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Meeting Waters YMCA's ASPIRE Program Serves Several Area Towns

Submitted by Meeting Waters YMCA

With the ringing of the first day's closing bell at schools up and down the Valley came the opening of the eleventh year of Meeting Waters YMCA's ASPIRE after-school programs at many of those schools.

With the addition of a new program serving children and families in the Alstead Attendance Area, Meeting Waters YMCA's ASPIRE program will now serve over 220 youth from thirteen communities spread over four counties in two states. ASPIRE now runs at all three elementary schools in Brattleboro, as well as at Dummerston School, Chester-Andover Elementary School and at the regional Y's facility in Bellows Falls. That program serves children and families from schools in Bellows Falls, Saxtons River and Westminster. The new program hosted at Alstead Primary School will also serve students and working parents from Langdon and Acworth.

ASPIRE-the After-School Program for Inspiration, Recreation and Education-was created in 1999 by Meeting Waters YMCA Program Director Susan Fortier and her husband Steve Fortier who serves as the organization's Executive Director. The program runs after school for each of the 180 school days. It also runs for full days on all school vacations and most holidays, as well as for half-days on teacher in-service and other early release days. In all, the program operates for over 210 days during the school year.

Each day of an ASPIRE program includes physical activity, nutritious snack, assisted study time and a cooperative group project. Activities are centered around monthly themes such as Different But the Same; Our Community; and Kindness In combination Meeting Waters YMCA's Lewis Day Camp and ASPIRE programs combine to provide year-round "out-of-school" programming for hundreds of area youth and their families.

The Meeting Waters YMCA is a charitable, non-profit social service organization founded in 1895. Its programs serve children, teens and families from over 20 Vermont and New Hampshire communities throughout the Fall Mountain, Springfield, Bellows Falls and Brattleboro regions.

For more information about ASPIRE you can visit the Meeting Waters YMCA's website at www.meetingwatersymca.org. For information and registration materials, call the Meeting Waters YMCA office nearest you (Brattleboro: 246-1036; Bellows Falls: 463-4769; Springfield: 885-8131) or email them at info@meetingwatersymca.org.

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