South Shore YMCA March Inclusion Newsletter
Perspectives on Inclusion
Come celebrate the artists and arts at our first-ever Inclusion Art Gallery Opening Event!

Thursday, March 31st
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Laura's Center for the Arts

Learn more!
SSYMCA Hoopstars Unified Basketball Team is ready to play ball!

All are invited to cheer on our home teams:

March 8th, 2016
6:30 p.m.
Emilson Branch

Tournament Games
March 26, 2016
1:00 p.m.
Quincy Branch

For more information, contact Lisa Drennan at or (781) 264-9400 x 3119.
Share the News!
Love our newsletter? Why not share it with a friend or colleague! Forward this link and ask them to join our email distribution list to stay updated with what's going on at the South Shore YMCA!
CAMP - It's For Everyone!

Day Camp Inclusion supports are available for the traditional camp experience. Partnering with the National Inclusion Project (see story below), The South Shore YMCA is proud to offer inclusion supports at our Camp Gordon Clark, Quincy YMCA Camp and Nature Adventure Camp locations. For more information, view our Camp Brochure. For more information or to schedule a screening, contact Emmy Casagrande, Inclusion Coordinator, at or (781) 829-8585 x 8347.
Save the Date
South Shore YMCA's Second Annual
Inclusion Awareness Week
April 24-30, 2016

We are proud to announce our feature event, an Inclusion Employment Forum: "Benefits of a Diverse Workforce." In partnership with the South Shore Chamber, South Shore Young Professionals and South Shore Collaborative on Employment, this event features Keynote Speaker Leo Vercollone, President & CEO of VERC Enterprises. Sponsored by Commonwealth Financial Group, this event will take place on Wednesday, April 27, 2016. For more information, view our flyer.
Spring is Just Around the Corner!
We are excited about our line-up of inclusion offerings at our Quincy and Emilson branches this spring! Look for more information to come in our April newsletter. In the meantime, don't forget to check out our webpage!
Inclusion News
Emilson YMCA Hosts Wheelchair Tennis Clinic!

On Saturday, February 20th, 12 eager adults and teens gathered at the Y's Emilson Branch to attend its Wheelchair Tennis Clinic, which was held in partnership with Spaulding Adaptive Sports Centers, Wheelchair Sports Federation and South Coast Wheelchair Tennis Foundation. The clinic welcomed people of all ages, experience levels and abilities to learn wheelchair tennis in a fun and supportive environment.

Over the course of three hours, both individuals who use a wheelchair and able-bodied athletes learned basic wheelchair maneuver skills before being taught a series of tennis stroke skills by instructors. Y Staff Tennis Pros, including Lucy Dickman and Martha DiGregorio, Assistant Tennis Director Brandon Benbenek, and the South Shore YMCA's Association Director of Inclusion, Lisa Drennan, also took to the chairs on test runs to understand what these athletes were required to do to play tennis. This fun and free clinic concluded with one-up, one-down format scrimmages among participants.

Participants and their families found the clinic to be a valuable opportunity, providing a unique coaching and skill building experience not often available to individuals who use a wheelchair.

"It gave Catherine the opportunity to participate in playing tennis, just like any other kid," stated Mary Faherty, mother of 11 year old Catherine, a participant in the clinic. "The difference being not many tennis coaches know much about wheelchair tennis, never mind the skills required to play the sport. It was amazing to be taught by coaches that truly understand the sport," she concluded.

The South Shore YMCA thanks its partners involved in the organization and execution of this clinic for their support in making this Wheelchair Tennis Clinic a success! The South Shore Y's Inclusion Team looks forward to expanding the opportunity for wheelchair sports to include golf and basketball in the near future through our partnership with Spaulding Adaptive Sports Centers.
SSYMCA Partners with National Inclusion Project for 3rd Year to Offer Inclusive Summer Camp Programs!

The South Shore YMCA has partnered with the National
Inclusion Project for the 3rd Year to implement Let's ALL Play - Inclusion in our Day Camp programs at Camp Gordon Clark in Hanover and Quincy Summer Day Camp. The partnership allows children with disabilities to enjoy successful recreational experiences in a more inclusive setting at camp. As part of this initiative, the National Inclusion Project provides a program model, funding, specialized staff training and ongoing support to accommodate campers who may benefit from more positive behavior techniques and social skills coaching.

