PYW is a nonprofit (501(c)(3)) youth organization committed to providing programs and services that empower youth by helping them to develop useful skills, self-esteem, and meaningful connections. We do this by providing activities that are interesting, challenging, and healthy avenues to self-discovery.
PYW was founded in 1986, and has been continually offering services and programs to the youth and families of Pittsfield, and surrounding towns for over 33 years. The organization has grown throughout this time, but the core values, beliefs, mission and vision has remained the same.
At PYW, we offer afterschool programming to over 200 youth per year - across all of our distinct programs. This accounts for over 70% of the eligible population of 6-12th graders in Pittsfield.
PYW is staffed by two full time directors, and a part time program coordinator. We also rely on a core group of dedicated volunteers to help support the organization. The organization is governed by an independent Board of Directors made up of community volunteers.
Youth in grades 6-12 are able to join PYW, we do not set participation requirements based on age, and youth can come from any town – although the majority of our members live in Pittsfield. We ask that a parent or guardian fill out a membership packet, and provide an annual membership fee of $25 per youth, with a maximum family contribution of $50. No youth is ever turned away from PYW, we have sponsors who have generously donated funds to provide scholarships to any youth who wants to join - all you have to do is ask!
The yearly membership fee renews in June of each year. Programs and activities are generally free, but occasionally there are fees associated with trips and excursions out of town. PYW has scholarships available for anyone who asks.
PYW operates a youth Drop-In Center, leadership development, peer mentoring, music and arts appreciation, academic enrichment, trips and excursions, community connections, and much more!
The Drop-In Center is located at 5 Park Street, adjacent to Dustin Park, and is open year round. During the school year, we are open Monday – Friday from 3:00-6:00 PM; with additional hours during early release days, vacations, and days off from school. During the summer, we are typically open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 2-6PM, and out on adventures Tuesday and Thursday. We design our programming calendar quarterly, and try our best to maintain the planned three month schedule – but be sure to check out our quarterly newsletter, Facebook page, Instagram, Google calendar, and website for regular updates.
What happens at the Drop-In Center? Each day is different: we serve healthy snacks to the youth; offer organized activities (games, arts & crafts, music, outdoor activity, cooking, service learning); academic support, and provide a safe and supervised space for youth to hang out with friends. We also have eight internet connected computers; many video games and systems, table games (pool, table tennis, air hockey, foosball, etc) and plenty of board games, puzzles and other activities to grab anyone’s attention. We also spend a lot of time outside at PYW, playing games, and enjoying the outdoors.
PYW also has a Pantry (food, toiletries, clothing and household products) available to the youth each day during Drop-In. This is open to all youth, and there are no ‘requirements’ to gain access.
On certain early release days, vacation weeks, days off from school, and during the summer months, PYW takes youth on exciting adventures and trips out of town. Many of these activities are free, though any cost associated with participating is typically only half of the cost to PYW. During the summer months we host eight weekly outdoor rock climbing trips; with two additional trips during the school year.
PYW also offers special High School Only programs, that are open to youth in grades 9-12. On certain Friday nights, PYW is either open for extended Drop-In from 6-9PM; or we take students on a special trip out of town. This is a newer program at PYW, and we hope to be able to expand on these types of programs in the future.
How can I help?
All nonprofits, and community based organizations rely on the generosity and support of community members. We are always looking for volunteers to lend a hand, sponsors to provide scholarships to youth, monetary and tangible donations to help maintain our program offerings, and especially help in spreading the word about all the positive things the youth in our community are up to!
Check out the 'Lend a Hand' section of our website for more up to date needs, and to learn how to make a donation.