Yes! The Y IS focused on education.
But isn’t the Y about exercise, swimming and all things health-related? Yes, again! The Y believes that good health is central to a happy, thriving community and we work every day to contribute to better health and promote health equity.
The Y also recognizes that health and education are inextricably linked and that education is fundamental to a strong community. The YMCA of Greater Louisville has been serving our community for more than 160 years and its focus on education is not new.
The YMCA Black Achievers, Y-Cap and Diamond Programs teach leadership and interpersonal skills to help middle and high school students reach their full potential. The summer learning program helps prevent learning loss among elementary school students. These programs, and others like them, address achievement gap issues, incorporate physical activity and they all operate in partnership with our local school systems.
“Better education leads to better health, and accessibility to these things is critical. The choices people make are the choices people have,” said Steve Tarver, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Louisville.
The Y broke ground on a new $28 million facility in west Louisville on October 19, in an effort to extend accessibility and address health inequities in that part of our community. The official name of this new facility will be the Republic Bank Foundation YMCA, located at 1700 West Broadway; and it is scheduled to open mid-2019.
This monumental project would not have been possible without collaborating charter partners who are committed to helping usher in generational change through a special emphasis on health and education. The 77,500 square foot YMCA will be home to Norton Healthcare, Republic Bank, ProRehab Physical Therapy and Family & Children’s Place. Each of these partners will provide essential services in an underserved area of our community:
Norton Healthcare will bring a medical home to the community that will provide quality healthcare and clinical services. The medical staff will focus on creating new relationships between health care providers, patients and families to improve health.
Republic Bank will provide traditional banking services in addition to financial empowerment education and training.
ProRehab will provide physical therapy services that produce long-lasting outcomes without surgery, medication, or diagnostic imaging to patients.
Family & Children’s Place plans to provide support, counseling and therapy to children and families seeking to recover from child physical and sexual abuse, community and family violence, crime and other types of trauma, to residents in west Louisville.
The Y and these charter partners are committed to creating a healthier and better-educated Louisville and to providing opportunities for our families and children to experience a sense of health and well-being.
“Although the YMCA is not considered a newcomer to the neighborhood, this new building and community resource will bring us closer to the communities we serve,” said Tarver. “Our vision is to create community-integrated health through the lens of health equity, in alignment with the Y’s overall mission. Our commitment to west Louisville is cemented by our ability to collaborate with our partners who each bring vital, much needed resources to this area.”
Another truly exciting aspect of this west Louisville collaboration is the newly formed partnership with nearby Roosevelt-Perry and Wheatley Elementary Schools. Both schools were well represented at the recent groundbreaking and both students and administrators eagerly anticipate becoming immersed in Y programs.
The school partnerships will be modeled after the success of the YMCA of Norton Commons, where students at Norton Commons Elementary engage in Y programs and both buildings share a common gymnasium. While these elementary schools will not be physically connected to the new west Louisville Y, the proximity will foster partnerships that will benefit the students as well as the entire California, Russell and Parkland neighborhoods and beyond.
The Y wants to help our community foster healthy behaviors for everyone with an emphasis on improving nutrition and increasing opportunities for physical activity, thereby contributing to a reduction in chronic disease and improving quality of life. This can be accomplished through education and the Y’s commitment to healthy communities.
Supporting the good health and education of our community is just one way the Y works to build stronger communities. Always working through the lens of its four core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility, the Y provides equal access for all.