YMCA program extends to Sparta

YOUTH. Teacher advice paid off for Amanda Keppler. She won first place in the 16-18 year-old student art division at the State Fair.

Aug 08 2019 | 03:40 PM

“We are thrilled to be able to extend our before and after-school program to Sparta and offer children in the community a safe place to continue learning, stay active, and become motivated to reach their potential,” said Rob Wiggins, district executive director at the Sussex County YMCA."

The YMCA stands for a tradition of excellence, among children, teenagers and adults.

"Having worked with the Y for many years, I am confident the Sparta students will greatly benefit from its nurturing and caring environment,” said Dr. Mike Rossi, Ph.D., superintendent of Sparta Public Schools.

The program will be open to students in the elementary schools throughout the district in grades pre-K to 5. The Y offers convenient scheduling and affordable care for working parents, with the before care program starting at 7 a.m. at Mohawk Avenue School, and 7:30 a.m. at Alpine Elementary and Helen Morgan schools, and after school care ending at 6 p.m. for all schools. After care will be located at Mohawk Avenue School. All students enrolled in after care programs will be transported by school district buses to Mohawk. Families can choose between three and five days a week. Discounts are offered for families with more than one child in the program, as well as school district employees.

The Y also offers financial assistance to qualifying students and accepts child care subsidy programs administered by Norwescap CFRS in Sussex County. As part of the Y’s effort to encourage healthy habits, the Y incorporates the nationally recognized Coordinated Approach to Child Health curriculum into its before and after school program by providing nutritious snacks and physical activities each day. Because the safety of children is the YMCA’s number one priority, all of the Sussex County YMCA’s School Age Child Care sites are licensed by the state and meet and exceed their standards, including maintaining lower staff-to-child ratios. All staff receive on-going training throughout the year that includes CPR and first aid certifications.

YMCA staff undergo thorough background screening and reference checks prior to employment. Staff are also required to obtain over 30 hours of training in child development and safety.

What families can expect from the Y’s school age care program:

-Trained and certified staff dedicated to youth development.

-On-site care before school starting at 7 a.m. or 7:30 a.m.

-After school care for all students at Mohawk Avenue School from dismissal until 6 p.m.

-Academic support through daily help with homework.

-Enrichment activities in science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM).

-Healthy snacks that meet USDA nutrition guidelines and align with YMCA Health Eating and Physical Activity standards.

-Indoor and outdoor play, including 30 minutes of fun physical activity each day.

-Social and Emotional Learning/Mindfulness

-Lessons that teach problem solving, embrace diversity and build healthy relationships that will last well into adulthood.

-Achievement program that fosters work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills and uses experiential learning to inspire students to dream big and reach their potential.

-Regular specialists and special events to enhance the daily program.

-Opportunities for volunteering and community service projects.

-Continued care when schools are closed through our Vacation Camp.

The Y utilizes the Raptor web-based platform to screen guests, instantly identifying sex-offenders to prevent access to our facilities. The Raptor system is widely used in Sussex County schools.To register for the program, go online. The YMCA will also offer employment opportunities for child care workers in its before and after school programs.

To view a current list of openings and qualifications, please visit the Y’s website.Contact the Sussex County YMCA at 973-209-9622 or visit sussexcountyymca.org for more information. ABOUT THE YThe Sussex County Y is a branch of the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges, which serves more than 2,800 children in before- and after-care with more than 40 locations in Bergen, Essex, Passaic and Sussex counties.

Established in 1885, the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges invests in its diverse communities to promote wellness, safety and quality of life for children, adults and seniors. Its seven branches in East Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Hackensack, Hardyston, Stillwater and Wayne are committed to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility through an array of programs. Some 35,000 people belong to the Metro Y, which awards more than $2.8 million annually in direct and indirect financial assistance.