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Somerset Hills YMCA Offers Free 7th Grade Memberships in Pilot Program for WAMS

The Somerset Hills YMCA offers free Y memberships to WAMS 7th graders as pilot program with the goal of cultivating values, skills, and relationships leading to positive behaviors and healthy living.

The Somerset Hills YMCA is pleased to announce a pilot program that will offer free Y memberships to seventh grade students at William Annin Middle School.

As part of this pilot program, William Annin seventh graders will have access to both the Y’s Mt. Airy and the Riverwalk facilities, which includes the Wellness Centers, three pools, the climbing wall, the basketball gym, and group exercise classes. Additionally, they can take part in many activities geared toward their age group, such as the Y’s Teen Scene nights and innovative adventure programs that have been designed with their input. The Y’s goal is to eventually expand the program to include seventh grade students from other local schools.

Through the Seventh Grade Membership initiative, the Y endeavors to nurture local teens by providing opportunities for them to cultivate values, skills and relationships that lead to positive behaviors, better health and educational achievement. The program will allow seventh graders to get together in a safe environment and participate in wholesome activities that encourage healthy living.

The health of adolescents and the adults they will become can be linked to the health-related behaviors they adopt as children, according to a Villanova University Study reported in the Journal of School Nursing. Seventh grade can be a critical time in the life of an adolescent who may be faced with opportunities to experiment with and participate in health risk behaviors.

“We so appreciate how gracious and receptive the William Annin principal, Ms. Hudock, and the PTO have been in supporting this initiative,” explains Kim DeZutter, Senior Director of Family Services at the Y. “The Seventh Grade Membership is perfectly aligned with our core areas of focus — youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The kids will have a chance to learn, grow and thrive by exploring healthy risk-taking activities and beneficial programs that they themselves have identified and co-authored.”

William Annin seventh graders who are interested in a free membership are required to attend an orientation class to learn about opportunities, safety and the Y’s general membership rules. Students can select from the following Orientation Class dates: Tuesday, Nov. 27 from 4 to 6 p.m.; Thursday, Nov. 29 from 7 to 9 p.m.; or Sunday, Dec. 2 from 3 to 5 p.m.

To register for an Orientation Class and for more information on this exciting, new program, please contact Abbey Arwady at 908-766-7898 x342 or aarwady@somersethillsymca.org

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