The YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh is excited to take the Y to the streets. Since its launch in 2016, Y on the Fly has been serving as a mobile YMCA that brings pop-up summer camp activities, learning and fun to children in underserved neighborhoods. Beginning in summer 2019, the program will expand to two vans, which will each visit two locations a day for 36 weeks.
Through partnerships with community organizations, the vans will pop up at a wide range of spaces from libraries to feeding centers, with special attention to areas that have limited options for safe recreation. Vans are filled with parachutes, kick balls and more so counselors can facilitate 60 minutes full of fun activities. Children also receive a 30-minute healthy snack instruction so they can be equipped to make healthier decisions all year long and walk away with a tasty, fueling treat.
Also new in 2019 is the addition of Hope For All programming to the Y on the Fly stops. While children are taking part in healthy living programming, parents and guardians can learn about the services provided by Hope For All, such as free income tax preparation, assistance with benefits applications and access to the Homewood-Brushton YMCA food pantry.
“The YMCA believes that all children deserve access to resources that help them grow stronger and healthier no matter where they’re located,” said Kevin Bolding, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh. “The Y is committed to the entire Greater Pittsburgh community which is why we are working to deliver resources to all of our neighbors, including those beyond the physical walls of the Y. With two “Y on the Fly” vans, we’ll be able to expand our reach by bringing programming to more than 500 locations in 2019.”
The program, which is free and open to kids of all ages, is a continuation of the Y’s effort to fill gaps in communities where there is not a physical YMCA building. The organization is heavily invested in partnering with organizations and officials to identify and service needs in neighborhoods across the city for a stronger, healthier Pittsburgh.
Follow Y on the Fly on Facebook to find dates and locations in your neighborhood.