At the Y, we understand that young people face many challenges during adolescence and need the support and compassion of parents, teachers, friends and other positive role models to navigate an often daunting journey. In fact, statistics show that seventh-grade in particular is a critical time in a young person’s life when exposure to risk factors greatly increases. The Y’s 7th Grade Initiative (7GI) gives kids an opportunity to learn, grow and thrive by sharing in healthy, confidence-building activities and programs in a safe setting.

Launched as a collective effort among New Jersey YMCAs in 2008, the 7th Grade Initiative encourages teens to maintain and/or adopt healthy lifestyles at an age when they are beginning to make their own choice regarding health and wellness. The Princeton YMCA is one of more than 20 YMCAs that offers the program.

For the upcoming school year, the Princeton YMCA will once again offer rising seventh graders a free YMCA membership as part of the 7th Grade Initiative. A membership includes access to the YMCA including a pool, gymnasium, wellness center featuring cardio and strength equipment, and group exercise classes designed just for youth.

To participate, registration with proof of enrollment in the 7th grade and parent permissions are required. Seventh graders must complete an orientation to use the wellness center and equipment, and commit to a Code of Conduct with a full understanding of the YMCA’s rules and expectations.



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