YMCA launches Saranac Lake programs

SARANAC LAKE – The YMCA will launch its first programs in Saranac Lake this spring and plans to expand its offerings later in the year.YMCA logo

Representatives of the YMCA, the village of Saranac Lake, the Saranac Lake Central School District, North Country Community College and Citizen Advocates met recently to discuss and refine the initial programs the YMCA could offer in Saranac Lake. Feedback from the community, through a survey and a public meeting held last year, has been used by the group to identify gaps in services that the YMCA could meet.

Starting the week of April 29, the YMCA will offer its Y’s Time afterschool care program on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Petrova Elementary School. These two-day-a-week, hour-long sessions will be open to students in kindergarten through fifth grade and will run until the end of the school year in June. Y’s Time will include a healthy snack, physical activity and a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) project.

“The YMCA and our local partners are excited to take this first step toward serving the community,” said Michelle Schumacher, director of the Greater Malone YMCA. “This initial programming will serve as an introduction to a five-day-a-week before and afterschool care program we will be starting in September.”

“The community identified childcare around the school day as a significant need both on the survey and at the forum,” said Diane Fox, superintendent of the Saranac Lake Central School District. “Being able to offer care at the school is a great gift to parents.”

The spring Tuesday and Thursday Y’s Time sessions will cost $5 per student. Financial assistance is available. The school district will provide bussing to Bloomingdale Elementary School students who register for the program.

Registration information will be sent home with each student. For more information on the upcoming Y’s Time program, contact the Greater Malone YMCA at 518-483-2354 or info@maloneymca.com.

The introduction of before and afterschool care programs is just one way the YMCA is looking to serve the Saranac Lake community.  For example, YMCA representatives have been working with North Country Community College and community representatives to develop a business plan for a potential aquatics program at the college’s pool, as part of the college’s ongoing review of the pool’s operations.

“The YMCA is welcomed with wide open arms here in Saranac Lake and will no doubt be a vital and growing part of our greater community,” said Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau.

“The successful launch of YMCA services in Saranac Lake is a direct result of input from the community and a testament to the dedication of the partners involved in the effort: the YMCA, the College, the village, the school district and Citizen Advocates,” said Dr. Steve Tyrell, NCCC president. “Our college community is very excited to see this important community initiative take these first steps forward with the YMCA’s presence in the community.”

 “Citizen Advocates values its partnership with the YMCA, and our shared commitment to enriching the lives of those we support,” said Reid Anthony, CEO of Citizen Advocates. “The residents of Saranac Lake have embraced the opportunity to establish a strong presence by the YMCA in the community, and we are proud to be part of the team that takes the first of many steps toward achieving this goal and many more in the years to come.”