The YMCA Center: Where Research Meets Practice

 

The YMCA Center represents a new and exciting beginning for the YMCA of Metro Chicago and the children, families and communities we serve. More than 60,000 square feet of innovative work space provides an excellent foundation for expanding our life-changing programs and laying the groundwork for best practices.

The new YMCA Center is more than our association’s new headquarters. It is a living laboratory for innovation and growth that will expand the Y’s impact by increasing our capacity to disrupt the cycle of poverty in Chicago communities.

With eight floors of dedicated program and office space, the state-of-the-art facility is an innovative display of the Y’s mission and vision for the future. Y staff and community practitioners will move theory to practice in multiple programmatic areas, amplify the Y’s role as a thought partner and convener, and improve outcomes from cradle to career and beyond.

 

Learning Institute

  • Serves as a convening space for other nonprofits and community organizations to hold workshops, meetings and events
  • Safe and collaborative space for youth, parents and community partners to come together for productive dialogue informing future programs and initiatives

Healthy Living & Demonstration Kitchen

  • Dedicated learning environment, currently in design, for hands-on cooking and nutrition education for children, teens and families
  • Hub for designing and implementing nutrition programming that can be scaled across the association

Teen Opportunity Center

  • Youth-centered space focusing on adult mentoring, parent and family workshops and peer group activities
  • Space for families to learn ways to reduce stress and expand protective factors that support positive development
  • Safe and engaging alternative to the streets for teens

Early Learning Demonstration Center

  • Two-floor space opening fall 2016 featuring non-intrusive observation rooms to provide an optimal learning environment for children and training vantage points for staff and youth, development partners
  • Will serve 75 children ages birth to five who are from low-income families and are eligible for Head Start and Early Head Start

Green Space and Active Outdoor Play Area

  • Green space for teachers, families and children, opening summer 2016, with gardens and a playground to promote physical activity, social gatherings and educational opportunities

Fitness and Healthy Living Demonstration Center

  • Training area for YMCA of Metro Chicago staff to continually learn and improve fitness and healthy living expertise and member experience techniques