This year's first day of school will mark the one-year anniversary of the Baldwinsville YMCA's grand opening.
Last year on Sept. 6, the facility at West Entry Road opened offering a before and after school program and a Kinder Kids Club to Baldwinsville children. This year the facility will increase the amount of programs offered to meet the needs of the growing Baldwinsville community.
"Everything went very smooth the first year," said Childcare Program Director Lesley Grants. "We doubled our programs this fall to meet the expanding needs of the community."
Because the facility at the Lysander Ice Arena has limited space, Grants contacted the superintendent of the Baldwinsville Central School District and the principals at Van Buren and Reynolds elementary schools to request use of the cafeterias at both schools. The increased space will allow the YMCA to offer additional programming at each school. Even though each facility is licensed for 75 people, Grants will start conservatively by offering only 20 spaces per school.
"Van Buren already has a waiting list," Grants said. "Reynolds still has space available though."
If the Van Buren and Reynolds programs prove successful, Grant hopes to expand into Baldwinsville's other elementary schools.
[Before and After School program]
The before and after school program is for school age children and includes a variety of different activities and an afternoon snack. The program is held from 6:30 a.m. until school begins and then from dismissal until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Lysander Ice Arena, Van Buren and Reynolds elementary schools.
Utilizing a different theme each week, care providers integrate activities such as sign language, ice-skating, games, outside time, kidzlit (a literacy program), science, team building and arts and crafts. Children are also given time to work on their homework and a free choice of activity is offered before pick up. Children can attend part time or full time, mornings or afternoons depending on the family's need.