The YMCA of Delaware is now offering free one-year memberships to students in the seventh grade who live or attend a school in the state of Delaware. To register, students need to bring a school ID, class roster, or recent report card along with a parent or guardian to a local YMCA branch. After registering, seventh-graders will have the opportunity to use the YMCA’s facilities to swim, play in the gym, work out in the fitness center, participate in a group exercise class, or enjoy teen activities. Additionally, students have the chance to participate in YMCA youth programs, classes and sports.
“Seventh grade is a transitional time for many youth. At the Y we think it’s crucial to set the foundation for a healthy lifestyle at a young age,” said Jim Kelly, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the YMCA of Delaware. “Around this age, kids are usually given more freedom to choose how they spend their free time and we want to encourage kids to make good decisions and form healthy habits.”
As young people become exposed to adolescent challenges, they are more likely to begin distancing themselves from formal organizations, friends and family to experiment with unhealthy behaviors. The Seventh Grade initiative offers an alternative, where they can make new friends while staying active and also avoiding exposure to counter-productive behaviors.