Reflecting on my time years ago working as a Program Director, I appreciated opportunities to learn from my peers across our state and region.  I learned so much from round table discussions with those that were delivering programs similar to mine. 

There is no better way to deliver our collective impact across the state than to align consistent, high-quality programs.  We have an emerging opportunity to identify how our state alliance might collaborate with the YMCA Professional Network (YPN), formerly known as AYP, to form affinity groups in aquatics, before and afterschool, day camp, resident camp, health and wellness, membership, sports, and teens. Strong affinity groups involving every YMCA across our state and region will provide our program staff opportunities to learn from one another.

Right now, we convene affinity groups similarly at our twice-yearly neighborhood meetings. Our YMCA staff who attend these neighborhood meetings consistently rank affinity group time as the most valuable part of those meetings. It only makes sense to build on this success with this partnership with YPN to make an intentional commitment to strengthen these affinity group gatherings.

To make these affinity groups the best they can be, we need your input. Will you tell us how you could envision YPN and our current affinity group gatherings at neighborhood meetings merging or evolving to make that experience a top notch way to share best practices and help your Y be as strong as it can be in each of these program areas? Please email Sheree or me with ideas you may have. We look forward to hearing from you.