What We Do

Programs, Classes, Events

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!

English Conversation Class

At YWCA Central Maine, we recognize access to free language resources and US cultural integration programs as an important part of our mission to eliminate racism and empower women. That is why we are piloting several programs in the 2020-2021 school year, intentionally designed to support the growing needs of the immigrant, refugee, and asylee communities in Maine.

English Conversation Classes

YWCA Central Maine is pleased to announce new programming offering opportunities for community members to learn, practice, and refine their English conversational skills.

  • All classes and materials are FREE
  • Courses are 45 minutes each week for 6 weeks. Re-enrollment in the next cycle is encouraged!
  • At this time, conversation courses will be offered to intermediate and advanced students. All programs will be offered virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please ensure you have technology to access Zoom before enrolling.
  • Intermediate to advanced students are invited to sign up for mini conversation courses with a native English speaker and peers. Conversations will help students practice English grammar, sentence structure, vocabulary, and accent. These courses will be entirely conversation-based, so participation is a must! Studying vocabulary and practicing short reading assignments may be recommended before intermediate classes.
  • The instructor will choose which session(s) are offered to each student based on English experience and availability. Whenever possible, we will try to offer a daytime or evening course to match your schedule.
  • Group sizes will be limited to allow all participants time to practice conversational English in a safe, welcoming learning environment with adequate room for practice and instruction.

Enrollment is open now and classes will fill on a first come, first serve basis. Please follow this link to enroll or call 207-795-4050!

Informações sobre o programa e inscrição em português siga este link ou ligue para 207-795-4050.

Informations sur le programme et inscription en français veuillez suivre ce lien ou appelez le 207-795-4050.

Información del programa e inscripción en español siga este enlace o llame 207-795-4050.

Thank you to our program sponsor!
Obrigado ao nosso patrocinador do programa!
Merci aux sponsors de notre programme!

Ready Together! A Program for New Mainer Families

At YWCA Central Maine, we recognize access to free language resources and US cultural integration programs as an important part of our mission to eliminate racism and empower women. That is why we are piloting several programs in the 2020-2021 school year, intentionally designed to support the growing needs of the immigrant, refugee, and asylee communities in Maine.

Ready Together! Family Pilot Program Begins September 2020!

YWCA Central Maine is very excited to announce an upcoming pilot program: Ready Together! This program has been specially designed to provide one New Mainer parent and one or two children (ages 2 – 5) an opportunity to experience a US early learning classroom, while also providing the parent an opportunity to practice English conversation with a native English speaker. Details of the program:

  • The program is completely FREE
  • The program is filled on a first come, first serve basis. Please ensure you have reliable transportation to the YWCA before signing up. Program sizes will be very small for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure safe distancing.
  • Each program will last for four weeks.
  • Because of COVID-19, we ask that only one parent and one or two children (aged 2.5-5) attend. If you have more than two children who would like to attend the program, please sign up again with additional children!
  • The program will run for two hours each week. The first hour, the parent and children will learn and play together in a special classroom with YWCA teachers. The second hour, the children will continue to play with the teachers, while the parent practices English conversation in an adjoining room. You will never be more than one room away from your child!

Enrollment is open now! Classes will fill on a first come, first serve basis. Please fill out this online form or call 795-4050.

Informações sobre o programa e inscrição em português siga este link.

Informations sur le programme et inscription en français veuillez suivre ce lien.

Información del programa e inscripción en español siga este enlace.

Thank you to our program sponsor!
Obrigado ao nosso patrocinador do programa!
Merci aux sponsors de notre programme!

STEM Programming

The YWCA recognizes the rising gap of STEM inclusion as both an economic and social justice issue that is pertinent to our mission. That’s why we’ve partnered with a sister YWCA organization to use their proprietary platform in our STEM programming. The platform, while accessible to all students, was intentionally developed to broaden participation in STEM for girls and students of color. In implementing this platform in STEM programming, we aim 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.

With funding from the Maine Women’s Fund, YWCA Central Maine initially piloted this STEM platform at the Auburn CLC After School Program and YWCA After School Program in the 2019-2020 school year. We have continued the pilot program into the YWCA school-aged summer camp program during Summer 2020 and look forward to offering the program on- and off-site in the Lewiston-Auburn community for 2020-2021.

