completely free! Attendees
terschool programs. Over175 YMCA staffers were will receive lunch and will be reimbursed for any staff
trained in Buffalo, Syracuse, Clifton Park, Yonkers, time and travel expenses.
and Long Island on topics such as change man-
agement, guiding staff and youth behaviors, family Join us for a one day Implementation Training where
engagement, and more! participants will learn how to maximize the benefits of
the CATCH Kids Club Curriculum in their YMCA after-
Overall, these trainings were well-received by school and summer camp programs! See page 9 for a
participants, and we are excited to continue this listing of all upcoming CATCH Kids Club Training dates.
partnership with the Network for Youth Success to
strengthen HEPA in the future! On April 17-19, we hosted our first CATCH Kids Club
Trainer Academy in Syracuse where nine YMCA staff
from YMCA Buffalo Niagara, YMCA of Greater Syracuse,
YMCA of Middletown, and the Watertown Family YMCA
were provided with the necessary skills and concepts to
build capacity for their local CATCH Kids Club initiatives.

PHOTO CREDIT: PAIGE HUGHES A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR FIRST
GRADUATING CLASS OF CATCH KIDS CLUB TRAINERS!

• Briana Christensen, YMCA Buffalo Niagara
• Zach Grulich, YMCA Buffalo Niagara
• Sarah Mang, YMCA Buffalo Niagara
• Jessica DesRosiers, YMCA of Greater Syracuse
• Kristina Mullahy, YMCA of Greater Syracuse
• Krystal Cable, YMCA of Middletown
• Melinda Gwiozdowski, YMCA of Middletown
• Garrett Turk, YMCA of Middletown
• Jenifer Grant, Watertown Family YMCA

To learn more about CATCH Kids Club or to register
for an upcoming training, contact Paige Hughes at
[email protected]

8 SPRING 2018 ALLIANCE OF NEW YORK STATE YMCAs

TSPRRAINIGNINGS HEALTHY LIVING

REGION DATE LOCATION

MID-HUDSON VALLEY THURS, APRIL 26 Rockland County YMCA
35 South Broadway, Nyack, NY 10960

NEW YORK CITY SAT, MAY 5 YMCA of Greater New York -
Eastern District YMCA

125 Humboldt St, Brooklyn, NY 11206

LONG ISLAND SUN, MAY 6 YMCA of Long Island -
Great South Bay YMCA
200 W Main St, Bay Shore, NY 11706

WESTERN NY WED, MAY 9 YMCA of Greater Rochester -
Eastside Family YMCA

1835 Fairport Nine Mile Point Road
Penfield, NY 14526

SPARK AFTERSCHOOL STANDARDS TRAINING

Join us for a FREE full-day of SPARK Afterschool Standards Training on May 23rd! SPARK lessons and
activities are designed to involve all children, be more active, incorporate social skills, and emphasize
health-related fitness and skill development.

This training is ideal for YMCAs who use SPARK or are new to the curriculum and want to kickstart their YMCA
afterschool programs. This training is FREE for all YMCAs! Attendees will be reimbursed for staff time and
travel expenses.
To register, contact Paige Hughes at [email protected]

WHEN & WHERE:

Wednesday, May 23
Capital District YMCA - Southern Saratoga YMCA | 1 Wall Street, Clifton Park, NY 12065

TRAINING TEASER!

ADAPTED PHYSICAL ACTIVITY TRAININGS The Adapted Physical Activity Training will strength- 9
en the quality of our youth programming, while mak-
Be on the look-out! This spring, we will also be host- ing every child feel welcomed and inclusive.
ing a series of FREE Adapted Trainings will be led by John Smith, 1989 NASPE/
SHAPE National Elementary Teacher of the Year
Physical Activity Trainings for and Educational Consultant at FlagHouse, Inc. John
YMCAs across the state. is passionate about equipping all movement pro-
fessionals with tools that keep our youth active,
Through HEPA at our healthy, and productive!
YMCA youth programs,
it is our goal to prepare www.ymcanys.org SPRING 2018
children for a lifetime
of health, wellness, and
physical activity.

HEALTHY LIVING

TAKING IT ONE

STEP AT A TIME

Oneonta Family YMCA will be
the first to pilot the Arthritis
Foundation‘s Walk with Ease and improve overall health. In addition
to the physical benefits, Walk with Ease
program. provides a fun, social atmosphere that

Earlier this year, the Alliance received a mini fosters relationships between program partic-
grant from YMCA of the USA to encourage walk- ipants.
ing and other forms of active living throughout the Moving forward, the Alliance is hopeful that there
state. With funding from the CDC, 50 State YMCA will be future funding opportunities to scale Walk with Ease
Alliances were funded to complete a series of de- with additional Ys statewide.

liverables that support the Surgeon General’s Call KIDS IN THE KITCHEN SERVES: 12 TOTAL COOK TIME: 20 MIN

to Action in support of walking.

