Education

Press Releases

Summit Area YMCA Introduces New Special Needs Programs

Safe & Welcoming Spaces | Susan & Paul's Story Credits: Summit Area YMCA
997f9a3f1e58545e7e60_ba666110d9868dc54c83_DSC_0638.JPG
c145e04c1ffb1b342623_DSC_0646.JPG
18297f1847de4a18df7a_DSC_0670.JPG
71ec1c746fd04c76d230_IMG_0304.jpg
b75da1900cbc568ab654_IMG_1511.JPG
3d98596f74af5b187055_IMG_1549.JPG
33f60129f70cb9da8657_IMG_7645.JPG
8ce7d530976cff65a1fb_IMG_7655.JPG
9a9b460cef97d212ae2f_IMG_7680.JPG
2f813bc02b68c718c4d3_IMG_7709.JPG
3dd3b9203565ddeaab0a_IMG_8714.JPG
076d0c14f2302bd559e1_IMG_8741.JPG
997f9a3f1e58545e7e60_ba666110d9868dc54c83_DSC_0638.JPG

It was November 2016 when the first Sundays in Motion event took place in the Summit YMCA. Modeled after the successful Somerset Hills YMCA program, the newly adapted Sundays in Motion event enabled families with special needs children to enjoy 2 hours of free gym play time and supervised swimming in the pool. While simple in concept, the program itself filled a gap within the community that families with special needs children often faced—a lack of safe spaces, places and things to do with their children.

“It might not seem like much to some,” said Paul Kieltyka, President and CEO of the Summit YMCA, “but for others, especially families with special needs children, having a safe, welcoming place to bring their kids to have fun means a lot. Some children—they might be affected by loud noises, certain colors, smells. They might have trouble communicating. It could be any number of things, but certain families can’t just up and go somewhere else for vacation with their kids like other families can. And that’s where the Y comes in. Come here, have fun together, make friends, enjoy the pool. We’re providing a space for people to relax, connect, and be happy. It’s wonderful.”

Having started with three families, the Sundays in Motion program has now evolved to serving over 27 participating families from throughout the area. The program is overseen by Y staff along with caring volunteers, donating their time and company to supervise the safety of the families and children participating. As a member of the Diversity, Inclusion and Global Innovation Network, the Summit Area YMCA is committed to bridge building and encouraging a welcoming atmosphere within the community. The Y is made up of people from all walks of life who are joined together by a shared commitment to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.

Sign Up for E-News

“As kids with special abilities, I am always looking for a place for them to develop better, for them to enjoy and have a good time.” said Carmen, a Sundays in Motion parent of a program participant. “Before the YMCA opened this program, it was more complicated for us to find a place where our kids could have a fun time, where they could have the freedom to play, a place where they would not be seen as kids that don’t fit in. I am deeply grateful with the Y and they enjoy it very much, so it makes me very happy here.”

With the success of the Sundays in Motion program, the Summit Area YMCA has been introducing more new programs and classes geared towards individuals with special needs. From yoga classes to Adaptive Swim Lessons, as well as Friday Night, Friends & Fun teen night events hosted at the Saint Bartholemew Church, the expansion of Special Needs programming within the Summit Area YMCA and its community partners has been met with appreciative and positive feedback.

“Prior to joining the Y we had just moved here. Just the sense of welcoming [at the Y], you know from the minute you come through the door, even down to the people who greeted us immediately, it really struck me as inclusive.” said Susan, parent to a program participant in the Berkeley Heights YMCA’s special needs programs. “[The Y] gives such a great opportunity for him to be around his friends from school and to meet new people. [The programs and classes are] structured so it helps him fit in. He loves doing the Ashrams for Yoga class and would never miss it. He even used his allowance money to buy yoga DVDs, which we do together at home. One of his favorite things recently was the dodgeball night that they had and he still talks about it.”

As a charitable organization, the Y is focused on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.Supporting families and the community in their efforts to spread cultural awareness and appreciation for diversity is core to the Y’s mission to help all people learn, grow, and thrive.

To see Special Needs offerings at the Summit Area YMCA, please visit www.theSAY.org/specialneeds

To learn more about the Diversity, Inclusion and Global Innovation Network, please visit www.thesay.org/dig.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Local Advisor Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Roth IRA

February 23, 2018

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the Roth IRA. First made available to American investors in 1998, a Roth IRA is an individual retirement account that is funded with after-tax dollars and provides tax-free growth and income for retirement.

In honor of this significant milestone, Walter Pardo, CEO/Certified Wealth Strategist at Wealth ...

WFP Tax Partners Walks You Through 4 Step Tax Return Process

February 22, 2018

Over 80% of Tax Returns Have Errors or Missed Deductions. You're Probably Paying More Than Your Fair Share in Taxes

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - Tax returns certainly give a clear picture of the past year, but WFP Tax Partners believes it's wise to strategize for the current year to have a plan for moving forward. 

At your tax appointment, they ...

