The Ridgewood YMCA is slowly reopening select programs after significantly cutting back and limiting membership due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Throughout the pandemic, the Ridgewood YMCA continued some programs like Learning Labs, pre-K and early childhood education, but other programs like fitness classes and youth programs were put on pause. Last month, those programs, along with the My Grown Up and Me program, started to reopen. Additional enrollment will be open for the spring programs in mid-February.
Registration is now open for in-person Holiday Camps during February and April school vacations, as well as for summer camp.
Matt Ferraguto, the senior executive of communications at the YMCA, said that each YMCA is a critical hub for the communities they serve and Ridgewood is no exception.
“Perhaps the most telling way to express what the Y means to the community was when we restarted group fitness classes for seniors, and one of our members was overcome with emotion and walked in the door, proudly wearing her Ridgewood Y T-shirt, and said, ‘The Y is my family. It’s like coming back home,’” Ferraguto said.
While the Ridgewood branch, located at 69-02 64th St., has been closed for membership services, residents were able to use other branches as they opened in Long Island City, Jamaica, Flushing and North Brooklyn.
Before the pandemic, the Ridgewood YMCA served more than 8,000 people annually, including 2,519 children. In 2021, it only served 3,000 people. But Ferraguto said the YMCA is looking to expand programs and services to increase membership soon.
During the pandemic, the Ridgewood YMCA partnered with the NYC Department of Education to provide remote classes during the pandemic as well as in-person summer camps. As a result, the Ridgewood Y offered in-person summer camp to 79 children and significantly expanded its early childhood education programs to include five 3-K and pre-K classrooms, serving 84 children.
“As we emerge from the pandemic, we continue to examine models for how our branch can serve our community and ensure members have a positive experience,” Ferraguto said. “We are very excited to welcome neighbors back into the building and we’re incredibly proud to offer so many programs to ensure that everyone in the community has the opportunity to be a part of the Y family.”