YMCA of MEWSA receives Young Explorers grant for outdoor exploration

The Young Explorers Program at the YMCA of MEWSA's Avenel Learning Center in Woodbridge fosters outdoor learning experiences for children.PHOTO COURTESY OF THE YMCA OF MEWSA
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The Young Explorers Program at the YMCA of MEWSA's Avenel Learning Center in Woodbridge fosters outdoor learning experiences for children.PHOTO COURTESY OF THE YMCA OF MEWSA

The YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge & South Amboy (MEWSA) has received notification of a grant award in the amount of $7,500 through the PNC Foundation’s Grow Up Great program to support the costs of its Young Explorers Program at the Y’s Avenel Learning Center in Woodbridge.

The program is geared toward early learners ages 3-5 and will give the children the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills in all STEM-related areas through weekly activities, outdoor “field trip” exploration, science projects and experimentation, according to information provided by the Y.

The program will nurture the children’s innate tendencies towards exploration, sensory stimulation and STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) learning through the outdoors. The program will connect outdoor nature projects with STEM learning to foster the children’s natural curiosity and exploration of the world, according to the statement.

During such time as weather prohibits being outdoors, students will continue their lesson plans indoors.

By providing both indoor and outdoor programming environments, the children will have opportunities to set goals and acquire new knowledge and skills through purposeful play, according to the statement.

The majority of the participants in this program will be from low- and moderate-income families, according to the statement.

For more information on this program, contact Deanna Smith, Child Care director, Avenel Learning Center, at deanna.smith@ymcaofmewsa.org or 732-636-1100.