Reminder: Free Wellness Program for Union County Military Women

All Union County women with military service – veterans, active duty and reserve – are invited to join “Boots 2 Heels,” a free event designed to foster wellness and connect women with resources and guidance for empowerment. Boots 2 Heels will be held on Saturday, February 24 at the Westfield Armory, located at 500 Rahway Avenue in Westfield.

The event is free but ...

CSA's 5th Annual Pasta Dinner Fundraiser Set for Sunday

Is everyone ready to come together as a community and break bread to support the CSA? It's time for The Community Service Association of New Providence's 5th Annual Pasta & Meatball Dinner! This fun, family-friendly event will take place on Sunday, Feb. 25, at the DeCorso Community Center, 15 East Fourth Street, New Providence. Pasta, meatballs, and dessert will be served from 3-7 ...

Caregiver Conference Sunday, Feb. 25, Focuses on Caregiver's Needs

 

Jewish Family Service of Central NJ, (JFSCNJ) a non-sectarian health and social service agency, will be hosting a Caregiver Conference called, “Caring for a Loved One While Being Mindful of Your Own Needs,” from 10 a.m. to noon, Sunday, Feb. 25, at the Jewish Family Service of Central NJ, Halpern Building, 655 Westfield Ave. Elizabeth.  

 The Conference, ...

Colleen Mahr Has Paid Her Dues, Earned Peoples’ Trust, and Left a Track Record of Success

February 20, 2018

Dear Editor:

As a 26-year-old Scotch Plains resident who cares more about the well-being of our town than about local politics, I am extremely disappointed that the Scotch Plains Democratic Committee leadership has decided to abandon Colleen Mahr in her run for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee.

Mahr, who as Mayor of Fanwood for 15 years has worked closely with Scotch Plains ...

We Need More Women Like Colleen Mahr in Municipal, County and State Government

Dear Editor:

I’m proud to support Colleen Mahr for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee  (UCDC) and am encouraging my Scotch Plains peers to join me.

I was a first time candidate wanting to make a difference in my hometown of Scotch Plains, when Mayor Mahr of neighboring Fanwood stepped in to help me campaign and win my election to be Councilwoman three years ago.

Democratic Party Would Be Making a Big Mistake by Not Recognizing Colleen Mahr's Talents

Dear Editor:

Mayor Colleen Mahr has been a valuable friend to the Township of Cranford. Whether it’s offering advice and assistance during devastating flood cleanup, supporting the Mayor's Council on the Rahway River, or her insight and assistance in meeting our affordable housing obligations, Mayor Mahr is always there for Cranford.

Colleen’s fairness and integrity is ...

Chatham Borough Police Chief Crosson has Retired; Captain Gibbons is Acting Commander

February 12, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Phil Crosson Jr., who has been a member of the Chatham Borough Police Department since 1992, retired from his position as the police chief on Feb. 1.

"It came on pretty quickly," Crosson said when reached by phone on Sunday. "I was on vacation for six weeks and I bought a business. I came back for one day and retired."

According to Crosson, ...

‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

The advocates, who say they have attended more than 80 town meetings to inform about the benefits of medical cannabis, mentioned the 1936 movie "Reefer ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, February 23

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Carousel_image_b59229b3972266545812_magnet_fundraising_auction_2018_flyer_0219

Fri, February 23, 6:30 PM

Union County Vocational Technical Schools, West Hall Cafeteria, Scotch Plains

Union County Magnet High School Silent Auction

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Sat, February 24

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Sat, February 24, 10:00 AM

Municipal Court Room/Council Chambers, BERKELEY HEIGHTS

Return Berkeley Heights Public Library's Books, ...

Other

Carousel_image_ebabe6d4e0eb6af7bda2_https---cdn.evbuc.com-images-40285364-230483587926-1-original

Sat, February 24, 3:00 PM

White Tiger Dojo, Berkeley Heights

White Tiger Dojo Hosts Trauma Response Seminar: ...

Health & Wellness

Sun, February 25

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

I've Always Wanted to be a Doctor...Or an English Teacher

Think about the impossibility of the task we lay in front of high school students.  In addition to getting good grades, filling up a resume, finding the right colleges and writing countless admissions essays they also need to decide on their life’s passion at 17 years old...or do they?

As a college admissions representative the first question most students would ask me was whether ...

Now That The Dust Has Settled…Smart Tax Moves In 2018

Now that the dust has settled, here are some smart tax moves to lower your taxes and/or avoid higher taxes/penalties in 2018. These steps may be especially helpful if you live in high property and high income tax states (e.g. New Jersey, New York, California) since state and local tax deductions are capped.  Unfortunately all these changes mean you’ll need more time and energy to ...

Invest Like a Tortoise -- Not Like a Hare

Aesop’s “The Tortoise and the Hare” is a perfect metaphor for the way people go about investing their money. As you recall in the fable, the hare brags about his ability to beat the tortoise and is overly confident about winning. In the investment world, the hare is someone who thinks he or she is great at selecting “winners” and avoiding “losers.” The ...