YWCA New Britain 2018 Annual Report

YWCA New Britain is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen our community.

Thank you for joining YWCA New Britain as we work toward equality for all while empowering women to be all they can be.

412 children ages 6 weeks to 12 years received quality care and education through our nationally-accredited childcare program, and parents were able to go to work knowing their children were safe, learning, and having fun.

60 mothers with children ages 6 months to 8 years who face social, economic, and educational barriers or have not completed high school participated in our Family Literacy Center.

For YWCA childcare students, 2018 was a year of fun, learning, and growth. They made smoothies, learned about fire safety, talked about families and feelings, took walks, and so much more.

Family Literacy students studied for their GED or learned English as a second language. Students participated in a variety of activities that will make it more fun to actively engage with their children. Some highlights of 2018 included a five-week nutrition class presented by UConn College of Agriculture and a six-week yoga class presented by Yoga for Change, a presentation by the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants, and a field trip both students and their children took to explore the workings of the State Capitol. In addition to studying for the GED or learning English, our students used technology to apply for jobs, citizenship papers and driver’s license permits. The three women who earned their GED in 2018 were given assistance to apply to colleges and help to fill out applications for scholarships.

93 children ages 4 to 11 years old joined our fun-filled Summer Sizzlers summer vacation camp.

145 students were given a safe, comfortable place to learn and have fun after school through the STRIVE program for middle school girls.

88 high school girls were served through the House of Teens teen center in 2018.

110 students had an engaging, comfortable, and stimulating place to spend their time before and after school.

STRIVE girls attended Central Connecticut State University’s “She Persisted” event with Chelsea Clinton. They painted “kindness rocks,” participated in therapeutic activities to help deal with emotions through art, and learned about safe dating and internet safety. Some girls have been taking part in Gardening Club, and others have been attending the Children With Incarcerated Parents Support Group.

Thanks to support from the Petit Family Foundation, STRIVE girls went to the Talcott Mountain Science Center twice a week to do fun and educational STEAM activities. Through these activities they created painting/animation projects that were presented at their end-of-program reception to parents, administrators and community partners.

The House of Teens found a new home in the new East Side Community Center. The program now offers the teens classes in stress management, career and college preparation, and nutrition classes from mentors from the Community Health Center thanks to the new programming space.

In addition to the many activities, experiences, and field trips that the House of Teens participated in, three young women from the center took a trip to Orlando, Florida to present about their program and advocacy work at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference.

For 52 weeks, beginning in January 2018, YWCA New Britain has been celebrating the inspirational women who have made an impact on our community. Those chosen for the 52 Weeks of Inspirational Women social media project inspired us through their leadership, hard work, philanthropy, and their determination to make a difference in the lives of others.

Every week, we posted a featured woman’s photo and biography on our social media accounts. We also asked each person to provide their answer to a variety of questions such as “who is your role model and why?” and “what is your favorite inspirational quote?”. You can view a compilation of their answers on our website.

Our followers on Facebook and Instagram have been given a small glimpse into the lives of these female leaders each week. Their biographies are a blueprint on how to become a four-term state Senator, President & CEO of a major charitable foundation, an award-winning photographer, or an executive director of a local nonprofit.

Our goal with this special initiative was to celebrate the strong and inspirational women that exemplify our mission at YWCA New Britain. Not only did we hope to recognize these deserving women, but we also hoped that reading about the many extraordinary women in our community would motivate others to follow their own personal, professional, and philanthropic passions.

606 gymnastics students, including 17 Xcel competition team members, took classes to gain sports skills and self-confidence, and to learn teamwork.

188 karate students learned self-defense, respect, coordination, and discipline.

532 dance students from our New Britain and Bristol dance studios displayed grace and beauty at the annual recital for over 1,000 spectators.

The School of Dance started a competition team! Master classes were open to anyone who wanted to try out for the team, and the final selection of 10 dancers was made after the spring recital. Dancers have been working hard to develop skills and learn their competition routines. The team hopes to be ready to compete in the spring.

