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After the Bayside Little League opened its season Saturday at Crocheron Park, hordes of young children ambled down the sidewalk of 35th Avenue in Bayside with their parents, many with ice cream cones melting in their hands from the warm spring sunshine.
The ice cream cones posed a challenge for the counselors of the Bayside YMCA, who had set up several tables with fruit and health information for the groups annual Healthy Kids Day.
Not every child traded in his ice cream for an apple, but for the staffers of the Bayside Y the community exposure was a golden opportunity.
The Bayside YMCA at 35th Avenue and 214th Street got started 26 years ago, but those who work there said the community does not seem aware of its services.
Office manager and early childhood director Loretta Glubiak, who has worked at the Bayside YMCA for 15 years, said the Y is a resource for parents.
I think we offer a safe, secure place for parents to leave the kids, Glubiak said. Our theme is strong kids, strong families.
Laura Fosco, youth director, said the Bayside YMCA offers a variety of programs for children of all ages from toddlers to teens.
It keeps them off the streets, said Fosco, who said the Bayside YMCA has summer day camps, teen dances and family nights and has arranged to use a pool at Fort Totten in Bayside for its programs and activities.
In addition to having a variety of health information on topics like smoking, nutrition, fire safety and health insurance available Saturday, Bayside YMCA staffers answered questions from parents curious about the groups programs.
Maria Correa, of Bayside, enrolled her daughter Janina Yates, 8, at the Bayside YMCA a few years ago. Impressed by her daughters experience, Correa got a job with the organization.
Families grow up with us, Correa said as she manned a table full of fruit and coloring books. Its a safe haven. Its a way of life.
For more information on the Bayside YMCA call 229-5972.
Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.
©2002 Community Newspaper Group
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