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The Gateway Family YMCA

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Sounds of Laughter, Music and Fun at The Gateway Family YMCA

Music Program emerges from partnership between The Gateway Family YMCA and the Institute of Music for Children in Elizabeth

Elizabeth, NJ, February 27, 2014 --( Students in the Y after school care program at School #18 in Elizabeth were encouraged to express themselves through music, during a free music program this month. This program emerged from a new partnership between The Gateway Family YMCA – Elizabeth Branch afterschool program and the Institute of Music for Children, also located in Elizabeth. The institute recently received a grant through the Youth Service Commission of Union County Performing Arts Program. At no cost, they provided 4 workshop sessions, 1.5 hours in length teaching participants about music, rhythm and drumming. The music class was taught under the instruction of Rudy Bird, a world class drummer who tours around the world as a master drummer and percussionist. During the workshops at the Y after school care program, he instructed the children in hand percussion, congas, drumming and stick technique with buckets and snares.

The program culminated in a one hour sharing session to showcase their new skills for their family and friends. Children in the Y’s Elizabeth Branch after school program thoroughly enjoyed the program, and their families enjoyed sharing in their new skills. “It’s amazing what the children can learn in a short time, and how excited they were to show off their new skills for their parents and families,” stated Jessica Samolewicz, Associate Executive Director.

The Elizabeth Branch after school program provides a safe and fun environment for children in local schools. The Y also provides opportunities for children to learn, grow and make new friends in summer camp, holiday break programs, child care and fitness programs for youth and teens. Early Learning Readiness - a free preschool age caregiver/child program, is also provided in Elizabeth and is open to the community. In addition to youth programs and membership, the Elizabeth Branch offers extensive housing and social services programs to support individuals in need of a safe environment, with opportunities to transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency. The Gateway Family YMCA is more than a gym. It’s a cause.

The Gateway Family YMCA, formerly The YMCA of Eastern Union County, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, health and community service organization of caring staff and volunteers dedicated to strengthening the foundations of community and stands For Youth Development, For Healthy Living and For Social Responsibility. The Gateway Family YMCA impacts the community by providing quality services to people of all ages, races, faith or incomes. The Y doesn’t just strengthen bodies – it strengthens people, families and communities.

For more information about community programs and services provided by The Gateway Family YMCA – Elizabeth Branch, please visit or contact the Elizabeth Branch at or 908-355-9622.
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The Gateway Family YMCA
Colleen Clayton

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