|Description of Agency||Since 1908, YWCA Tri-County Area has empowered women, girls and families. From early education and youth development to adult education and advocacy for racial and social justice, every program is related to our core mission.
YWCA Tri-County Area serves more than 1,500 women, children, and families as an educational organization that is empowering and inclusive, providing programs which encourage individuals to learn, grow, become, and take a stand. Our goal is to help families in the Tri-County Area achieve optimal social and emotional health, wellness, and success. Deeply rooted in our community, YWCA Tri-County Area is committed to giving women, girls, and families a voice, and to ensuring their voices are heard through advocacy for the health and safety of women and girls, empowerment and economic opportunity for women and girls, and racial and social equity.
The YW Early Education Center helps children and families achieve emotional and physical well-being and school readiness through affordable, high-quality preschool education. More than 100 children ages 6 weeks to 6 years old are enrolled in the infant, toddler, preschool, two Early Head Start and two Pre-K Counts classrooms. Classroom teachers and aides utilize Creative Curriculum and Teaching Strategies GOLD for Early Education assessment tools to ensure children are meeting age-appropriate milestones. Children are also screened using Ages and Stages Questionnaire to facilitate appropriate early intervention and behavioral support. YW Early Education Center is a Keystone STARS 4 facility.
The YW’s Community Kitchen was renovated in 2017 to provide daily meals and snacks for early education classes and before- and after-school programming.
Youth Development programming includes:
• Before/After School, enrichment for 65 children K-6, includes homework help and tutoring, physical education, creative expression, and STEM exploration. As primarily academic-focused after-school care, students improve academic skills through homework assistance, one-on-one tutoring to enhance reading and math skills, and working through science projects. The program establishes a routine for academic success, provides time and materials for silent, sustained reading, supports positive learning outcomes, and delivers a safe and structured environment for children between the time school ends and when parents are finished with their workday.
• The learning continues throughout the summer with YWCampAdventures, a full-time day camp offered to children ages 4-12. YWCampAdventures offers opportunities for children to spend their summer days exploring, creating, and learning. Campers spend time outdoors, hiking, learning about the natural environment and their role in it, and enjoying both instructional and free time in the pool.
• Healthy Pathways Project is a multi-pronged health and wellness program for adolescent girls, youth, and their families in focused programming such as Healthy Choices for Girls, Fun Food Fridays, Family Cooking Matters, and YW Champs. Healthy Pathways Project emphasizes nutrition education, wellness classes, movement, and leadership opportunities, raising awareness of healthy lifestyle changes for youth and their families. The primary program goals are: improving healthy behaviors; healthy choices/decision making; and leadership/advocacy. The Healthy Pathways Project, established in 2006, serves more than 250 youth.
• Girls Today, Leaders Tomorrow (GTLT) is the signature program of the Women’s Initiative Committee of the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey that empowers girls in grades 7 through 12 who attend targeted schools in underserved communities to embrace their leadership potential, helping them to become self-directed, self-regulated learners who stay on track for graduation from high school prepared for college and career. YWCA Tri-County Area hosts 21 girls in GTLT in two cohorts.
• All.Girl! Wellness and Leadership Convention is a one-day conference each February at Montgomery County Community College's West Campus designed to enrich and energize girls in grades 3-12 on topics of nutrition, fitness, and leadership. Participants choose from four age-appropriate interactive breakout sessions facilitated by professional women.
• Keep Connected is a two-year pilot funded by the Search Institute for families with middle school children. YWCA Tri-County Area was one of five sites selected to offer this relationship-building program for Pottstown area families. Participants discover five keys to powerful parent-teen relationships, learn practical ways to show care and support, try ways to share power between parent and child, explore new possibilities for child and parent’s future, and celebrate the family’s journey together into the teen years.
