The Learning Circle YMCA Receives $76,552 to Transform Its Classrooms

Summit, NJ: January marks the completion of a two-year project to replace decades-old furniture at The Learning Circle (TLC) YMCA, an early childhood education center at the Summit Area YMCA, thanks to generous grants from The Summit Foundation and E.J. Grassmann Trust. For the nearly 200 children who spend eight hours or more each weekday at TLC, this equipment will create a brighter, updated atmosphere where they can learn, explore and use their creativity.

The Learning Circle YMCA first received $40,000 from The Summit Foundation and $10,000 from the E.J. Grassmann Trust for furniture replacement in 2021. In December 2022, TLC received an additional $26,552 from The Summit Foundation to finish out the project. In total, this funding replaced outdated furniture in 13 classrooms, outfitted the preschool library with new Creative Curriculum books and kits, established a new Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Center for PreK students, and created a writing nook in the kindergarten area.

“We are not only grateful but so fortunate to have received these grants,” said The Learning Circle YMCA Executive Director Jennifer Brown. “TLC is the first educational experience for many local children, and it’s critical that our students have an inviting environment where they can develop a real love of learning”.

The Learning Circle YMCA, which has been providing quality care since its founding as Summit Child Care Center in 1954, is known for its hands-on learning experiences and dedication to promoting educational equity. Scholarships are available throughout the year for local families, so children of all economic backgrounds can grow and thrive.

“Generous organizations like The Summit Foundation and E.J. Grassmann Trust ensure that we can maintain the same level of excellence that our early childhood education center has had over the course of its 68-year history, “said Paul Kieltyka, President and CEO of the Summit Area YMCA. “And with additional help from individual donors, we ensure that everyone, regardless of financial circumstance, has access to this invaluable community resource.”

As the demand for childcare continues to grow nationwide, the residents of Summit and its surrounding areas can rest assured that early childhood education remains a top priority for local foundations and donors.

To learn more about The Learning Circle YMCA Early Education Center please visit

Kaitlin Casey
VP of Advancement



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.