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 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 and Upcoming Program Details:

We are happy to announce that the YWCA Central Maine MS Wellness Program will provide virtual classes during the pandemic whenever possible!

Chair Yoga via Zoom
Wednesdays 9:30 am – 10:30 am from January 6, 2021 – March 31, 2021
Instructor: Tisha Bremner from Inner Light Yoga of Maine
Sign up for chair yoga here.

Guided Meditation via Conference Call
Mondays 1:00 pm – 1:30 pm from March 1, 2021 – April 26, 2021 * No Class March 29th*
Instructor: Karen Hayden
Sign up for Guided Meditation here.

Aquatic Therapy at YWCA Central Maine Pool
Wednesdays 12:00 pm – 12:45 pm from January 6, 2021 – March 31, 2021 *There is a waiting list for this class*

Instructor: Mary Savage from St. Mary’s Health System

Sign up for Aquatic Therapy here. ***We currently have a waiting list for this class. You may register, but openings will only occur if cancellations are made. We apologize for the inconvenience and will contact you if openings are available.*** 

Please note: Due to limitations of virtual events, pre-registration is required and attendance may be capped on a first come, first served basis.

About the Chair Yoga series:
Join Tisha or 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 Meditation series:
Use any phone line to call-in to a half-hour guided meditation with Karen Hayden. Karen currently works for Androsscoggin Bank as the bank’s Chief Funding Officer and has been practicing mindfulness meditation for over 10 years. Karen began leading guided meditation sessions at work four years ago as a means of helping employees manage stress. “Being able to help people find peace in the present moment is what motivates me to lead sessions. It has made such a difference in my life.”Karen has been accepted into the 2 year Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program lead by Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield and will be using her training to deepen her practice. Karen brings a comfortable and relaxed approach to meditation and appreciates that the practice may be new to many.

Why should you try meditation? Dr. Amit Sood explained the use of mindful meditation in an interview with Mayo Clinic: “Mindfulness practice, also called mindful meditation, is a type of mind-body therapy that involves focusing awareness on what you’re experiencing in an open, interested and nonjudgmental way. The goal of mindfulness is to create distance between your perception and response to certain situations or feelings, helping you respond more thoughtfully and calmly, and potentially reducing the effects of stress.” The National MS Society also conducted a pilot that found that “a four-week “mindfulness” (meditation)-based attention training program reduced difficulties in modulating emotions and improved thinking abilities better than either a computer-based cognitive training program or no treatment.”

About Seated Tai Chi:
Join Jason for these fun, inclusive classes will help you build vitality and health through foundational Tai Chi exercises. Together we will gently develop skills involving improved balance, core strength, stability, greater range of motion, and therapeutic respiration. With an emphasis on the experiential part of mind-body learning, and through encouragement to nurture your energy, we explore the Tai Chi movements with a spacious, curious attitude. This approach to Tai Chi will help you to discover and develop your body’s own natural flow, personal sense of comfort, intuition, and self-expression.
Jason Ames is a full time Tai Chi & Qigong instructor teaching throughout Southern Maine, Jason regularly teaches at: University of Southern Maine, The Dempsey Center, Bayside Neuro-rehabilitation, Portland Adult Education, South Portland Parks & Recreation and the Tai Chi Center. Founder and owner of Maine Center for Taijiquan, Jason has been studying and practicing internal martial and healing arts since 1996. “Tai Chi practice has been the greatest and most continuously influential force in my life, for growth and self-discovery as well as for my health and wellbeing. As I deepen and refine my personal understanding of this sophisticated art, I am profoundly moved by the power of these living practices. When teaching, I deeply value making whatever I offer accessible for anyone wishing to learn. This helps the power and meaning of the practice naturally emerge for each student as they progress.”

About Aquatics Therapy 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 program sponsors, Biogen and EMD Serono, as well as community partners at St. Mary’s Hospital and Inner Light Yoga of Maine for making this program possible and free to the public!

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
  • Classes are open to boys and girls ages 11 – 15
  • There are currently no classes scheduled due to COVID-19. Please call for more information.

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!

Line dancing classes are temporarily on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.