YWCA plans upcoming programs and events

WESTFIELD – The YWCA Westfield makes the following announcements:

Babysitting class

The YWCA will be hosting a babysitting class on Saturday, April 27. The class is open to girls and boys ages 11 to 15 and will focus on childcare techniques, basic first aid and responsible decision making. Class begins at 9 a.m., and will run until 3 p.m. Students should bring a brown bag lunch, pen and notebook. Thanks to a grant from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation there is no fee for the class, but pre-registration is requested. Call the Y at 326-2011 to reserve a spot.

AARP Safe Driving

On Thursday, April 25 there will be an AARP sponsored safe driving course held at the YWCA. The course, set from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., is open to the general public. AARP membership is not required. The cost is $17 for AARP members or $19 for all others. Pre-registration is required. Call the YWCA at 326-2011 to reserve a spot.

Free classes

The Tuesday evening free classes will continue through April. Albert Ramirez, a martial arts teacher originally from Spain, will be leading classes in Taekwondo and self-defense for women. The Taekwondo classes begin at 5:30 p.m., for ages 8 to 15 and classes for students 16 and up begin at 6:30 p.m. Self-defense for women ages 14 and up begins at 7:30 p.m. The classes are open, no membership is required and through April there will be no fees.

Universal Pre-Kindergarten registration

Parents in the Westfield school district who have a child turning 4 by Dec. 1 are invited to register for the Universal Pre-Kindergarten program lottery for the 2013-14 school year. This is a free program. Information and registration tables will be set up on Wednesday, May 8 and Thursday, May 9 from 9 a.m. to noon in the front lobby of Westfield Academy and Central School. Registration forms are currently available through the elementary office at the school, but they must be completed and turned into the school by noon on May 9. UPK students are chosen through a lottery system, and parents will be notified after May 9.

Pre-school open house

An open house for the YWCA operated pre-school will be held on Wednesday, May 15 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., in the basement of the First Presbyterian Church, 49 S. Portage St. Open registration has begun for the fall 2013 preschool semester. Forms can be requested by calling 326-4012, and they will also be available that evening. Lead teacher Terri MacCubbin and YWCA Child Services Director Brenda Backus will be on hand to meet parents and children as well as answer questions and talk more about the pre-school classes. The pre-school classes serve students 2, 3 and 4 years old, and the pre-school daycare center is open to children 33 months to school age. All parents are welcome to visit the open house and learn more. No reservations are needed.

Health insurance accepted

The YWCA announces it now accepts Independent Health Insurance Cards.

“Many of our members have their Medicare supplemental insurance through Independent Health,” YWCA Director Katie Smith said. “There is a health benefit attached to this that provides unlimited access to our fitness center. It’s a very easy process, minimal cost to the individual. We’d be happy to talk with anyone and explore their eligibility. Just bring your Independent Health card into the main office.”

The YWCA has an agency Facebook page and a page devoted to the Arts and Crafts Festival. Up to date information related to classes, programs and services provided through the YWCA is posted there. Visitors are also encouraged to comment on the YWCA, ask questions or make inquiries through this social media.

The YWCA Westfield is a member of the National YWCA, a women’s advocacy organization with affiliates worldwide. The mission of the YWCA centers on “empowering women, eliminating racism and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.” Locally, the YWCA Westfield is a United Way partner, a member of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and the Westfield Barcelona Chamber of Commerce. The mailing address for the YWCA is 58 S. Portage St., Westfield, N.Y. 14787, and the phone number is 326-2011.