Teen ProgramThe Berkeley Y is in the process of developing a Teen Center which should be opening in the first part of next year. I believe they are interested in receiving suggestions from the community regarding what will be offered in this new program. Margy
In response to the parent whose son is Hanging Out with Free Time --- and who use to express interest in the Y. While he may be into activities with friends that now may make the Y of no interest to him, for other parents the Friday night program is a great program. The Downtown Berkeley YMCA is starting the 2000-20001 Waves of the Future program with some new counselors and still has openings. An application must be submitted by the student and it is very easy to do. The program is volunteer orientated.
The older teens/middle school youth meet from 5pm to 7pm. Then the younger kids (such as 4th, 5th grades) meet from 7pm to 9pm. If you or your child is interested, call the YMCA for more information and arrange to come see what is going on.
My 8th grader's participation for the last year and a half has been an extremely positive influence in his life. He has been around adults who are superb role models and he makes friends from all over town. It keeps him focused on positive experiences and in his case is he is developing his people and leadership skills. It has also kept him busy on Friday evenings so other boring or troublesome activities have not taken up his time. This year his 4th grade sister is able to join the younger group and she is making new friends while helping as a volunteer.
The Downtown YMCA has the most diverse membership of any community organization in the Berkeley area!!! I highly recommend its youth activities---even for nonmembers. The Friday Family Night events are a nominal cost and are great for the elementary and preschool children accompanied by parents (family swims, kindergym, arts and crafts, etc.). Even if you are not prepared for a full individual or family membership, stop by and pick up a program to see what programs are available with an inexpensive Community Membership for your child or children. Individual Teen memberships are available when they are 13 years old and then they can use the facilities to work out before about 5pm. Again, I highly recommend the Y.