GENEVA – The Geneva Community Center will be working to give Geneva’s youngest children a new, safe play place all week long.
Starting Nov. 4, the center, located at 160 Carter Road, will be open for free to children and parents, age 0 to 4, each weekday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The center, in partnership with its owner, the Boys & Girls Club of Geneva, will be offering children and parents and guardians breakfast, books, gym games and music. Transportation to and from the program can be arranged through the club.
This Toddler Time! Program is intended to give parents a place to gather, find support, inspiration and camaraderie while allowing children to enjoy a safe place to explore and enjoy away from the winter’s cold.
“There are a lot of programs for kids approaching school age,’’ said Chris Lavin, the Boys & Girls Club’s executive director. “But the earliest years of life can be pretty isolating for both kids and parents. We want to help with that. ’’
Toddler Time! is being sponsored this year by a grant from the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation, which hopes to improve opportunities for unstructured play and exercise among the region’s children. The Boys & Girls Club was awarded the grant through the Rochester Area Community Foundation.
The Geneva Community Center is a 24,000 square foot facility that includes a range of play places. There is a full gym, a black-box theater, games rooms and a full, certified kitchen for producing healthy meals. Infant areas with rugs and mats will also be available as well as reading and games spaces. All children must be accompanied by their parent or caregiver.
The program is being managed by Allauna Overstreet-Gibson, assistant executive director of the Boys & Girls Club, and staffers La Sha’ Sullivan and Alexandria Piagentini.
“We will be approaching local day care operators to make them aware of the opportunity to use these facilities to increase exercise and other activities that can become very limited in the winter,’’ Overstreet Gibson said.
There is no charge for the program but participants will be asked to fill out a free membership form.
The club owns two 14-passenger vans that will be used to help families and day cares without transportation to access the Carter Road facility.
The program is open to anyone, regardless of residence, but transportation assistance will be limited to the greater Geneva area. For more information, call 315-759-6060.
“We are hoping Toddler Time! can be a gathering place for all of Geneva’s youngest,’’ Overstreet Gibson said. “Play groups, Mom groups, day cares. All will be welcome. The coffee is always on!’’