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Credit Kristina Soetje for TRW

UMBC getting Y schooled

The recent reopening of the Y school was one of the fruits of the extensive construction and renovations being made at UMBC. The long-established YMCA preschools in Baltimore county has now rejoined UMBC.

With all of the traffic, tardiness and stress that it has caused, at least something good has come of this construction plague. The Y school will be a valuable addition for many UMBC faculty, staff and students.

It will undoubtedly be helpful for those who have children. The convenience of the Y school being on campus can turn a very time consuming commute into a better one. Having the same destination for their work and preschool for their child will be labor-saving. Instead of driving to an intermediate destination on the way to and from work, their child’s preschool is just a short walk away.

The campus preschool director, Kerry Cloud, was delighted to talk about the mutualistic relationship that the Y school offers for our campus.

“I think having the Y Preschool on the campus of UMBC is a positive for both the preschool and the campus. For the preschool, we can partner with many different UMBC programs to enrich the program we offer to children. We already have plans with the Red Cross Club and the SUCCESS program,” she said.  “For UMBC, the Y Preschool offers a safe, educational place for their children to attend while they work or attend classes. We can also offer hands on experiences for students attending UMBC to enhance their learning, as well.”

People who make use of the Y school can rest assured that their child is in a safe environment. A security code is needed to gain access to the building and there is a fenced playground. Structural renovations have been made to the building, including a new roof and updated HVAC systems.

UMBC president, Freeman A. Hrabowski III said that “the safety of the children was critical.” The Y school will allow parents to go about their day with peace of mind that their child is in a safe environment.

UMBC is known for its STEM program and research. With parental consent, the Y school could be a potential research domain. Psychology students who are interested in developmental research could use this to their advantage. With a variety of preschoolers, students could have an opportunity to analyze early cognitive development and how it can be subjective.

The drama, music and art departments can also become involved with the Y school by putting on performances for the preschoolers or setting up art activities. Such creative events and activities can certainly have a positive impact on the preschool experience.

Students who are interested in becoming teachers will also have an opportunity to collaborate with the Y school and gain valuable teaching experience. Practical experience in a field of interest can go a long way. It shows that students can take what they learn from textbooks and apply it to real life.

The reopening of the Y school will have a positive impact on the UMBC community and will open up many opportunities for students, staff and faculty.