In alignment with Governor Wolf’s orders to halt the spread of COVID-19, All YMCA of Reading and Berks County locations, including child care centers, are temporarily closed. Our facilities are scheduled to reopen on March 30 and our childcare centers will reopen on April 1. Any changes to these dates will be communicated through our website, Facebook, and Constant Contact. To register for email alerts, please click here.

YMCA Updates

  • 3/26/2020 | We are pleased to share that the YMCA of Reading and Berks County has been approved to provide Emergency Child Care Programming for essential workers in our community.  This is designed to be a last resort for people who fill critical roles in our community and have exhausted all other options for care for their children so that they can work.The program will take place at of our Reading YMCA, located at 631 Washington St., Reading, PA 1960,  provided from 6:00am-6:00pm.We will be serving children 6 weeks to age 12.  This program is available on a first come, first serve basis with pre-registration required. Families should limit the time that their children are in this setting as much as possible recognizing that staying home and out of group settings is the best way to prevent becoming sick.For more information, please click here.To pre-register for Emergency Child Care, please fill out the form here.Please complete Emergency Child Care Full Packet and return to seppihimer@ymca-berkscounty.org
  • 3/26/2020 | Stay with Us Support Options and Freeze Membership Options are now available during the remainder of our closure. Read the full letter here.

Fitness Resources

Our facilities are closed, but we are still here for you! As a staff working remotely, we continue to focus on our members by securing online fitness relationships and recording fitness workouts and seminars for our members to use from home.

  • Les Mills Online – Les Mills classes are some of our most popular offerings with programs including strength, cardio, HIIT, dance, flexibility and more. During this time of closure we are glad to partner with Les Mills to provide this at-home option to our members. This platform is free to use and will not collect any data from users.  It has 95 workout options across 8 categories that are ready to play right now. The workouts will remain open and available as long as the coronavirus situation continues to cause disruption.
  • YMCA 360 – Check out YMCA 360 on YouTube, your perfect portal for a total Y Workout at home! Feature selections including boot camp, active older adults, yoga, and even barre classes, this is a great place to stop if you want that Y experience!
  • FitnessBlender – This free resource provides videos for all ages, including family workouts! Get the whole family fit together!

Resources for Parents

With kids across Pennsylvania currently experiencing social distancing and a lack of mental stimulation, it is more crucial than ever to have the tools to keep little minds and hands occupied. We have compiled a list of learning resources and activities below to help out during this time:

  • Scholastic Learn at Home – Even when schools are closed, you can keep the learning going with these special cross-curricular journeys. Every day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video. Kids can do them on their own, with their families, or with their teachers. Just find your grade level and let the learning begin!
  • PBS Newsletter – This helpful daily newsletter offers activities for kids and tips for parents as we play and learn at home. Plus, the PBS Games and Video Apps offer nonstop educational content kids will love!
  • Google Arts & Culture – Visit the museum… virtually! Google Arts and Culture uses the power of Google Earth to allow you to explore more than 500 museums worldwide.
  • School Breakfast and Lunch Pickup Locations – Many school districts are providing free meals in the interim to area students. Click to find out if your school is participating and where to pick up!
  • How to Talk to Children About COVID-19 – In this unprecedented time, you may find yourself struggling with how to talk to kids about our current situation. This helpful article from PBS offers parents an approach to help children understand COVID-19, correct untrue information, and teach children to take precaution without fear.
  • E-Books, Movies, and More – Check out Hoopla for an extensive library of movies, books, and more that you can “borrow” while your local library is closed. It’s compatible with e-readers as well as web browsers, so all you’ll need is internet access to get going!
  • The Crash Course – There’s so many educational resources out there for younger kids during this time… but what about teens? The Crash Course provides helpful, short videos on all topics, from world history, science, literature, and even film studies!

Stress Management and Mental Health Resources

We understand stress and fear are running very high right now, and we believe mental health is just as crucial as physical health. We’ve prepared a list below of resources, which you can utilize if you’re looking to de-stress, need someone to talk to, or need some support during this time.

  • How You and Your Kids Can Destress During Coronavirus – This helpful article from PBS gives tips and tricks for calming yourself and children, managing moods, and approaching this time with kindness and compassion. Plus, it provides deep breathing exercises the family can do together!
  • Managing Anxiety and Stress During COVID-19 – This helpful resource from the CDC offers tips for managing mental health related to COVID-19 and quarantine as well as gives a list of signs and symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression to watch out for in yourself and others.
  • Creating “For Now” Routines – When so much feels so out of control, it’s easy for the whole family to fall out of routine and feel lost as a result. The solution? Make a “for now” routine. This helpful article from Sesame Street in Communities details how to set attainable goals, communicate with the family, and set clear standards for family time versus work and school.
  • Mental Health Hotlines & Forums – If you are unable to visit a therapist, counselor, or support group during this time, this helpful list provides a variety of online support groups, around the clock hotlines, and more for those struggling with mental health, including resources specifically for individuals with depression and anxiety, Veterans with PTSD, individuals with OCD, and many more.
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation Exercise -Times like these may be causing you to carry tension in your muscles leading not only to pain in the body, but also heightened anxiety. Progressive Muscle Relaxation calls you to tense and relax muscles in your body head to toe, leaving your body fully relaxed at the end!
  • Animal Sanctuary Live Streams – sometimes you just need to tune out and focus on something else for a while. Studies show that viewing videos of cute animals can improve a person’s mood and help boost productivity and concentration!

Healthy and Easy Recipes

In a time like this, it’s easy to turn to unhealthy, processed foods for the sake of convenience and cost. For that reason, we’re sharing a few easy, budget friendly, and balanced meals that the whole family will love! You can even get your kids involved in some of these for a fun, family activity!

  • Apple-Raisin Baked Oatmeal – This recipe is not only super easy to make, but also features ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. Best of all, it’s great fresh or can be frozen for leftovers. Make it ahead and have a healthy breakfast on hand all weel!
  • Three-Ingredient Black Bean Soup – A super easy soup that only requires three ingredients: broth, canned tomatoes, and black beans! Add spices, cheese, and garnishes to really give it some extra flair!
  • Barbeque Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins, very filling, and super affordable. Add some chicken and your favorite barbecue sauce and enjoy this quick and delicious treat!
  • Sausage and Cannellini Bean Soup – This is a super simple soup packed with protein! As a bonus, you can sneak some greens in to your kids diet in a super delicious way!
  • Banana Bread – Have a few bananas that are getting a bit too brown? Don’t throw them away, give them a second life with this quick dessert!
  • Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Cookies – These absolutely awesome breakfast cookies are made using just peanut butter, bananas and oats! The best part? No added sugar, making them a breakfast you can feel good about while satisfying that sweet tooth!
  • Cucumber Tomato Salad – Who says you need lettuce to make a salad? Get your daily dose of veggies with this delicious and fresh salad. This recipe features minimal ingredients, takes just minutes to prepare, and is a great way to clear out those extra ingredients in your crisper drawer!
Please stop by regularly for updates from our facilities, additional resources, and other information as it becomes available. Thank you!