Programs & Classes
About our Programs
The YWCA Central Maine seeks to end all forms of oppression and discrimination in our community through education, advocacy, and direct action. We offer several signature events, ongoing programming, and enrichment classes that emphasize community building through youth and adult empowerment, prioritizing the voices of women and girls of color, and supporting inter-cultural exchange and solidarity.
Classes vary widely and include diverse subject matter. Class offerings are always developing to meet the needs and interests of our members and the larger community, while serving our mission. YWCA enrichment classes and programming are excellent opportunities to get active, pursue your talents, educate yourself on important social issues, or meet new friends and neighbors. Check back frequently for new programs and offerings!
Curated Pathways to Innovation Maine
The YWCA Central Maine is excited to announce a new STEM pilot project funded by the Maine Women’s Fund: Curated Pathways to Innovation Maine. YWCA Central Maine will be partnering with the Auburn CLC After School Program to deliver STEM programming to after school students that will create awareness, interest, preparedness and excitement for students in the field of STEM education.
The program pilot will focus on broadening participation in STEM for girls and students of color. By implementing this program, the goal is to set women and underrepresented minorities on a path to successful STEM careers and to ensure women and girls of all races and classes have access to opportunities to reach their full potential. The YWCA recognizes the rising gap of STEM inclusion as both an economic and social justice issue that is pertinent to our mission.
Stand Against Racism
SAVE THE DATE for this year’s events: April 24-26, 2020 !
Stand Against Racism is a signature event of the YWCA USA. It was developed as an opportunity for YWCAs across the nation to take a visible position against racism in localized contexts and to offer education and direct action around issues of racial justice.
The YWCA Central Maine has held an annual Stand Against Racism event during the last weekend of April since 2012. Our events have offered keynote speakers including: local activists, community leaders, and academics from Maine.
We have provided activities ranging from dance workshops and spoken word poetry performances, to discussion groups and personal story sharing. Stand Against Racism concludes with a call to action and a march through downtown to share our message of the urgency of racial justice.
Stand Against Racism unites our community across cultures, experiences, and politics to mobilize for anti-racist action in Maine.
MS Wellness Program
Did you know that the diagnostic rate of MS in women to men is approaching 4:1? Or, according to the National MS Society, that People of Color diagnosed with MS are more likely to experience relapses and greater disability?
YWCA Central Maine’s MS Wellness Program is a new innovative pilot program designed specifically for women diagnosed with MS, but inclusive of all patients, to integrate healthy behaviors into MS care, create resources, and enhance the overall health and wellness for patients in the Central Maine community.
This program will be the first of its kind in Maine and was developed in partnership with and with guidance from medical and physical therapy staff at St. Mary’s Hospital, along with support in the pilot from Inner Light Yoga. The program will emphasize activities to promote functional mobility, independence, and symptom management to foster health of mind, body, and spirit.
Renewed Pilot Program Dates (1/7/20 – 2/13/20)
Tuesdays from 1:30p – 2:15p : Chair Yoga with Josslyn from Inner Light Yoga of Maine
Thursdays from 11a – 12p : Aquatics Programming
Questions? Please email Amanda Hatch at email@example.com or call the YW at 795-4050.
About the six-week Chair Yoga series:
Join Josslyn from Inner Light Yoga of Maine for a gentle chair yoga class focused on helping people with MS. In this class you will be safely guided as you learn breath practices, energizing movements, and yoga poses to help you connect to your inner awareness. You can expect to increase energy, lower stress, and improve balance, coordination, and stability.
Josslyn Jalbert | RYT 200 | Reiki II Practitioner | Nursing Student
Josslyn teaches inspirational, alignment-based Hatha yoga classes in the Lewiston/Auburn area. She is passionate about sharing how the practice of yoga and meditation can help people achieve higher levels of inner connectedness, and how the movement of the body, with the breath can assist yoga students on turning inward to begin the journey of self-reflection.
About the six-week Aquatics series:
Our Aquatics programs will be offered in our fully accessible pool and led by a program specialist. Aquatic therapy is a liberating medium for MS patients that restores mobility and functional movement patterns.
Thanks to our partners at St. Mary’s Hospital and Inner Light Yoga of Maine for making this pilot program possible and free to the public!
2020 Federal Census Lab & Outreach
Why is the 2020 US Census important to us at the YWCA Central Maine? Because you, your family, and your community deserve representation and resources.
A full, fair, and accurate census, and the collection of useful, objective data about our nation’s people, housing, economy, and communities, is vitally important to the strength and stability of our nation. The census is not just a head count. It determines political representation, allocation of more than $675 billion in state and federal funding to communities yearly, and more.
Unfortunately, as in so many facets of our society, marginalized communities have been disproportionately undercounted in the US Census. These “hard-to-count” groups have historically included communities of color, young children of color, immigrant communities, persons experiencing homelessness, formerly incarcerated individuals, those living below the poverty line, and many other marginalized communities and identities. As in all of YWCA Central Maine’s work, we center women, children, and families from these very same hard-to-count communities and fight for their visibility and due resources.
YWCA Central Maine is committed to doing our part to be sure everyone in our community is counted. Thanks to a generous grant from the The Bingham Program, beginning February 2020 we will have an on-site lab accessible during operational hours, in which you can safely, privately, and confidently fill out your Census. The lab will be staffed daily with trusted members of our community, many of whom can also answer your questions in another language.
