This year, we have continued to innovate and strengthen our partnerships. By joining forces with other organizations, we can best serve our community. Over that past year we’ve worked collaboratively with organizations to ensure our community has access to important community resources. Some of these partners include:
• Childcare Network of Evanston
• City of Evanston
• Cradle to Career
• Connections for the Homeless
• Evanston/Skokie School District 65
• Evanston Township High School District 202
• Family Action Network
• Family Focus
• Northwestern University
INVESTING IN INFRASTRUCTURE
With some facilities dating back to the 1920s, McGaw is continuing the master planning work initiated in 2016 by strategically investing in our facilities on an annual and long-term basis. Each year we make updates to the Children’s Center, including a recent renovation of its Tot Lot, and this past year, Camp Echo began a multi-year fundraising initiative to update its physical structures. Our longstanding Men’s Residence program will also be starting a fundraising effort to update our historic building for current and future tenants.
SUSTAINING SUPPORT: CELEBRATING LOYALTY
The McGaw Y celebrates 133 years in November 2018 and we are already making plans for the next century and beyond. Planning for the future is possible because of the sustaining support of the Aiken-Talley Society (ATS), a community of loyal donors who have given consistently for ten or more years, made a gift to the endowment, or included McGaw in their estate planning. This year, the most significant addition to the ATS was a $2 million endowment gift from The Davee Foundation, which will benefit fee assistance for both the Men’s Residence and Camp Echo. This generous gift will help provide financial assistance in perpetuity.
staying in touch
McGaw is about access, equity and meeting our community where they are—even when it comes to technology. In early 2019, we will launch a new website that is both user-friendly and mobile-compatible. This new level of functionality will make for easier registration, offer ADA accessibility, and integrate our social media channels. We are eager to host you in person, and also connect with you online.
EARLY CHILDHOOD & SCHOOL AGE
At the Children’s Center, we are a leading provider of year-round, high-quality education for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Recognized by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), we nurture development through age-appropriate curriculum and play-based learning. We give school-age kids support when they need it—after school and over the summer—closing the learning gap for more than 200 youth. We reach across Evanston, serving youth at our main campus on Maple, Head Start and School’s Out at the Foster Family Focus building, and several additional sites during summer.
MetaMedia, our free maker space for middle school students, has mentors who inspire youth to explore creativity through the digital arts and concepts based on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). This year, hundreds of youth developed skills for success in life right here at the McGaw Y. Our commitment to youth in Evanston is a key component of our mission. We have been consistent in offering programs designed to positively affect young people through hands-on learning, social-emotional connection, and mentorship—these are the building blocks for gaining confidence, staying motivated and overcoming obstacles.
Our free maker space for middle school students continues its partnership with Northwestern University. This safe, inspiring learning space brings together traditional artisans and technical creators to explore STEM concepts and express themselves in the digital arts. During the school year, we also piloted four new programs:
• Science Club In partnership with Science in Society, 16 students worked with a Northwestern mentor to experiment and present science projects to their peers and judges in three separate science fairs.
• MetaMakes Over the course of eight weeks, 52 youths gained exposure to thematic STEAM-based exploration and creation.
• MetaExplorers During summer break, 32 makers explored different avenues of STEAM and problem solving.
• Digital Divas This 16-week program supported 24 girls in the development of STEM identities. Participants worked face-to-face and online to design, create and re-imagine everyday artifacts and activities.
This summer, we offered the third annual MetaMedia Summer Experience (MSX), a free program designed to engage youth in entrepreneurship, invention and STEM. MSX strategically targeted 25 students to explore, build and brand their own inventions focused on environmentalism and sustainability. They then presented their projects to a panel of judges.
CAMP ECHO & DAY CAMP
Summer means exploration at the McGaw Y. All our camps offer everyone the opportunity to discover new activities, develop new friendships, and make lasting memories. Camp Echo is an overnight immersion experience that instills in youth a connection to community and the environment around us, while building independence and self-assurance. This year, thanks to $1.9 million raised as part of its ongoing gift initiative, new cabins were built to serve even more campers. The Children’s Center day camps enrolled over a thousand children, ages 5–12 from every neighborhood in Evanston, who enjoyed themed activities in science, nature, art, and of course, swimming.
Lifelong swimming begins at McGaw. Starting with the youngest swimmers all the way through adults, we nurture a love of the water. Aquatics is integrated in early childhood and after school programming at the Children’s Center and during summer 2018, we provided grant-funded swim lessons to over 100 youth in our community. Taking confidence in the water to another level, our 230 MYST swimmers won the 2018 Chicago YMCA District Swim Meet. Our pools are the place to be for all ages and abilities, facilitating a community of safe, strong swimmers.
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Our Wellness Center continues to offer members broad access to the best in fitness. From our state-of-the art cardio equipment, cycling studio and heated pools, to our expanded range of high-quality group classes, there is something for everyone here. All ages can improve their health with affordable access to expert personal trainers and specialized massage therapists who promote well-being of mind, body and spirit. The McGaw Y is proud to be a supportive, comfortable and non-judgmental environment for fitness.
The McGaw Y athletic philosophy is based on the YMCA’s seven pillars of play: Safety First, Everyone Plays, Fair Play, Positive Competition, Family Involvement, Sport for All, and Sport for Fun. For youth, we focus on building basic skills, teaching good technique, and emphasizing our core values of respect, caring, honesty and responsibility. Our adult sports leagues provide an opportunity engage in an active community, thereby promoting a healthy lifestyle.
access & equity for all
When we welcome members to the McGaw Y, they become part of our family. Here at McGaw, members can improve their health and well-being to bring meaningful change into their lives. Our programming is designed to support, encourage and uplift participants of all ages and backgrounds. We’re proud of our commitment to serve this diverse group of people, offering the Membership for All rate system based on household income and family size.
The need for affordable housing has been constant, but how we approach it has evolved. McGaw is providing more than just a safe environment for men, we are meeting their social, emotional and life-skills needs to support a better quality of life. Here, they feel a sense of security, belonging, a connection to community. Essentially, we allow our residents to create a home. It is this holistic intention that makes McGaw singular in its approach and a leader in providing a life-changing affordable housing experience in Evanston.
Volunteers make the McGaw Y a trusted pillar of this community. We truly value the gift of time that so many people give—as mentors, swim instructors, coaches, program advisors, front desk staff, and more. We empower our volunteers to make a difference by providing opportunities to serve on committees, help Camp Echo, participate in events, and support fundraising at the McGaw Y and around Evanston.
When you give to the McGaw Y, not only are you elevating our mission and values, you are providing opportunity and access for the entire community. This year’s expansion of our most loyal and long-term donor group, the Aiken-Tally Society, allows the impact of such generosity to continue well into the future.