This year, the Alliance chose to subgrant these BAKED BLUEBERRY 4. Combine wet and dry
funds to the Oneonta Family YMCA to launch a pilot ingredients and then fold
of the Arthritis Foundation’s Walk with Ease Pro- OATMEAL CUPS in blueberries. You can use
fresh or frozen berries.

gram. Walk with Ease is an evidence-based group INGREDIENTS: 5. Fill muffins tins evenly,
exercise program proven to increase the physical, 2 cup – oats, dry they won’t rise too much so
mental, and social functioning of adults, particu- 1 tsp – baking powder you don’t need to leave room
larly those with arthritis. 1/2 tsp – salt for rising.
1 tsp – cinnamon 6. Bake for 20-25 minutes
Not only will the pilot program help the lo- 1/2 cup – banana or until golden brown. Serve
cal YMCA to build their capacity for future evi- 2 tbsp – coconut oil warm!
dence-based health programming, but it also pro- 1 cup – milk
motes rural health and encourages new community 2 tbsp – honey
partnerships. 1/2 tsp – vanilla extract
1 medium – egg
As a Walk with Ease provider, the Oneonta Y’s 1 cup – blueberries
certified staff will offer older adults three 1-hour DIRECTIONS:
classes per week that include research-based ex- 1. Preheat oven to 350°
ercises that are safe, effective, and modifiable for and grease muffin pan!
a variety of fitness levels. 2. In a medium bowl,
add oats, baking powder,
Research shows that Walk with Ease is proven salt and cinnamon.

to reduce the pain and discomfort of arthritis; in- 3. In a separate bowl mash
crease balance, strength, and walking pace; build banana, add coconut oil, milk,
confidence in one’s ability to be physically active; honey, vanilla extract and
eggs.

Recipe from www.superhealthykids.com

10 SPRING 2018 ALLIANCE OF NEW YORK STATE YMCAs

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Continued from page 7

“We were asked, ‘How do afterschool programs York, serving more than 10,000 school-aged chil-
fit into this public health issue?’” explained Stew- dren.
art. “Our answer was based on the role that after-
school programs play to not only benefit the social As their work continues, the Alliance is optimistic
and emotional development of children, but also the about the growing support of HEPA in out-of-school
health benefits that afterschool can and should pro- time programs and looks forward to the cross-cut-
vide. In addition, the parent engagement component ting benefits that improved health and wellness re-
of the HEPA standards is proven to benefit the whole sources provide for our communities.
family, where positive and lasting change starts.”
“It is an important part of working with kids and
Given the size of the population served by YMCAs families. Afterschool programs do so much good, and
in New York, there is no doubt as to whether it can health and wellness is just one more benefit that we
play a significant role in affecting the health of its can provide to communities.”
youth.
This article was originally published by the
According to the Alliance, this state-funded HEPA Afterschool Alliance’s Afternoon Snack Blog
initiative funded 241 afterschool sites across New

GIVING BACK TO COMMUNITIES
FOR A BETTER US

Y-Corps program provides students an opportunity to give back to their communities,
teaching valuable lessons and building long-lasting memories.

Y-Corps is a service learning program which is STUDENTS PAINTING IN SCRANTON, PA. PHOTO CREDIT: DREW CALDWELL
offered in multiple states, but only made its debut
in New York last year. This semester-long program
gives students a crash course in servant leadership
by performing at least 50 hours of community ser-
vice, as well as trying to fund raise toward their goal
of $500 for the Youth and Government Scholarship
fund. These efforts culminate in a team trip around
the state or region, tackling several different service
projects as well as learning about the communities
and area they are serving.

The first New York State YMCA Y-Corps concluded
on July 22nd, 2017 after an incredible week. Last
year the program was done in partnership with the
Pennsylvania Youth and Government program and
allowed 12 teenagers to see parts of both states,
while helping many YMCAs and other community or-
ganizations along the way.

Continued on page 12

www.ymcanys.org SPRING 2018 11

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Continued from page 11

One unique facet of the program ex-
perience is that students are not given
schedule information or what to expect
until they arrive.

Last year, students visited the Muse-
um of the City of New York, the 9/11
Memorial, the State Capitol buildings
in Albany and Harrisburg, Gene Tunney
Park, Fort Stanwix, the Seneca County
Fair, the Women’s Rights National His-
torical Park, and the Corning Glass Mu-
seum in between projects. In addition to
the lessons learned through the service VISITING THE NEW YORK STATE CAPITOL IN ALBANY. PHOTO CREDIT: DREW CALDWELL
projects, the team also bonded over long
rides, nightly roundtables, and many other stops designed to foster an understanding of the diverse
areas within our region.

