What We Do

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!

Calendar

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

This year we are going virtual!

Registration is OPEN for our 21 Day Racial Equity & Social Justice Challenge! This completely online and free challenge will begin Friday, May 1, 2020.

Are you up for the challenge? The 21 Day Challenge is an opportunity to dive deep into topics of racial equity and social justice. Participants will be provided with curated articles, podcasts, activities, and more delivered straight to their inbox each morning. Emails will begin Friday May 1 and continue (Monday – Friday) through May 29th. You will be given a few options each day, with some materials only requiring a few minutes of your time! YWCA Central Maine will also be facilitating conversations in the private 21 Day Racial Equity & Social Justice Challenge Facebook group, where participants can discuss the content and engage with others taking the challenge. It is our hope that this challenge will help participants discover how racial inequity and social injustice impact our communities, identify actionable ways to dismantle racism and other forms of discrimination in their daily lives, and–particularly while we are physically distanced–connect with others.

This challenge was adapted from our sister organization YWCA Greater Cleveland, and in turn inspired by Food Solutions New England. The latter was the first to adapt an exercise from Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr. and Debby Irving’s book into the interactive 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge. The challenge is designed to create dedicated time and space to build more effective social justice habits and bring awareness to issues of race, power, privilege, and leadership.

Join us by registering for the challenge today!

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for other upcoming virtual Stand Against Racism 2020 events!

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

Please note that the MS Wellness program is temporarily suspended for the safety of the patients at higher risks of serious illness as the COVID-19 virus continues to spread. All other YWCA programs are operating as scheduled at this time.

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.

Current Pilot Program Details
Mondays 3/9/20 through 4/13/20 from 11:00 – 11:30a : Tai Chi with Joe from Great Falls Taiji
Tuesdays through 3/31/20 from 1:30p – 2:15p : Chair Yoga with Josslyn from Inner Light Yoga of Maine

Questions? Please email Amanda Hatch at ahatch@ywcamaine.org 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 Tai Chi series:
Great Falls Taiji was created to help improve the quality of your life using evidence-based health therapies of Qigong, Tai Chi, breathing exercises, and awareness meditations. Research from Harvard Medical School supports the claims that practicing Tai Chi has a beneficial impact on the health of the heart, bones, nerves and muscles, immune system, and the mind. More information on Joe, the benefits of Tai Chi, and Great Falls Taiji in Lewiston is available on its website.

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, Inner Light Yoga of Maine, and Great Falls Taiji for making this pilot program possible and free to the public!

2020 Federal Census Resources


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, with help from The Bingham Program. While our on-site lab, outreach, and events are temporarily suspended due to COVID-19, we have some exciting new–completely virtual–ways that you can learn about the census, ask your questions about the census, request language assistance, engage your family, and WIN PRIZES…just for doing something you are already required to do! Keep reading for more details.

Resources currently available from YWCA Central Maine during the COVID-19 Protocol
While our building is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, please take advantage of these other ways to connect and request help.

– Call Amanda at 207-795-4050 or email ahatch@ywcamaine.org to request help in English or ask questions about the importance of the Census.

Waxaan u baahanahay caawimaad af soomaali ah.
Preciso de Ajuda em Portugues.
J’ai besoin d’aide en français.
Nasali na posa mutu asunga ngai na Lingala.
أحتاج إلى مساعدة باللغة العربية.

2020 Federal Census Virtual Raffles!

The following ONLINE census raffles for ALL AGES are open through 4/1/20!

#YWeCount Self Response Challenge
Anyone who lets us know that they filled out the census before Census Day on 4/1/20 will be entered to win a gift cards! Let us know that you filled out the census by sharing why the census matters to you, your family, and/or your community in one of two ways:
– Post an update on your personal social media page and tag us (with or without a #CensusSelfie—and hopefully encouraging your friends to fill out the census, too!)
– Email ahatch@ywcamaine.org. Be sure to include your first name, town, and a best contact method if you win!

#YWeCountKids contest!
Looking for something different to do at home with your kids 12 and under, while also teaching them about the census and giving them an opportunity to win prizes? Introducing our #YWeCountKids contest!

Participation is simple: Have your child draw a picture, make a collage, or devise some other portrayal (with or without adult help) of everyone in their family who counts in the 2020 census (for example, a family portrait that includes all members of the household). The Census Bureau and Count All Kids also have coloring pages available online if your kids prefer.

To enter the #YWeCountKids raffle, share your child’s picture on social media and tag us so we know who to enter! You can also take a picture or scan the art and email it to ahatch@ywcamaine.org (please include your child’s first name and age, as well as your best contact info if they win!)

We don’t want any child who wants to participate to be left out! We have printed coloring sheets and crayons available for anyone to take in our “Little Free Library” outside our building at 130 East Avenue. Please grab some for your family, friends, or neighbors while our building is closed.

#YWeCountTeens contest!
For teens 13-19, we’ve designed a #YWeCountTeens challenge available entirely online here. Teens will use the internet, parents, newspaper, media, and other resources to answer a few simple questions about the census…and then think about how the census impacts their own lives!

All completed forms will automatically be entered into a gift card raffle. We encourage teens to click “Check accuracy” after they submit to ensure they have the best census information.

Raffles available in other languages!
Buuxi foomkan si aad u gashid biraha. Hal guuleyste ayaa loo dooran doonaa si nasiib ah inuu helo $ 25 kaarka hadiyadda isbuuc kasta ilaa 4/1/20. Fadlan, hal qoys uun baa gala.

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.

Preencha este formulário para participar do sorteio. Um vencedor será escolhido aleatoriamente para receber um vale-presente de US $ 25 a cada semana até 01/04/20. Por favor, apenas uma entrada por família.

Complète papier oyo pona komikotisa na concours. Mutu moko ako ganger $25 na carte ya cadeaux chèque semaines ti le 1ère Avril, 2020. Kaka mutu moko na ndaku akoki ko complète papier oyo.

Buuxi foomkan si in ka-galo baktinasiibka. halkii ku guuleysaddo ayaa lan dooro doonyi si nasiib eye in kahelo $25 kaarka hadiyadda wiik kasta ilaa 4/1/20. Fadlan, hal qoys lee galkare.

إملء هذا النموذج لدخول السحب. سيتم اختيار فائز واحد عشوائيًا للحصول على بطاقة هدايا بقيمة 25 دولارًا أمريكيًا كل أسبوع حتى 4/1/20. من فضلك، دخول واحد فقط لكل أسرة.

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 (ahatch@ywcamaine.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.

Details:

  • 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

Line Dancing

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.