Last summer, the South Shore Y partnered with National Inclusion Project to offer Inclusion Camp offerings at Camp Gordon Clark in Hanover and Quincy Day Camp. With the support of an Inclusion Camp Coordinator, a position made possible through the National Inclusion Project grant, Camp Gordon Clark and Quincy Day Camp were able to offer Traditional camp opportunities with inclusive supports last summer for children ages 3-15 with autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorder or learning disabilities to participate in and benefit from the full camp experience. A one-week Sensory Smart Camp was also offered at Camp Gordon Clark for campers ages 5-12 years who wanted the traditional camp experience but would benefit from lower staff ratios, additional supports and shorter days. During the week, campers took part in traditional camp activities as well as specialized social thinking instruction and sensory friendly opportunities. The South Shore YMCA's Inclusion Team also provided inclusive support and training to staff at Camp Gordon Clark, Quincy Day Camp and Nature Adventure Summer Day Camp at the South Shore Natural Science Center in Norwell.
How a Diverse Workforce Makes Dreams a Reality!

On any given day, you'll find Jessica Simoes, an Assistant Teacher at the Y's Early Learning Center in Hanover, assisting with art projects, helping teachers and providing support to preschool and kindergarten students. Jessica lives at New England Village, a residential community for adults with developmental disabilities, and has always dreamed of pursuing her passion of teaching children. "I attended Cape Cod Community College and took classes in Child Care," stated Jessica. "To have this job, I feel like it's fulfilled me. This is the job I've always dreamed of."

The Staff at the Early Learning Center are equally as thrilled to have Jessica working alongside them. 
"We are so fortunate to have Jessica as part of the ELC Team," stated Laureen Browning, Vice President of Youth Development at the South Shore YMCA. "Not only does she bring talent and enthusiasm to her position, her work in the classroom has provided the opportunity for our children to experience a diverse guiding figure."

During a recent visit to the Early Learning Center, Lisa Drennan, the South Shore YMCA's Association Director of Inclusion, saw first-hand Jessica's love for her job. When asked what her favorite part of her job is, Jessica stated, "reading to the kindergartners." Jessica is currently working on learning how to develop her own art project curriculum, with a goal of running a program from start to finish in one of her classes. 

"I've known Jessica for over 12 years, having worked with her at my previous role at New England Village," stated Lisa Drennan. "I have always been aware of her desire to work with children. What a pure pleasure it is to see her dream become a reality."
SSYMCA Association Director of Inclusion Sits on Panel at Diversity & Inclusion Forum!

On Tuesday, February 23rd, The South Shore Chamber Human Resources Group presented a Diversity & Inclusion Forum, aimed at educating individuals on how to create a culture of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. To do so, three panelists, consisting of individuals from leading organizations that have effectively created a culture of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, were present to answer audience questions and create an informative and engaging dialogue. Among the panel of three, ready to educate an eager to learn audience of about 25 HR Professionals, Senior Staff and business owners, was the South Shore YMCA's very own Lisa Drennan, Association Director of Inclusion.

Those in attendance had the chance to introduce themselves and share what they were hoping to get out of the panel discussion. Questions for the panel were formulated based on the requests of the audience, of which each panelist answered from their own perspective. Topics included how to start a diversity and inclusion initiative, optimizing recruiting, retention and the talent pool, and the benefits of a diverse workforce.

"It was encouraging to see a packed house at this forum with a very active and engaged audience eager to learn how they can improve or start a diversity and inclusion initiative in their workplace," stated Lisa Drennan. "Specifically, there was a great interest in learning more about engaging a workforce representing diverse abilities."
Community Happenings
Hanover Parent Advisory Council Presents:
Inclusion in Our Community

TONIGHT, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Hanover High School

All are invited to SNAP's Saint Patrick's Day Party
March 18th
View flyer for more details!

For inquires regarding these or any
Inclusion Programs at the South Shore YMCA, contact Lisa Drennan, Association Director of Inclusion, at or 
781-264-9400 x 3119 or visit our 

South Shore YMCA | South Shore YMCA | 79 Coddington Ave. | Quincy | MA | 02169