YMCA ACHIEVEMENT CENTER
At The Y, we believe in nurturing the potential of every child and teen by helping youth to cultivate the values, skills, and relationships that lead to positive behaviors, better health and achievement. It is because of this belief and shared focus on improving the community’s well-being that we have developed the YMCA Achievement Center at Hudson Memorial School, a youth development initiative designed to aid children in grades 6th, 7th and 8th establish skills to develop positive lifelong habits.
The YMCA Achievement Center is grounded in Positive Psychology and Positive Youth Development and as such focuses on the important role that positive experiences, relationships, and environments have on the development of youth. Research in these areas show that when children are in environments that make them feel good and build up their strengths they do better socially, emotionally, academically, and grow into successful adults. The YMCA Achievement Center is designed to help enhance the well-being of students while also buffering against potential problems and struggles that they might experience as they move through their teenage years. Each day, students in the program will participate in activities designed to help build self-esteem, enhance positive character traits, and foster a sense of belonging and support.
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How These Middle School Kids Are Learning Self-Confidence
The Y Achievement Center is grounded in Positive Psychology and Positive Youth Development. We’re teaching them about the power of doing nice things for other people. When we’re teaching them to be confident, it’s in character strengths we know tend to help people do well.
In a recent Education Week survey, nearly all teachers said they’d like to use a positive psychology approach like this one in their classrooms. But less than 20 percent said they have the resources.
The YMCA Achievement Center will help to develop sense of personal enrichment and achievement in students at HMS by meeting academic and social needs, creating a caring atmosphere, and providing a challenging positive psychology infused curriculum that targets the strengths and positive attributes of the students.
The YMCA Achievement Center will track changes and growth in students by administering student questionnaires centering around self-esteem, positive outlook and grit and comparing it to relevant student data such as attendance, behavior and grades before and after participation in the program. This information will also be collected from students not participating in the program so that comparisons can be made over time and across student populations (participants vs. non-participants).
By meeting the goals of the YMCA Achievement Center, we believe that the school community will experience improvement in grades, attendance, and behavior. We believe this because research shows that happier people are more productive, healthier, less stressed and have more positive social interactions.
The 60-day program is divided into three units that cover the major areas of positive psychology: positive emotions, positive cognitive states, and positive relationships. The specific content covered within each unit is outlined below.
Unit 1: Positive Emotions (Days 1-20)
– Identifying positive emotions
– Importance of positive emotions
– Experiencing positive emotions
– Staying happy
Unit 2: Positive Cognitive States (Days 21-40)
– Positive Character Traits
– Sense of Purpose/Meaning
Unit 3: Positive Relationships (Days 41-60)
– Random Acts of Kindness
Each class session is designed to provide students with knowledge and experiences that will help enhance the way they think and feel and how they get along with others. Below is a list of some of the types of activities that will be used to facilitate positive growth and development in the students:
- – Positive Psychology exercises
- – Videos
- – Short Readings
- – Self-Assessment Surveys
- – Journaling
- – Group Discussions/Peer Dialogue
- – Service Projects
This program is being run in partnership between the YMCA of Greater Nashua, the Hudson School District, and Rivier University.
Y Achievement Center Receives State Farm Neighborhood Assist Grant
1.8 Million votes were cast by 72,000 people in an effort to bring a $25k grant to their neighborhoods. State Farm is proud to announce that the YMCA of Greater Nashua will receive the grant to support the Y Achievement Center at the Hudson Middle School.
State Farm Neighborhood Assist is a crowd-sourced philanthropic program that empowers communities to identify issues in their neighborhoods. The affiliated nonprofits of the top 40 causes will each receive a $25,000 grant to create and execute a plan to address the cause. The top 40 causes represented 25 states from around the country.
The Y Achievement Center is grounded in Positive Psychology and Positive Youth Development and as such focuses on the important role that positive experiences, relationships, and environments have on the development of youth.
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