Summit Area YMCA Special Needs Classes, Bowling & Much More



On Thursday, January 26th the Berkeley Heights YMCA took 15 students bowling at Bowlmor in Green Brook. These students were from three different school districts; Governor Livingston in Berkeley Heights, New Providence School District and Fanwood/Scotch Plains School District. The night was to provide a fun social event for the students but also provide a break for the parents. Students as young as 6th grade to 20 years old participated. It was a great night for the students, parents and the staff.

The Summit Area YMCA is proud to be the first YMCA in New Jersey to be a part of the Diversity, Inclusion and Global Innovation Network, a network dedicated to reaching out to diverse and underserved communities, community bridge-building, and driving program innovation so that everyone, regardless of who they are or where they come from, has an opportunity to reach their full potential. The Y’s Special Needs Programs help individuals in a safe, friendly and supportive environment while building confidence, social skills and more.

"I went to Tiffany with an idea and she allowed my vision to become a reality. The event brought together students from three Union County high-schools and gave them an opportunity to meet new people and interact with peers outside of their individual schools.” said Phil Acosta of Governor Livingston High School in Berkeley Heights. “ The students were upbeat and positive the entire time and we are excited to hold future events to this support this amazing group of students."

Parents, teachers, students and Y staff had a wonderful time bowling and getting to know each other. “! It’s so tough to find recreational activities for teens with special needs but this event was a home run!! I feel incredibly lucky that our community Y is able to offer a program like this---can’t wait for the next event. Thank you BH YMCA!” said Stephanie, a participant at the event.

In addition to special events, the Berkeley Heights YMCA is excited to offer a free class, Young Adult Special Needs Yoga, taught by a specially trained yoga instructor from Ashrams for Autism. The class will focus on empowering and guiding the special needs community toward peacefully achieving their highest potential through yoga. The class is open to ages 13-21 and runs from February 24th -April 28th from 4:00-5:00PM. Preregistration is required. 

Special Needs Introduction to Sports Clinic is our new introductory sports class, free of charge, for kids ages 6-9 with intellectual disabilities. Each week the kids will learn a new sport. Class begins February 28th and meets weekly from 3:45-4:15PM at the Summit YMCA. 

Special Needs Gym invites anyone from the community who has a special needs child ages 3-12 to join us at the Summit YMCA for some fun, active play with our gym equipment, parachute, balls and more. This free class will be offered during spring break on Wednesday, April 12th from 11:00-12:00PM and Friday, April 14th from 1:00-2:00PM.

Our Parent/Child Water Acclimation Class, designed for children with autism, is geared to children ages 3-8 with an introduction to water where they will learn basic swim skills in a safe and fun environment. This weekly class runs from Saturday, March 4th- Saturday, April 22nd at 1:45PM at the Summit YMCA. There is a fee for this class.

Sundays in Motion is a free two-hour recreational program for children with autism and their families. The program is open to the community and will include games and physical play, as well as open sensory activities in the Auditorium. Participants can also enjoy open swimming in the Buntin Pool of the Summit YMCA. Upcoming dates are March 19th, April 23rd, and May 21st. 

The Summit Area YMCA is one of area’s leading 501c3 organizations. Our programs and services are open to all through our financial assistance programs made possible through the generosity of our members, donors, staff and partners. To help us help others, please make your donation today at