CARBONDALE —  The Pennsylvania State Alliance of YMCAs announced that the Greater Carbondale YMCA is the recipient of the 2018 YMCA Community Impact Award for Social Responsibility. The award recognizes the Y's Autism Family Spectrum Group, known as the "A-Team." 

The Community Impact Awards are presented to local Ys in recognition of a program which is making a significant and positive impact on the lives of individuals in the community. Awards are presented under each of the Y's areas of focus: Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. 

The “A-Team” is a program of the YMCA in conjunction with Parents Loving Children Through Autism (PLTCA) that seeks to provide opportunities for youth on the autism spectrum and their families to gather in a nonthreatening environment. Often, children on the spectrum are not given the opportunity to participate socially with typical peers/siblings during evening events. They stay at home but become increasingly aware of their social differences with their siblings/peers.

This group seeks to fill that social gap. After meeting monthly for many years, the group has grown and began meeting twice a month in 2015. The A-Team now meets weekly for additional socialization and life skills instruction/experiences at the YMCA and in the community (bowling, movies, baseball games, restaurants).

State Alliance Chair, Kim Johnson, President and CEO of the YMCA of Reading and Berks County, congratulated the Greater Carbondale Y at the annual YMCA Leadership Summit on October 24th in State College. "The A-Team is a remarkable initiative which further demonstrates the Y's overall commitment to serve those in need in our communities."

 The Greater Carbondale Y is the first recipient of the YMCA Community Impact Award for Social Responsibility. See the A-Team in action at https://youtu.be/AsFyz1c416U and call the YMCA at (570) 282-2210 for meeting times.