7th graders get free YMCA memberships

January 18, 2010 3:14:49 PM PST
The Philadelphia area YMCAs have a special offer that promotes better health for children.

In conjunction with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Y ands its branches are offering a free 1-year membership to every 7th grade student in the region.

The students will have access to sports, swimming pools, game rooms and more at 10 area branches. in Philadelphia, and the Pennsylvania suburbs. Some YMCAs have special rooms or fitness center for kids & teens, and others are offering nutrition courses to get young people onto the right eating track.

The Y's hope to attract kids at a crucial age, between 11 and 13 years. At that time, kids can begin to distance themselves from parents, and experiment with things like smoking, drinking, and drugs.

Omoiye Kinney, communications director for the Philadelphia-area YMCAs, says, "Our goal is to get kids into our buildings, get them moving, keep them active, and introduce them to positive experiences and new people, to really direct them in a positive direction in their life."

Abbie Reynolds of Glen Mills, says, "I like to play basketball - a lot, because it's my favorite sport. When my Dad and I come here."

Her friend Kylie Young, likes to, "Go swimming, play basketball, hang out with my friends."

To register, 7th graders should go to a Y branch with a parent or guardian, and bring their shcool roster, school ID or report card. And they should have a 7th Grade Membership Initiative ticket, available at all branch locations and online at http://philaymca.org/join-the-y.