YMCA offers free membership to 7th graders

Chester County seventh graders, you’re going to want to get to the YMCA right now.

The YMCA of Greater Brandywine is proud to continue its 7th Grade Initiative, which offers any seventh grader in Chester County a free one-year youth membership. Kids simply need to bring a school ID, roster or report card, along with a parent or guardian, to their local branch to register. After registering, their membership includes use of the YMCA’s facilities. Seventh-graders can swim, play in our gyms, work out in our wellness centers under staff supervision and participate in programs, classes and sports. Last year, more than 1,100 seventh-graders took advantage of this free membership.

“We think it’s crucial to set the foundation for a healthy lifestyle at a young age,” YMCA of Greater Brandywine President & CEO Denise Day said. “Our 7th Grade Initiative helps kids fall in love with an active way of life. Kids at this age are discovering who they are, and we want to ensure that they’re set up for future success through that active lifestyle.”

As kids face adolescence’s challenges, they’re more likely to begin distancing themselves from formal organizations, friends and family and to experiment with unhealthy behaviors. The 7th Grade Initiative offers an alternative, where they can make new friends while staying active and also avoid exposure to those counter-productive behaviors.

In addition, the YMCA began its “Saturday Night Lights” program earlier this month. The program gives kids in grades 4-12 a personal hangout spot on Saturday nights, where they’re paired off into age-appropriate groups under the supervision of the YMCA’s top-notch staff. Kids get to use the Y’s facilities to play basketball, swim, play games or just hang out, drawing them away from unhealthy behaviors. The cost is just $3 for YMCA youth members (this includes those with the free seventh-grade membership). There is no cost for YMCA family members to attend and it’s just $6 for non-members.

For more information on the YMCA of Greater Brandywine’s 7th Grade Initiative and Saturday Night Lights program, please visit any of our branches, which include the Brandywine YMCA, Kennett Area YMCA, Jennersville YMCA, Lionville Community YMCA, Upper Main Line YMCA, West Chester Area YMCA and the Oscar Lasko YMCA and Youth Program Center.

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