The Regional Manager for the Grande Prairie YMCA was kind enough to offer us insight on their current and future programs being offered. One of their new programs for 2012 is the Virtual Y.

Virtual Y Overview
Childhood poverty is directly linked to high school non-completion and lack of secondary education. The Virtual Y is a program designed to break the cycle of poverty by increasing the level of high school completion. Based on the success of this program in other YMCA's around Canada and the USA, the YMCA knows that early intervention is key to succeeding in this venture. As such this program will be offered to children in Grande Prairie - grades 3-6, living in a neighbourhood that has limited access to resources, programs, and services. Working along with the Grande Prairie Public School District the first program site has been determined:  Hillside Community School to commence in the fall of 2012.

The Virtual Y will provide children the additional help and attention needed to succeed in academic studies and will incorporate physical activity; encouraging team work, good sportsmanship and problem solving, while improving overall health and the development of self-worth. Children will feel valued, safe and free to express their thoughts and feelings; promoting the development of positive relationships with adults and their peers.

 Expected Impact of the Virtual Y


  • Improved reading, writing, speaking and math skills
  • Participating more in class, and higher levels of homework completion
  • Learning new social skills
  • Improved problem solving skills
  • Taking responsibility for actions
  • Making new friends and feeling more involved in the school community
  • Getting more exercise, choosing and eating more healthy snacks


  • Recognize the Virtual Y as a having a positive impact on their child for the reasons mentioned above
  • Finding that their child is more comfortable in sharing thoughts


  • By design, the Virtual Y supports the broader school community, providing resources, supports and activities


  • Children and families will learn advocacy, accountability, responsibility and pride for their community, taking ownership for what is, and the changes that are possible.

This program has a registration component but no fees - to insure that no child ever be turned away due to inability to pay. As such, the Grande Prairie YMCA is looking for community partners to assist with funding that will allow this program to become a reality.

For more information contact:

Adrian Smedstad
Regional Manager
Grande Prairie
O:780 539-9622