YW's Education and Training Center empowers adult learners to find freedom and dignity through education and employment. The Education and Training Center offers Adult Basic Education, high school equivalency preparation and testing, and English as a Second Language/Civics instruction. Adult learners improve reading, math, and writing skills, and prepare for high school equivalency testing in a classroom setting, in small groups, or in custom one-on-one sessions. English as a Second Language instruction helps recent immigrants improve their speaking, reading, and writing in English, and their knowledge of U.S. civics; staff also assists people with the U.S. citizenship application process, helping with form completion and interview preparation. The Job Seekers Connection provides guidance in crafting resumes, writing cover letters, determining best job search strategies, practicing for job interviews, building soft employment skills. YWCA Tri-County Area partners with Pennsylvania CareerLink to offer monthly "Welcome Aboard" orientation sessions in Pottstown, erasing transportation barriers to this initial step for Pottstown residents seeking job search assistance from the state’s workforce development program.
YWCA Tri-County Area's mission-based advocacy programming raises awareness, offers issue education, and builds social capital around women's empowerment, racial and social justice and equity, and safe and healthy communities. Teen Dating Violence Awareness assemblies allow teens to ask questions about emotional, social, and physical abuse. Stand Against Racism takes the message of racial and social justice to area high schools. Race Against Racism, an annual 5K run, brings the community together in an outdoor event. The annual Tribute to Exceptional Women honors women for their accomplishments in their careers and in the community, and Tribute to Exceptional Girls honors girls for their achievements in school and in the community. One-time events, such as the Unity Vigil for Charlottesville in August 2017, energize community members into making their world a more equitable place.
|Mission||YWCA Tri-County Area is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.|
|History||YWCA is the nation's oldest and largest women's multicultural membership organization, reaching women in 109 countries and at 300 locations in the United States. Its mission is to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.
YWCA Tri-County Area was founded as YWCA of Pottstown in a two-story frame building in 1908. Its original focus was to provide safe housing for young girls and women who were homeless, or who had come to Pottstown to work in the town's factories. After moving to its current home at 315 King Street in 1913, YWCA continued to house women and girls as both permanent and transient residents, fed hungry families, and added educational programs in sewing, language arts, home nursing and public speaking, recreational teams in basketball, roller skating and gymnastics, and special interest clubs. Over the years, services expanded and adapted to meet the changing needs of girls and women in the community. Maternal health and well-baby clinics appeared, summer camps were added for girls, and special services such as “industrial clubs" and professional networking were featured for girls and women working in factories and businesses.
In 1946 YWCA nationally began working for integration throughout the entire organization, adopting an "interracial charter" that established that "wherever there is injustice on the basis of race, whether in the community, the nation, or the world, our protest must be clear and our labor for its removal, vigorous, and steady." That work culminated in the addition of the "elimination of racism" to the mission statement in 1970. Locally, YWCA Tri-County Area invited youth of all races and ethnicities to gather together for dances, other social occasions, and community service projects.
Today, YWCA Tri-County Area remains a leader in advocating for girls and women, and families providing quality programs and services designed to support and enrich the community. Direct service programming includes early childhood education, before- and after-school enrichment, youth/girls’ development, adult education, and workforce development. Mission-based advocacy efforts raise awareness, offer issue education, and build social capital around women's empowerment, racial, social, and educational equity, and safe and healthy communities.
|Geographic Area||Montgomery, Chester and Berks counties|
|Public Transportation||Accessible by SEPTA Route 93 and multiple PART routes.|
|Hours of Operation||Please Call|
|Contact's Name||Ms. Jean Kowalski|
|Contact's Position||Development Manager|
|Physical Site Address 1||315 King Street|
|Physical Site City, State, Zip||Pottstown, PA 19464|
|Director's Name||Ms. Stacey Woodland|
|Director's Phone||610-323-1888 ext 200|
Affiliated Programs and Services
YWCA Tri-County Area
YWCA Education and Training Center - Montgomery - Pottstown
YWCA Tri-County Area 315 King Street
YWCA Tri-County Area Early Education Center - Royersford
YWCA Tri- County Area - Montgomery; Pottstown (300 King Street)
Adult Education and Training Center
English as Second Language (ESL)
YWCA Early Education Center
YWCA Tri - County Area Before/After School Program - Pottstown Center
YWCA Tri-County Area - Healthy Choices for Girls - Montgomery - Pottstown
YWCA Tri - County Area Healthy Pathways Project - Pottstown
YWCA Tri - County Area Women's Empowerment Programs - Pottstown
YWCA Tri - County Area YWCampAdventures