The mission of YWCA Tri-County Area is to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.
YWCA Tri-County Area serves more than 1,500 women, children, and families with an annual budget of $4.7 million as an educational organization that is empowering and inclusive, providing programs which encourage individuals to learn, grow, become, and take a stand. The Tri-County Area is bounded by a 10‐mile radius centered in Pottstown Borough. Target communities include all or part of the eight public school districts surrounding Pottstown: Pottstown, Pottsgrove, Spring-Ford, Norristown, Perkiomen Valley, Owen J. Roberts, Boyertown, and Daniel Boone.
YW’s educational programming reflects a three-tiered Theory of Change designed to improve social and economic mobility: direct service, issue education, and advocacy. YW's Theory of Change also operates under the foundational belief that social problems should be addressed on multiple levels. YWCA Tri-County Area takes a holistic view of the families it serves, offering information and referral, adult education, and job readiness assistance to the parents and guardians of youth participating in educational and enrichment programs. YWCA Tri-County Area also engages families regularly through events designed to bring our community together for enrichment and education.
YW Early Education Center helps children and families achieve emotional and physical well-being and school readiness through affordable, high-quality preschool education. More than 120 children ages 6 months to 6 years old are enrolled in the infant/toddler, preschool, Early Head Start, and Pre-K Counts classrooms. Classroom teachers and aides utilize Creative Curriculum and Teaching Strategies Gold to ensure children are meeting age-appropriate milestones. Children are screened using Ages and Stages Questionnaire to facilitate appropriate early intervention and behavioral support. Teachers also use Conscious Discipline as social-emotional modeling guidelines. YW Early Education Center in Pottstown is a Keystone STARS 4 facility. The learning continues throughout the summer with Camp Adventures, a full-time day camp offered to children ages 4-12.
Youth Empowerment Program is a multi-faceted initiative to help youth build the skills, habits, and knowledge needed for success in school and beyond. A variety of age-appropriate activities promote health and wellness, social/emotional learning and life skills, STEM enrichment, career and college exploration and readiness, and parent engagement.
Adult Education and Training Centers in Pottstown and Norristown empower adult learners to find freedom and dignity through education and readiness for living wage employment. The Education and Training Center offers Adult Basic Education, high school equivalency preparation and testing, and English as a Second Language/Civics instruction. Adult learners improve reading, math, and writing skills, and prepare for high school equivalency testing in a classroom setting, in small groups, or in custom one-on-one sessions. English as a Second Language instruction helps non-native English speakers improve their speaking, reading, and writing in English, and their knowledge of U.S. civics; staff also assists people with the U.S. citizenship application process, helping with form completion and interview preparation. Case managers work one-on-one with adult learners to address barriers to achieving educational and career goals, and offers guidance in building soft employment skills. The program currently serves 150 adult learners.
Foster Grandparents Program, a program of the federal Corporation for National and Community Service’s Senior Corps matches adults 55 and older with children in their schools to provide mentoring and educational support. The program currently has matched 35 Foster Grandparents with 55 children; over three years, the program will grow to match 79 Foster Grandparents with up to 200 children throughout Montgomery County.
Mission-based advocacy raises awareness, offers issue education, and builds social capital around women's empowerment, racial and social justice and inequities, and safe and healthy communities.
YW takes a program-informed approach to its advocacy, drawing on the expertise and resources of the national organization and focusing on the practical solutions that meet the needs of women, girls and families in the marginalized communities we serve.
• Centering Women and Girls of Color: YW advocates for legislation and policies that are important for all women, but that are specifically and particularly important for women and girls of color. We center women and girls of color in our advocacy by highlighting their needs, concerns and voices in policy and systems-change discussions. We recognize that improving outcomes and enhancing opportunity for the most marginalized and vulnerable women and girls in our communities will benefit all women and girls.
• Inclusive and Intersectional: YWCA takes an inclusive and intersectional approach, recognizing that equity and opportunity for girls and women are directly impacted by the compounding impact of race, ethnicity, gender and socio-economic factors and that progress for women and girls must be in alliance with other marginalized communities.
• Youth Focused: Teen Dating Violence Awareness assemblies allow teens to ask questions about emotional, social, and physical abuse. Stand Against Racism takes the message of racial and social justice to area high schools.