The trip began on Sunday the 16th in Scranton, PA, where the students helped to revive the local Y’s
child play area with paint, cleaning, and trash pick-up. From
there, we traveled to New York City, exploring the city and
learned of its rich history of activism and advocacy. For the
next stop on the trip, the team headed north to the Silver
Bay YMCA where students assisted in clearing trails and ar-
eas for new low ropes course elements. The Syracuse YMCA
has an amazing arts program, and they allowed the stu-
dents to help reorganize their library on Wednesday. Thurs-
day’s project was working with the Brighton Food Cupboard
just outside of Rochester, to help organize and clean one
of their storage rooms. Friday’s final project was with the
York YMCA in Pennsylvania, beautifying the downtown area
and learning about all the local Y has done to improve the
community through their innovative housing program.
The team also had the privilege of sleeping in local YMCAs,
reminding them of how many luxuries from their daily life
can be taken for granted.
The YMCAs of Greater Scranton, Rockland County, Rome,
Syracuse, York, and Northern Dauphin County were all ex-
cellent hosts and to whom the team is extremely grateful.

VISITING THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE CAPITOL IN HARRISBURG If you would like more information on the program, are in-
PHOTO CREDIT: DREW CALDWELL terested in hosting a team for a project, night, or meal, con-
tact Drew Caldwell at [email protected]

12 SPRING 2018 ALLIANCE OF NEW YORK STATE YMCAs

YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

2018
YOUTH AND

GOVERNMENT PHOTO CREDITS: WARREN HAMILTON

Teens from across the state convened in “Keeping the program as authentic as possible
Albany for the weekend to learn democracy is the goal,” explained Drew Caldwell, Director of
and demonstrate respect. Youth Development at the Alliance, “The weekend

is a whirl-wind but when all is said and done, del-
The 2018 New York State YMCA High School Youth egates leave Albany with a strong understanding
and Government Conference boasted an attendance of how state government works and how to be re-
of over 540 delegates derived from all corners of the
spectful of ideologies that may differ from
State, convened in the Capital City. From March
their own”.
9th – 11th students divided their time be-
Youth and Government is not
tween the Desmond Hotel, the State Cap-
merely designed to act as a cat-
itol, and - new to this year - the Uni-
alyst for future politicians, but
versity at Albany Uptown Campus to
rather an opportunity to ed-
debate 111 student-crafted pieces
ucate and fuel a young per-
of legislation.
son’s passion for civic en-
On Saturday, delegates utilized the
gagement. To compliment
University’s lecture halls and class-
the program’s teaching of
rooms to engage in discourse with-
the democratic process, stu-
in cohorts modeled after the State
dents engage in a year-long
Assembly and Senate. After passing
Service Learning Project that
the individual houses, 31 bills were ul-
emphasizes servant leadership.
timately signed into law by Youth Gover-
This year, Youth Lieutenant
nor Aminata Toumbou at the State Capitol on
Governor Evan Meinke led efforts in
Sunday morning. See page 11 for a few examples
partnering with AMVETS (American Veter-
of the bills that passed.
ans), a congressionally-chartered veterans service
In addition to the model legislative positions, dele- organization, to collect essential items for dona-
gates took on the roles of attorneys, justices, lobby- tion to veterans in need of support.
ists, and the press corps.
Continued on page 14

www.ymcanys.org SPRING 2018 13

YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

Continued from page 13
By participating in a service project, students become aware of the dif-

fering landscapes within our society and how giving their time to those
in need is essential for our communities to thrive. In a post-conference
survey, students indicated that as a result of the program they had an
increased ability to identify and understand multiple perspectives;
increased understanding of state government; desire to be actively
engaged in their community and government; and would recom-
mend participation in the program.

To learn more about the YMCA Youth and Government pro-
gram, visit www.ymcanys.org. To see more about the bills
passed and election outcomes visit the conference page on the
Alliance website www.ymcanys.org/2018yag/.

PHOTO CREDIT: WARREN HAMILTON

FOR THE SAFETY
OF OUR YOUTH
Omnibus spending bill including the Child Protection
Improvements Act passes, officially signed into law.

