Social Services

As a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y was created in response to social challenges, and remains to this day a lifeline in communities around the world. The Y understands the challenges that keep individuals from reaching their full potential and responds with services and support which help people to be self-reliant, productive and connected to the community. Each Y responds to the unique issues influencing the community and provides support through services focused on critical areas, such as child welfare, community health, job training, environmental education, quality of life and family services.


American Heart Association CPR/AED:

This course teaches the basic techniques of adult CPR and use of an automated external defibrillator. Students also learn about using barrier devices in CPR and giving first aid for choking. The course teaches how to recognize the signs of four major emergencies: heart attack, stroke, cardiac arrest, and foreign-body obstruction. This class provides 2 year certification.

American Safety and Health First Aid:

This course stresses care for adults and children, and provides more in-depth hands on skills for participants who may encounter emergencies with delayed emergency medical response. Universal Module includes introduction to rescue techniques for victims.  This class provides 2 year certification.


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  • Members - $55
  • Non-Members - $60

First Aid

  • Members - $55
  • Non-Members - $60

Lifeguard Training

Certification Requirements:

  • 100% participation in the Y Lifeguard course
  • Must score 80% or higher on each section of the YMCA Lifeguard test
  • Must score 80% or higher on the CPR PRO, First Aid, and Emergency Oxygen written tests
  • Successfully perform all practical skills
  • Successfully demonstrate the ability to prevent, recognize, activate emergency action plan, rescue, provide emergency care and complete reports
  • Successfully demonstrate strength and maturity to be a YMCA Lifeguard to prevent accidents and also respond to emergencies through classroom and pool scenarios
  • Participant must be 16 years of age by the end of the class to participate

Certifications upon completion

  • Y Lifeguard (valid for two years when all other certifications remain current)
  • American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI)
  • CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer (valid for 1 year)
  • First Aid (valid for 2 years)
  • Emergency Oxygen Administration (valid for 2 years)

The participants will receive an electronic copy of the ASHI books, breakaway lanyard, and whistle.


Lifeguard Training Dates:

  • Next class date to be announced


Southeast Texas Babysitter CPR and Safety CourseAcadian

Ages 12-17
Cost:  Free
Lunch provided
Location:  Port Arthur YMCA Social Hall

Since babysitting is a big responsibility, you need to be sure you are ready. Boys and girls will learn basic CPR and first Aid from the skilled staff of Acadian Ambulance Service.
Port Arthur Police will teach a segment on home safety and texting and driving.

For more information, contact Katrina Dickens of Acadian Ambulance at (409) 779-2965.

Y Reads With You, Literacy Program

Y Reads with You began in the fall of 2010 through an opportunity presented by United Way of Mid and South Jefferson County. United Way requested a proposal for funding to start a literacy program in the Jefferson County area to help school districts who would benefit from additional academic resources and assist with reducing the drop-out rate in the state of Texas.

The YMCA was notified in late September that we were the recipients of a $50,000 grant to start a literacy program in the area. This would become one of the YMCA’s of Southeast Texas first signature educational program in the Jefferson County area. The literacy program was officially titled Y READS with YOU by its former director Leah Sam. The name was chosen to show a continued connection between the Y and the community we serve every day. Y Reads with You started at Sam Houston Elementary in the fall of 2010 shortly after receiving the funds from United Way. Sam Houston was the first school chosen by the current Superintendent of Port Arthur Independent School District, Dr. Mark Porterie.

The literacy program has been in operation since 2010-2011 school year through the continued support of United Way and other grant supporters and contributors such as Capital One, Foundation of Southeast Texas, Flint Hills, Dollar General, North Port Arthur Rotary Club, Port Arthur Rotary and Education Foundation. We are currently serving Port Arthur Independent School District, Participating elementary schools are Sam Houston, Lucian Adams, Dick Dowling, and our newest addition which was added January 2015 Booker T. Washington Elementary School. When we first started the program we only served students in grades 3rd thru 5th grade, now we are serving students from 1st grade to 5th grade.

The goal of Y Reads is to encourage educational growth and excellence among the children in our community. The objectives of Y Reads include improvement in reading, reading fluency, comprehension, building self-confidence, self-esteem and the importance of knowing how to read.

For the last 3 years, we have added a reading software program called Achieve 3000. This program has assisted us with our parent involvement and allows our students to continue practicing at home. The program helps us track our student progress and helps us identify what areas we need to focus on with individual students.

The Y Reads with You program does more than just teach children to read. We give them a safe place to be after school while parents work. We work on self-esteem, self-confidence, and promote a successful education among our children. Most of the children in our program or at risk students in their schools. They struggle with social skills, behavior, and enrichment. Y Reads has helped these students improve in all these areas since the start of our program. We look forward to our continued growth, community support, and success with YMCA’s Y Reads with YOU program.