We will also be hosting three events, which will be open to the public and provide you with all of the answers you need to be sure you understand the importance of the census and how to fill it out…as well as food and prizes for those who attend! Interpreters will be available by request.
Save the dates: February 27, 2020; March 26, 2020; and April 24, 2020.
Look out for LOTS of giveaways during our Census outreach! “Like” us on Facebook to be sure you have all the details.
Gift Card Raffle! Show your commitment to completing the census by signing a pledge to be counted! We will keep your information private and contact you to remind you to complete the census online when the self-response surveys are released by the federal government in March. Fill out the “We All Count” form in person at the YWCA, or use this online form to enter online. One winner will be chosen at random to receive a $25 gift card each week until 4/1/20. Please, only one entry per household.
Remplissez ce formulaire pour participer au tirage. Un gagnant sera choisi au hasard pour recevoir une carte-cadeau de 25 $ chaque semaine jusqu’au 01/04/20. S’il vous plaît, une seule entrée par ménage.
Bates Women of Color Partnership
This year, Bates Women of Color club and the YWCA Central Maine have teamed up to offer some fun activities and important community building opportunities to young women of color in Maine. The club is inviting middle- and high-schoolers who identify as girls of color to attend events on- and off-campus during the Spring semester.
All events are FREE to the young women of color, but we ask that you RSVP to Amanda at the YW (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can be sure to have enough food, supplies, transportation, etc.
The first event is planned for Tuesday, February 11th at 6pm: Afro Caribbean and Art Activism Dance Workshop
Poise Yoga Studio Partnership
Poise Yoga Studio & Foot Sanctuary and YWCA Central Maine partner to offer YW Community Access Pass holders incredible discounts on services and programs at the Poise studio in downtown Lewiston.
Check out Poise’s website or Facebook for more information and schedules of all of their amazing classes and programs. Questions about the schedule or YWCA discount on classes? Give Poise a call at (207)754-6284.
We are so grateful that this woman-owned business is partnering with us to offer even more benefits in your annual YW Community Access Pass. Poise is truly dedicated to making yoga and wellness programs accessible to all members of our community, regardless of race, gender, or socio-economic status. We are proud to have Poise as a YW partner.
Note: If you are already a pass holder but do not have a physical copy of your pass, please contact us at 795-4050.
Green Dot LA Partnership
The YWCA Central Maine is a proud supporter and partner of Green Dot LA. In 2017 YWCA Central Maine partnered with Community of Kindness to bring Green Dot Bystander Intervention Instructor Training to the Lewiston-Auburn community. Green Dot is an international leader in violence prevention and their bystander intervention instructor training program provided an opportunity for participants to gain tools for effective intervention in instances of harassment, sexual assault, and domestic violence.
The inspiration for bringing bystander intervention training to Lewiston-Auburn came in response to an uptick in racial and religious harassment in our community and the need for safe and effective strategies for violence prevention. The instructor training program was designed specifically for Lewiston-Auburn and was informed by listening sessions with community members conducted by Green Dot prior to the training session.
The Bystander Intervention Instructor Training was held in August of 2017 over the course of four full days and attended by 50 community members. All participants left the program as certified Green Dot instructors and are equipped to offer training on violence prevention strategies to community organizations, businesses, and faith groups. For more information or to sign up your business or organization to receive a training please contact the YWCA at 795-4050.
What is Green Dot LA?
Green Dot Lewiston-Auburn is a group of local volunteers who are committed to making our Twin Cities community a better and safer place by teaching strategies for safe and effective responses to hurtful and hateful words and behaviors. In response to several incidents of anti-immigrant harassment in 2016, a non-partisan group of Lewiston and Auburn residents began meeting to discuss ways to support their community at a time of increased public hostility. This group, the Community of Kindness, partnered with YWCA Central Maine to engage Green Dot, an internationally respected leader in bystander training. Following three days of focus groups conducted by Green Dot to learn more about our community, Green Dot customized a four-day instructor training completed by 46 participants in August 2017.
What’s new with Green Dot LA?!
Green Dot LA is hard at work building community! Since the initial four-day training in August, many of the newly-certified instructors have been creating presentations and workshops on bystander intervention for businesses and groups in the Twin Cities. Others are informally sharing what they learned in their own organizations, neighborhoods, families, and friendship circles. Green Dot LA has held pop-up events at Starbucks in Auburn and Simones’ Hot Dog Stand in Lewiston.
You can stay updated with all things Green Dot LA on Facebook!
Red Cross Babysitters' Training
This course teaches home and outdoor safety, basic caregiving, safe play, first aid, critical emergency responses, and leadership skills. Each class participant will receive an ARC child and infant CPR certification upon completion of the course. This class is great for pre-teens and teenagers who are responsible for caring for younger sibling or those wanting to gain the skills to have babysitting clientele of their own.
- ARC instructor Judy Emch
- Classes are open to boys and girls ages 11 – 15
- This class is offered several times throughout the year – please contact us for more information on the next class
This is class is designed to teach you the basics of line dancing while providing an opportunity to exercise and meet new friends! All ages are welcome!
Mondays 10:30am – 11:30am
Cost: $3 per class
Wednesdays 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Cost: $4 per class
Past Programs: PEACE
PEACE (Positive Ethnic And Cultural Exchange) was a YWCA Central Maine initiative working to build community among women while emphasizing cross-cultural exchange. The program fostered transformative friendships through social gatherings, health, and wellness programming, art workshops, and issue-based dialogue in a women-only space.