Generous donation enables Y to keep more teens engaged and safe in and around the Plaistow area during out of school time

Plaistow, MA – Teens in Plaistow  have a safe place to spend their afterschool and summer afternoons and evenings thanks to the Walmart Foundation/New Hampshire State Giving Advisory Council. The Plaistow Community YMCA received a $25,000 grant from the Foundation to implement comprehensive programming for teens during out-of­school time.

This summer, approximately 150 teens enjoyed the gym, fitness center, games, activities, camp, and more at the Y.  Teen Nights, dances, and volunteer opportunities will keep them busy throughout the upcoming school year as well.  “This funding has allowed us to focus staff resources to develop programming and activities that will bring teens to the Y for fun,” said Tracy Fuller, Regional Executive Director of the Plaistow Community YMCA and the Haverhill YMCA. 

Studies show that teens are most at-risk for negative behavior and substance use when they are unsupervised and in groups.  Y leaders have long promoted that organized activities in a supervised setting is key to keeping teens engaged, interested, and away from risky behavior.

In addition to establishing organized activities for teens, Y staff continue to foster positive, cooperative relationships with leaders of the Timberlane School District and local business leaders for volunteer opportunities and other partnerships.

This Fall, in partnership with the Southern Rockingham Coalition For Healthy Youth, the Y will offer special events focused on drug prevention, anti-bullying, and other topics affecting teens. Additionally, the Y’s Teen Leaders Club will assume a more hands-on role in planning teen activities and special events to ensure interest and ownership, culminating in peer leadership and eventually peer mentoring. 

“We are so thankful for this Walmart grant that has enabled us to expand teen programming, allowing us to play a role in keeping teens off of the streets and engaged in healthy activities and positive behaviors,” said Fuller. “In an effort to reach more teens, we are seeking additional funders to continue this programming and to establish steady drop-in hours during the school year,” she added.

About the Y

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. For over 150 years, the YMCA of the North Shore has been strengthening the foundations of community for the more than 40,000 members it serves in 25 cities and towns. We nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being and provide opportunities to give back and support our neighbors; regardless of age, race, ethnicity or socio-economic background.