YMCA offers free membership to fourth graders

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – There could be 1,800 new members at the YMCA, mostly nine or 10 year old children, and all for free.

Lafayette’s Family YMCA is offering free membership to current fourth graders in the Lafayette or Tippecanoe School Corporation as well as local private schools.

It’s all thanks to the $75,000 that was raised in the 100 Men Who Cook fundraiser last month.

From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., on Monday through Thursday afternoons, fourth graders can get homework help and play supervised games. Swimming will also be available from 4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

“I personally would be excited because I love coming here and I think they would as well,” said fourth grader Kate Hutzel. “It’s just really fun”

On Sunday afternoons, from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., they can bring their families for free. Families also get a special membership rate with the joiner’s fee waived.

“Hopefully as they get this membership and they do come here with their families,” said Julie Martin, director of community engagement and aquatics leadership at the Lafayette Family YMCA. “Maybe their families will see a value in it as well and that we can continue to be role models in their lives.”

Martin said they picked fourth graders because that’s the age that many start to look for role models outside of their family.

Current fourth graders can come to the YMCA with a parent or guardian and present a valid school ID or proof of their grade to get a membership until August 2015. Students who will be fourth graders in the fall can sign up for the program beginning this August.

Organizers also hope this becomes an annual offering thanks to the proceeds of 100 Men Who Cook.

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