YMCA offers free memberships to all seventh-graders

School-year memberships aim to provide healthy activities to local youth

By Ben Olson
Reader Staff

Beginning Sunday, Sept. 1, all students entering seventh  grade in the Inland Northwest will have free access to YMCAs in the region through Aug. 31, 2020. 

“At the YMCA of the Inland Northwest we understand the challenges youth face during adolescence and the need for supportive role models to help them during this time, and beyond,” YMCA stated in a press release. “The YMCA provides a safe space for pre-teens to build character, engage in healthy activities and build meaningful relationships with peers and caring adults. Our goal is to encourage teens to maintain and/or adopt healthy habits to last a lifetime.”

According to YMCA, statistics show that seventh grade is a critical time in a young person’s life when exposure to risk factors greatly increase. The seventh-grade initiative will kids an opportunity to learn, grow and thrive by participating in healthy, confidence-building activities and programs in a safe environment.

“The YMCA is dedicated to providing vital resources for all ages, and this new initiative will help local youth discover their passions and help them succeed in school,” said Christine Brischle, vice president of membership operations with YMCA of the Inland Northwest. “We look forward to being an important piece of the larger framework that contributes to the success of all children in our region. We can’t wait to get started and welcome our new youth to the YMCA.”

Included with the free membership is access to the teen/youth activity centers; the climbing wall and skate park (Memorial Day through Labor Day) at the Spokane Valley Y; and all aquatic centers including lap pools, recreation pools, lazy river, water slides and more. Also included is access to the gymnasium and wellness floors, group exercise classes and discounts on selected programs. Some amenities may not be available at all locations.

Those interested in the free membership program are encouraged to visit any regional YMCA to complete a membership application while accompanied by a parent or guardian who must also sign. All youth must adhere to the member code of conduct and YMCA values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. The YMCA is a drug, alcohol, weapons, tobacco and vaping free zone.

Regional YMCAs include: Central Spokane, North Spokane, Spokane Valley, South Spokane and Litehouse YMCA Sandpoint. Visit ymcainw.org for more information.

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