Ribbon cut for new child development wing at YMCA

State Sen. Gayle Slossberg (D-Milford) was joined Thursday by local elected and YMCA officials, as well as a few dozen young children, to cut the ribbon on a new child development wing at the Woodruff Family YMCA. The expansion was made possible by support from YMCA officials and a state investment secured by Slossberg.

“We know that the time we invest in our kids when they’re very young makes a critical difference in their ability to succeed in school and throughout their lives. That’s what this project is about,” said Slossberg. “By expanding classroom space we have increased the number of young lives that can be impacted by the great work of the Woodruff Family YMCA. This YMCA does incredible work for our community, and I’m proud to have been able to help them with that work.”

The $250,000 of state bonding made it possible for the Woodruff Family YMCA to build its new early learning center, according to a press release from Slossberg’s office. The bonding paid for the construction and furnishing of three new classrooms, as well as children’s restrooms.

YMCA provides daycare and educational programs for pre-school aged children in these classrooms, and older students use the spaces to complete their homework after school.

“The Woodruff YMCA keeps getting better and better,” Mayor Ben Blake said during the ceremony. “This is a place where I grew up, taking swimming lessons and going to summer camps. I have three children under seven years old, and we take them here very often as well.”

David Stevenson, President & CEO of the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA, talked about the education achievement gap in the state.

“What a great day it is for Milford and the mighty Woodruff Family YMCA,” Stevenson said. “We have some pretty serious challenges here in Connecticut, but I’m convinced that we have the assets and the resources to address them. One of those challenges is the education achievement gap that so many families struggle with. We know that in many of our towns and our cities kids who get into fifth grade are several grades behind. The most powerful thing we can do is help kids get off to a good start. So while this new child care facility is about creating support for families, it’s also about helping kids get academically prepared to enter kindergarten on par with their peers.”