As we celebrate our second anniversary at Speer YMCA Preschool Academy, we can’t help but look at how Speer is a place that is building what matters... for moments that matter. Scroll through to see some of the wonderful things that have gone on so far in these first two years.




The Mark & Marianne Teaching Kitchen provides youth and families with cooking and baking classes, kitchen safety instruction, and health and nutritional courses. Special gratitude to the Banyan Cafe for hosting our regular "Supper Sessions: classes, bringing Academy families together to cook and connect over a healthy meal.



Tomatoes, peppers and blackberries - oh my! The Ross and Mary Anne Roeder garden has connected our preschoolers to the natural world, and a vital source of their food. Teaching them valuable gardening concepts and skills - integrating concepts around math, science, art, and social studies - our students receive daily immersive lessons about personal and social responsibility.



The Florida Blue Sports Pad is a springboard for youth engagement and activity. With childhood obesity rates tripling in the past 30 years, daily recreational and structured play is vital to safeguarding the health of our students. Outdoor play boosts confidence, improves leadership skills, and fosters friendships.



"Family engagement" was the primary supplemental need identified by our Academy families. The Raymond James Community Center hosts a variety of youth and family events including holiday dinners, yoga/fitness classes, toddler dance programs, social service workshops, and youth recitals.

"My daughter’s first year was absolutely wonderful! She developed at an unimaginable speed due to the curriculum, as well as the way the teachers presented the lessons. I was able to witness not only my daughter’s growth, but the growth of the Y. The renovation transformed the school into an environment that any family would be more than proud to be a part of."
- Ebony, Academy Parent





Originally purchased from the Catholic Diocese, the Y set forth a commitment to fully renovate the former Immaculate Conception Early Learning Center, introducing a new educational vision for the valued members of the South St. Petersburg community.



Lynnda Speer and Lisa & Brett Vickers - of the Roy M. Speer Family Foundation - join the YMCA Board of Directors, city officials, academy families, and valued partners to celebrate the grand opening of the new Speer YMCA Preschool Academy



Imagine the possibilities! Students receive brand-new book bags from Raymond James Financial, as they venture into their newly-renovated classrooms. YMCA President & CEO David Jezek welcomed families in the lobby, greeting each student with a hearty handshake and encouraging words.



Oh, the places you will go! Graduating students excitedly recited their dream profession, and walked the stage to receive their diplomas. Proud parents, families, and teachers listened to their children read and share their experiences as they achieved a vital educational milestone - one step closer towards realizing their fullest potential.

“I have no hesitation when parents ask about my child’s school. I love it, and appreciate every kind word, generous gesture, and extra bit of effort that the staff has poured into my son. I have a 4 month old, and if there was a waiting list to put him on, his name would be at the top.”
- Tequena, Academy Parent



DONOR SPOTLIGHT: Jane Link Ferguson


YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg Board of Directors member Jane Link Ferguson has most generously endowed a seat for a child at the Speer YMCA Preschool Academy through the Link Scholarship Fund. This significant gift will award one child each year with a full scholarship to the Academy. We are extremely grateful for dedicated volunteers like Jane, who are instrumental in helping the Y make our community a better place to live, grow, and thrive.

Jane currently serves on the YMCA's Board of Directors as Secretary of the Executive Committee and is also a member of the Philanthropy Committee. She is a Partner at the Mahaffey Company and a long-time YMCA volunteer and St. Petersburg resident. 



Our Y would like to enthusiastically thank the following donors for their generous support of the Speer YMCA Preschool Academy.
Alvah H. and Wyline P. Chapman Foundation
Kathryn and Stephenson Anderson
Joyce, Julann, Jacob and Rick Baker
The Bank of Tampa - Pinellas Division
Caroline Bloodworth
Katherine and Mike Cheezem
Chick-fil-A Foundation
John and Mary Ellen Collins
David and Lynn Cox
Richard and Penny Crippen
Directed Capital
Dave Lawrence - The Children's Movement of Florida
Dennis Esposito
Harry and Mary Evertz
Larry and Emily Fasan
Preston and Tiffany Faykus / WGG Foundation
Jane Ferguson and Robin and Katie Link
Florida Blue
Harvey and Kathleen Ford
Frank E. Duckwall Foundation
David and Josefa Gonzalez-Hastings
James S. Henderson
Hennessy Construction Services
William and Hazel Hough
Esther Matilda Howarth
Shannon Jager and Brian Overcast
Susan and David Jezek
S.G. Johnson
Jana L. Jones
Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County
Joe and Elsie Lang
The Lightning Foundation
Mark and Marianne Mahaffey
Ed and Mary Maloof
Mary and Russel Brandes
Ann M. And John P. McGrath
Phil and Doreen McLeod
William and Ria McQueen
Markus and Susan Mittermayr
Lois M. Naylor
David and Michelle Neely
Northeast Exchange Club of St. Petersburg, Florida, Inc.
Raymond James Financial, Inc.
Robert S. and Mildred M. Baynard Charitable Trust
Ross and Mary Anne Roeder
Cindy Rose and Steve Luther
Roy M. Speer Foundation
Melissa J. Rutland
J. Mark Rutledge
Sabal Trust Company
Richard and Sharon Sanchez
Neil and Susan Savage
James F. Sirmons
Rhett W. Stevens & Family
William and Kathleen Stover
Adam and Carla Struckhoff
Bill and Carrie Tapp
Terence J. McCarthy - TJM Properties
TradeWinds Island Resorts
Ann and William Ulbricht
John Ullrich
The Vector Companies
Scott   K. Wagman and Beth A. Houghton
Steve and Nancy Westphal
The White Family Foundation
David H. Wilbanks
Sally and Robert H. Willis, Jr.