The YWCA’s Youth Theater program performed its premiere production of Mary Poppins, Jr. at Trinity-On-Main in New Britain.

All of the YWCA Xcel Gymnastics Team gymnasts qualified for their divisions' State Championship Competition.

Our karate program has continued to grow and our athletes continue to improve their skills. Not only are they advancing within our class structure, but also with the belting system used by our program. We are planning to host our first karate tournament with our athletes and those from surrounding schools in 2019.

YWCA’s annual Stand Against Racism was held in April at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). Stand Against Racism is a signature campaign of YWCA USA to build community among those who work for racial justice and to raise awareness about the negative impact of institutional and structural racism in our communities. This campaign is one element of our national strategy to fulfill our mission of eliminating racism. Over 750 events take place across the country for the Stand Against Racism, including public policy advocacy, community education, and public proclamations.

In April, the YWCA Stand Against Racism event brought much needed attention and ideas to the New Britain community about how to heal trauma caused by urban renewal.

Dr. Mindy Thompson Fullilove, a professor of clinical psychiatry and clinical social medical sciences at The New School and author of Urban Alchemy: Restoring Joy in America's Sorted-Out Cities, connected urban revitalization efforts to health issues in populations that are most affected by these decisions- poor populations and people of color. She gave examples of trauma-informed urban planning that uplifted communities after they had been divided by these kinds of historical decisions. Dr. Fullilove used an example of her own work on High Bridge Park, an old aqueduct spanning the Harlem River that connects Manhattan to the Bronx and how opening this connection transformed a park that was once known as a lethally dangerous place. Read more about the event. Read more about the event.

1,272 people received comfort, compassion and counseling provided by SACS, helping victims and their families regain feelings of independence, optimism, and hope.

6,747 is the number of hours SACS volunteers contributed to help survivors of sexual assault.

120 presentations were given to groups through outreach and prevention trainings.

41 students completed Counselor Advocate Training classes, gaining the training and experience needed to provide supportive counseling and advocacy to sexual assault survivors.

YWCA New Britain's Sexual Assault Crisis Service (SACS) covers a 46-town region - all of Hartford County, part of Tolland County and the town of Plymouth. We offer assistance to sexual assault survivors and their loved ones. These services are critical after such trauma, helping victims and their families regain feelings of independence, optimism and hope. The advocates on staff are trained to work with hospital staff, the court system, public safety officers and other counselors assisting their clients.

In addition, we provide prevention education for all age groups from kindergarten through corporate environments.

We gathered together staff, volunteers, board members, and friends to celebrate YWCA's successes at our Annual Meeting. We recognized outstanding volunteers and the invaluable work they do for us. This year awards were presented to Thalia Colon by the childcare department, Lelania Lebrun by the Family Literacy Center, Peter Doucette by our Sexual Assault Crisis Service, and Stacey Ormsby by our administrative office.

Our 25th Annual Evening of Treasures Auction had a Denim & Diamonds theme this year, and raised over $68,000 for YWCA programs and services.

Our dance department participated in the Bristol Mum Parade, performed “Thriller” on Halloween in downtown New Britain and in Plainville, and took part in the New Britain Tree Lighting Ceremony.

In the fall, YWCA Fitness held its annual Fall Family Festival. The Fall Family Festival was a family-friendly event that included healthy activities for all ages to enjoy. Pumpkin painting, healthy seasonal refreshments, crafts, and a bounce house were a few activities to choose from.

In December, we hosted a Winter Wonderland event which included vendors for holiday shopping, pictures with Santa, kid’s activities and ended in our holiday show performance of “Holidays Around the World.”

The House of Teens participated in a PhotoVoice project with the topic of “Community Safety.” PhotoVoice is a photojournalism project that empowers youth to identify barriers to health and advocate for change. The girls used digital cameras to take pictures of safety concerns in their neighborhoods, created a digital media presentation, and put together a script to present to various stakeholders that have the power to make changes to solve the problem.

We wouldn’t exist without our supporters. The life-changing services and programs we provide are made possible because of your generosity, enthusiasm, and dedication. A heart felt thank you to our volunteers and donors for believing in us.

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