In the News

Free Youth Membership For 7th Graders Across Lehigh Valley

October 8, 2019 at 1:58 PM

Greater Valley YMCA’s 7th Grade Initiative Offers Free Membership with Program Participation


[Allentown, October 8, 2019]—At the Y, we know that 7th grade is a tough time for kids. It’s a critical time in a young person’s life when exposure to risk factors greatly increases.  Risk factors are influences that can lead teens to experiment with unhealthy behaviors. During the early teen years, youth can begin to distance themselves from family and positive supports systems.


The Y’s 7th Grade Initiative (7GI) helps youth realize their potential to become active, engaged, and thriving adults at a critical developmental age. Through the 6 pillars of the structured program, 7th graders develop confidence, independence, self-expression, responsibility, self-control and teamwork at the beginning of their transition from childhood to adulthood. The 7GI program aims to strengthen youth protective factors and helps kids adopt mature, healthy habits. This program offers a free youth membership to 7th graders with program participation.


David Fagerstrom, President and CEO of the Greater Valley YMCA, shares, “As youth enter adolescence, they are more likely to begin distancing themselves from formal organizations, friends and family. They may even begin to experiment with illegal behaviors. The Y’s 7th Grade Membership Initiative is an opportunity for the Y to engage, cultivate and connect with youth at a time that is most crucial to their development. The goal of the 7GI program is to guide teens down the right path and to prepare them for success in the future.”


Registration for the Greater Valley YMCA’s 7th Grade Initiative Program can be completed by stopping into any Lehigh Valley Y branch. Students must bring proof of 7th Grade status (a roster or report card), along with a parent or guardian to any of the Greater Valley YMCA locations. Then, 7th graders will sign a code of conduct, complete forms, and attend program orientation.  Orientation covers safe use of the facility and equipment. After completing the application process, the free youth membership will be awarded. Membership must be redeemed while student is a current 7th grader or entering their 7th grade year.


To learn more about the 7th Grade Initiative, visit


About the Greater Valley YMCA


The Greater Valley YMCA is volunteer-led, nonprofit organization focusing on strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The Greater Valley YMCA consists of branches in Allentown, Bethlehem, Catasauqua, Easton/Forks, Nazareth, and Pen Argyl. To learn more, support or join the Y, visit


Join the Y


Households across our community have different needs so we offer a variety of membership types. Each of our locations offer many different programs, schedules, and classes therefore offerings and fees may vary by branch.


Please select a branch near you for more information


Greater Valley YMCA Membership Handbook

Financial Assistance


Every day, we work side-by-side with our neighbors to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. At The Y, no child, family or adult is turned away due to an inability to pay.


Financial assistance awards are assessed on a case by case basis during a one-on-one, confidential session with a staff member. Those interested in applying for our financial assistance program are encouraged to download this form, or stop in to any of our branches to learn more and pick up an application.

Program Registration


To register for member and non-member programs, please use our secure Online Registration.

Our Mission  |  To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.