This summer, the Summit Area YMCA is excited to introduce a FREE summer swim lesson program for special needs youth & teens, graciously sponsored by the Police Athletic League of Summit (Summit PAL).
Learning how to be safe and assertive around water is an essential life skill for all. This program focuses on providing youth and teens with diverse abilities, the opportunity to grow strength, knowledge, and confidence around water. Our certified swim instructors, who have been extensively trained by the American Red Cross, will teach students based on the needs of each child's individual ability, aiming for progress while ensuring the safety and comfort of all. Swim lessons are held in our indoor heated pool at the Summit YMCA.
This program offers 30-minute one-on-one swim lessons during a 4-week period and the next session begins Tuesday, July 5, 2022. Spots are limited, please contact us using the buttons below to sign up, learn more or inquire about availability in the upcoming session.
The Special Needs Programs at the Summit Area YMCA are thoughtfully designed for children with diverse abilities like communication, social, behavioral and learning differences to thrive in a safe, friendly and supportive environment. Our mission is to encourage, help, build and strengthen healthy physical activity, confidence, social skills and more. From sports and pet therapy, to swim or special events, participants can enjoy a variety of activities that promote health, wellness, creative enrichment, socialization and more.
Our Fridays in Motion program, is a free, monthly recreational and social event which engages teens through games, swimming, sports, arts, crafts, and pet therapy visits. 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.”
In 2008, Y-USA developed the Global Centers of Excellence (GCE) network, later named Diversity, Inclusion & Global Innovation Network, as a core strategy to respond to rapidly changing demographics and build local Y capacity to welcome, connect, advocate for, and serve diverse and underserved communities at home and abroad. In line with the Summit Area YMCA's continual commitment to providing meaningful programs and services for our diverse community, we proudly became the first DIG Innovation Network YMCA within the State of New Jersey and in 2022 are as committed as ever 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. Supporting families and the community in their efforts to spread awareness, appreciation for diversity and a sense of inclusivity for everyone in the community is core to the Y’s mission to help every individual reach their highest potential.
In 1886, we were founded as the Young Men's Christian Association, but today, we are The Y. An association that values, and is made stronger by, its diverse people. We stand for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility — For a better us. We are committed to creating equal opportunity for all regardless of gender, age, disability, income, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religious affiliation. We strive to create a welcoming and inclusive culture in which our four core values — responsibility, honesty, caring and respect — are integral to everyday operations.
Each year, as one of the area’s leading 501(c)(3) charitable organizations, the Summit Area YMCA serves more than 15,000 individuals with our free and fee-based programs and services in an area spanning the New Jersey communities of Berkeley Heights, Gillette, Millburn, New Providence, Short Hills, Springfield, Stirling and Summit. Our history is rooted in working side-by-side with our neighbors to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, we are able to offer financial assistance for our programs and services to those in need.