Chesterton Tribune



YMCA receives grant for Early Learning from Porter County Community Foundation

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The Duneland Family YMCA recently received a Community Fund grant from the Porter County Community Foundation (PCCF). The funds helped advance the Y's Early Learning Program by sending members of their teaching staff to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC is an organization that works to promote high-quality early learning for all young children, birth through age 8. The organization works to achieve a collective vision: that all young children thrive and learn in a society dedicated to ensuring they reach their full potential.

The conference offered more than 400 learning sessions that provided professional development training and information about the national accreditation process. Nearly 8,000 early childhood educators attended.

"The conference was amazing and I'm so thankful I had the opportunity to participate," said Shannon Spratley, Y Chief Operating Officer. "I attended sessions on accreditation process and made connections that will be beneficial when we transition to our new facility, the Forchetti Family YMCA Center for Early Learning later this year.

Y Program Director Sally Gabric said that she had heard how amazing the NAEYC conference was throughout her entire career and had always wanted to attend. "PCCF provided that opportunity through the generosity of this grant," she said. "I am forever grateful for the opportunity as I continue to apply information learned from experts at NAEYC to build our programs to be the best they can possibly be."

Early Childhood Coordinator Kayla Lee says she's anxious to take all of the knowledge she learned and implement it into her classroom environment.

The Porter County Community Foundation gathers donations from the community, grows those donations through investment and gives grants to organizations, all for the good of Porter County. PCCF grants are awarded through an open grant process for humanitarian, cultural, educational and environmental purposes.

The Duneland Family YMCA is a charitable nonprofit focusing on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

For more information on the Y's Early Learning Academy or to schedule a tour, contact Kayla Lee at (219) 921-0183 or


Posted 1/24/2020




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