The YMCA keeps residents healthy and engaged in more than 10,000 neighborhoods across the country, but it traces its American origins to the streets of 19th-century Boston. Here, Thomas Valentine Sullivan carried on the mission started in London by George Williams: providing affordable recreation and residence to young men from cities and country towns alike. Over the last century and change, the organization's mission changed to keep pace with the evolving times; today, the YMCA of Greater Boston welcomes anyone interested in furthering the causes of "youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility."
This modern mission combines the Y's signature programming with new initiatives designed to keep citizens one step ahead of an ever-changing world. Members stay fit and active with everything from organized sports and fitness classes to lifeguard, CPR, and first aid lessons. But the Y's developmental programs go far beyond bodily strength; their enrichment and leadership courses equip youths with the confidence needed to take charge in their everyday lives, and ESL classes help newcomers to English embark on the next step of their linguistic lives.
With a springy cork floor and non-toxic paint throughout, Mama & Me encourages tots to explore without fear of accident, injury, or being snatched by dingoes. Ages for each program class differ, ranging like the mighty bison from six months to five years. Parents can participate in parent/child classes, though drop-off classes are also offered. Regardless, your tot will be able to dive into a bevy of activities and amenities, including dress-up clothing, a wooden play castle, pint-sized gym equipment, hand puppets, building blocks, and more. Check the schedule to pick a time that works for you.
Propelled by a degree in human development, Fran Durekas desperately sought a career where she could put her passion for children to use. Instead of finding full-time work, she landed a spot at a small after-school program near Stanford University—it was anything but ideal, as the miniscule budget and poor quality often forced her to dip into her own funds for supplies. She began looking for a way out when the director offered her the chance to buy out the program and transform this little part-time gig into the career she was looking for. The thought of redesigning the curriculum to match her high standards, treating the teachers as professionals, and upping the involvement of area families thrilled her. She went for it, opening her first Children’s Creative Learning Center in 1992.
Now a multistate company accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, CCLC continue to overhaul their programs to keep pace with the latest research in the field of early development. CCLC hire top educators, focusing on developing social, emotional, physical, and intellectual skills while maintaining important boundaries and a feeling of play. Recently, educational company Knowledge Universe brought all CCLC under its umbrella, providing its newest independent division with even more resources to help children grow into well-rounded students and not into giant, skyscraper-destroying monsters. They also offer daycare services, which operate in or alongside many of the classroom facilities at CCLC.
The Gym Class’s trainers lead boot camps that are both fun and effective. Sessions are designed to promote fitness and camaraderie, encouraging athletes to work together to achieve each other’s goals. The boot camp blends traditional, callisthenic, and bodyweight exercises with interval training and strength training to help promote fat loss, often using equipment such as stability balls, battle ropes, and suspension training systems. The location of the camps can also vary, with groups meeting at recreation areas, gymnastics gyms, and elementary schools.
Sullivan's Rhode boasts an Irish lilt and a vibrant, sporting atmosphere where cold brews are savored and traditional pub fare warms bellies. Among the murmur of sporting debates, affable servers float plates amid the glow of nine 50-inch plasma TVs that display basketball, hockey, and full-contact tic-tac-toe. Providence College basketball games precede Thursday-night karaoke, and locals shake a leg during Wednesday's DJ dance party. Minutiae masters host Monday-evening trivia, where guests must flex brain muscles and refrain from taking advantage of Sullivan's free WiFi to look up the answers.:
Founded by a childbirth educator recently profiled in Worcester Mag, Mothers & Company’s natural-parenting community center supports expectant and new moms with relaxing yoga classes while its store supplies them with organic and natural baby products. The store's collection of cloth diapers, baby carriers and slings, pumps, and other accessories facilitates a natural and organic transition into parenthood. The store’s homeopathic, all-natural Hyland's Calms Forté sleep aid soothes parental nerves with chamomile, slipping them into restful sleep filled with dreams about even more sleep ($7.50); a pair of absorbent, washable Bummis training pants stretches with Lycra to fit around little legs and bellies as they trot toilet-ward ($11).