Serving as a major win for millions of children and ganizations that work
adults across the nation, the Child Protection Im- with children from gain-
provements Act (CPIA) was passed as part of the ing access to federal crimi-
recently enacted Federal omnibus spending bill. nal background checks on poten-
tial employees and volunteers.
This long-time YMCA legislative priority allows or-
ganizations - like the Y - serving vulnerable popu- NOT REINVENTING THE WHEEL
lations to conduct fast, accurate and affordable The CPIA builds on the success of the PROTECT
background checks on prospective volunteers Act’s Child Safety pilot which ran from 2003 un-
and employees. til 2011. The pilot provided direct access to FBI
fingerprint background checks for a variety of
To much of New York’s delight, child-serving nonprofit organizations.
Senate Minority Leader Charles
“Chuck” Schumer (D-NY) co- As a result, over 100,000 background checks
sponsored the bill and was a were performed and found that more than
major player in the advance- 6 percent of potential volunteers had
ment and eventual passing criminal records of concern.
of the bill.
Forty-two percent of the individuals
Prior to this, a gaping hole with criminal records of concern had
in federal law prevented crimes in states other than where they
children’s groups, mentor- were applying to volunteer – meaning
ing organizations, after-school that only a nationwide check would have
programs, camps, and other or-
Continues on page 15

14 SPRING 2018 ALLIANCE OF NEW YORK STATE YMCAs

Continued from page 14 YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
flagged these individuals’ criminal records.

The major focuses of the bill are that it ensures MEET DREW!
that organizations nationwide have access to State Alliance
FBI fingerprint background checks; Protects Director of
privacy rights by ensuring that the specifics of Youth Development
a criminal record are never disclosed without [email protected]
explicit consent by the individual; Does NOT au-
thorize new spending and will be self-sustain- BILL # AUTHORS
ing through the fees collected - capped by CPIA
at no more than $18.

Passage of CPIA gives families across the nation
peace of mind. And now, youth-serving organi-
zations like the YMCA have another important
tool to screen volunteers and staff who work
with children to ensure they will be safe in our
care.

EFFECTING CHANGE AF-35 Patrick Barnett; Andrew Bilotti;
FOR A STRONGER Alexandra Lake; Katie Lindley
NEW YORK
Amend Article 55, §2801-a of the New York State Edu-
Below are examples of the student crafted cation Law by adding subsection§2801-g to implement
pieces of legislation that were passed at this mandatory suicide prevention training.
year’s Youth and Government State Conference.
AL-28 Gabby Abato; Lauren Cassidy;
Selma Mrkulic; Liora Reiken

Amend § 801 of the New York education law to add civil
rights to the U.S. History curriculum in high school

AL-30 Erica Whitman; Teresa Tran

BILL # AUTHORS Amend § 5-210 subdivision 5 of the New York State
Election Law to require all eligible New York State resi-
dents to be automatically registered to vote.

AF-03 Edward Gubelman; Ryan McBride; Michael Rice S-13 Odalys Fuentes; Courtney Pisano;

Amend § 901.00 of the New York State Public Health Law by Dahlia Ramos
adding subdivision 10 to mandate a six-month suspension
from all school sports and gym after being diagnosed with Amend § 6444.00 subdivision 2, of the New York State
post-concussion syndrome (PCS). Public Education Law to make it mandatory for all univer-
sities to notify state police of sexual assault incidents
AF-04 Summer Mills; Elizabeth Catapano; before taking action.
Caroline Buckley; Michael Solazzo
S-19 Princess D’Andrea; Patricia Motlhankana;
Jada Pickett
Amend Article 17 –by adding section 817, creating assault
prevention programs in physical education classrooms. Amend NYS Education law § 704 to expand the curricu-
lum on Black history.
AF-16 Robert Henn; David Maceroni; Ryan Collins

Amend § 265.01-b of the New York State Penal Law by adding S-32 Elizabeth Gilbert; Ellis Han
subdivision 3 to prohibit firearm ownership of persons convict-
ed of committing a Hate Crime. Amend Social Services §413 to impose regulations on
courses required to maintain certification as a mandated
Visit the YAG page on the Alliance website for a full listing of reporter
the proposed and passed bills.
www.ymcanys.org SPRING 2018 15

THE Y SPOTLIGHT

Check out what’s happening at Ys across New York!

The Saratoga Regional YMCA Assemblywoman Mary Beth The YMCA of Greater
- Malta Branch construction Walsh visiting the South- Syracuse’s Power Scholar’s
is well underway and looking ern Saratoga YMCA to check Academy visited Onondaga
great! out all of the community Community College for an en-
strengthening programs the gaging STEM project!
Y provides!

We love sharing what our Ys across the New York are doing! Is your Y engaged in something you’d like to have spotlighted?
Send a short discription and image to Olivia Rickenbacher at [email protected] to be featured in the next issue!

ALLIANCE OF NEW YORK STATE YMCAS, INC.
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ALBANY, NY 12205


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