Inspiring Women in Huron Awards

Nominations Now Open

Nominations for the 5th annual Inspiring Women in Huron Awards are now open, with a submission deadline of January 31, 2018.  Inspiring Women in Huron celebrates the contributions that women and young woman have made to their communities and improving the lives of others.  The event is taking place on Friday, March 2 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Goderich.  Nominees must live or work in Huron County.

YMCA Beyond the Bell Program open additional site


YMCA Beyond the Bell (formerly known as the Virtual YMCA) helps break the cycle of poverty by closing the achievement gap experienced by low income children compared to middle income children. This year-round program takes a holistic approach to the well-being of every child. By working closely with teachers, the individual challenges of each child are identified, understood and a preventative plan of action is put in place. YMCA staff leaders are positive role models helping each student to improve literacy and numeracy skills, build social skills, develop self confidence and experience new opportunities. The program provides the children with the tools and support they need to help close the achievement gap and develop a stronger and more successful future.

YMCA Beyond the Bell focuses on four key program areas:

•  Realizing academic achievement
•  Improving health and wellness
•  Exploring culture and creativity
•  Developing social skills

We know that academic achievement has positive effects on students through increased school engagement, attitudinal and behavioural changes, increased motivation, higher attendance rates, better work habits, increased cognitive skills and better classroom behaviour. High literacy skills have shown to propel students beyond good grades by leading to higher education attainment, increased annual earnings, lower unemployment, delinquency and crime. Effective reading skills by grade 4 are one of the most potent predictors of successful adult adaptation (E. Werner, 1993). Through close mentoring, children learn effective work habits and find reward in completing homework, one of their greatest areas of need. After one year at YMCA Beyond the Bell, the majority of children show an improvement in reading by at least one grade level and the overwhelming majority of parents report that their children understood their school lessons better and their confidence improved.


Originally developed by the YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford, the YMCAs across Southwestern Ontario now operate YMCA Beyond the Bell program at the following schools:


Wallaceburg (A.A. Wright Public School)
Chatham (St. Ursula Catholic School)
Chatham (St. Agnes Catholic School)
Sarnia (P.E. McGibbon Public School)


YMCA Beyond the Bell is made possible through the generosity of donors.

Our donors share our vision of ensuring each child in our communityhas the opportunity to succeed. It is only through the generosity of many that we are able to provide YMCA Beyond the Bell to the children who need it the most at no cost to their families. We are calling on the community to join us in furthering our vision to reach a greater number of children who will learn to believe anything is possible.

Peace Week

Nominations for 2017 open now.

Each of us has the potential to be a peace builder in our daily life as emphasized by the theme of YMCA Peace Week, “YMCAs inspire peace. Think it. Say it. Do it.” The YMCAs across Southwestern Ontario, together with YMCAs across Canada, are inspiring and empowering kids, youth and adults to make a positive impact especially during our annual YMCA Peace Week in November.  Inspiring others to become actively engaged in peace in their everyday lives is being emphasized as an important part of peace building.

Do you know someone who should be acknowledged for their extraordinary stand for peace?

A special highlight of YMCA Peace Week is the awarding of the YMCA Peace Medallion to an individual or group who, without any special resources, demonstrate a commitment to peace through special contributions made within their community or overseas.  An individual or group that demonstrates in their lives and activities the values of peace.

YMCA Peace Medallion Award – Call for Nominees

The YMCAs across Southwestern Ontario are accepting nominations for the 2017 YMCA Peace Medallion.  We are accepting nominations for three awards: 1) a young leader (age 18 and under), 2) a community advocate, and 3) a business/organization/club that has made a difference.

  • Find peaceful solutions to violence, conflict, discrimination and injustice
  • Make a significant contribution to fostering a culture of peace in their community
  • Volunteer their time and work without any special resources
  • Enhance the lives of people in their community and around the world by creating peaceful environments

For further information, please contact:

Emily Brown
YMCAs across Southwestern Ontario
519-336-5950 x232

Group Power

Get muscle strong and movement strong when you combine traditional strength training with functional exercises and the revolutionary science of Loaded Movement Training, using an adjustable barbell, bodyweight, and heart-pounding music.  Newest version of Group Power® coming to your YMCA October 2017.  Check your local YMCA Week at a Glance Schedules for class locations and times.