BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Though nearly all of the Y in Central Maryland’s 120+ membership and program sites, including its family centers, swim centers, after school site, Head Start sites, mentoring programs and more are temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Y says it’s putting its resources to good use.
Starting Wednesday, March 25, the Y’s 11 Family Centers will open to provide child care for approximately 700 children of first responders and frontline health care workers, according to a press release from the Y.READ MORE: Daily Forecast: Slightly Cooler Friday
They’ll serve children ages 4-12 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, following “enhanced health guidelines developed by the Maryland Department of Health,” including taking the temperature of every child entering the building, restricting building access, frequent hand-washing, enhanced cleaning procedures and limiting 10 people to each space.
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The operation is in partnership with the Maryland State Departments of Education and Health, the group said in a press release.
John Hoey, President and CEO of the Y in Central Maryland, released a statement following these new initiatives:READ MORE: Three Maryland Cities Among 'Top 100 Best Places To Live In America'
“I am deeply proud of the responsiveness, resourcefulness and character our Y teams have demonstrated through this crisis. Their spirit and resolve to serve the most vulnerable in our community is what the Y is all about and always will be. I am also gratified and humbled by the many Y members who have chosen to maintain their Y membership during this crisis. As an independent 501(c)3 organization, those membership dues become charitable contributions during this crisis and help support the provision of vital community services to those most in need. Our members, along with donors, funders and other partners are critical to our ability to provide these vital community services and to remain viable through this crisis. Without them, this work would not be possible.”
Y associates will also return to schools to serve “grab and go” meals. They will also be providing regular “virtual and phone contact with families” to help provide food and health resources, and at-home lesson plans to help parents keep their children engaged and healthy during this time. This resource extends to seniors as well.
In an effort to keep families engaged while at home, they are moving some programs online.
They are developing online exercise classes and “youth and family enrichment activities” through social media and a weekly enews that will put together resources and health tips while families are at home.MORE NEWS: Memorial Service Announced For Elijah Gorham At Mervo High School