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Today's Family Magazine

Mandel JCC expands youth programs

Sep 21, 2016 05:51PM ● By Today's Family

Kids create robotics from LEGO bricks in the enrichment class - Snapology, a class The J offers during the school year and during their summer day camp program.

By Laura Lytle

Children and families that come to the Mandel JCC in Beachwood get more than just a gym membership––they become part of the community.  A community that engages everyone, where teens have a safe place to make friends and strengthen their athletic skills, toddlers can explore, and parents can feel secure knowing their kids are having fun while learning to swim or play sports.

All youth programs are designed to keep fitness fun and exciting.  When children learn healthy living habits early, they are more likely to carry a passion for fitness throughout life.

Families with children five and older will find a variety of youth sport opportunities. Fall programs for yoga and volleyball are underway and basketball leagues and clinics are beginning soon. Kids can also master their skills with private or group racquetball lessons on one of two newly renovated full size courts. 

Parents that want to focus on their health can take advantage of onsite babysitting from trained staff while they are in a fitness class, swimming in the pool or working out in the fitness center. Kids 10 and older can work out in fitness center as well. Kids 7-9 can participate in free, supervised open gym. KidKare babysitting has free WiFi, so kids can also bring their own electronic devices or do homework.

The J’s after school program, J-Kids Club, is available for kindergarten through sixth grade students in all local school districts.  Students are given time for homework, but also enjoy time in the gym, making crafts, playing games or swimming.  Art, science and fitness enrichment programs (with an additional fee) are also available for kids enrolled in J-Kids Club and for the community as well.

Special winter and spring vacation camp programs include trips to exciting places like Swings-n-Things, Great Lakes Science Center and Sky Zone as well as open gym and swimming.  Flexible scheduling allows parents to sign up their kids for just a few days or the full week. The J also has a special program where parents can feel confident knowing care is available for unexpected snow days throughout the winter.

The J’s Family Place room offers drop-in play and parent and tot enrichment programs during the week. Magical Mondays and Tot Shabbat encourage imaginative play and focus on early learning including shapes, colors and life values, caring and being charitable through songs and activities. Tot Shabbat promotes a sense of community for children and adults as a free event for the community.  Toddlers learn to care for each other with festive songs, enriching experiences and traditional blessings and challah.  Parents can find support among other parents and grandparents as well.

In the Debra Ann November KidSpace Gross Motor Skills Activity Room, preschoolers can expand their motor skills as they climb up, down and around on interactive indoor climbing equipment that encourages imagination and cooperative play.

Families can also take advantage of American Red Cross certified swim programs for all ages and skill levels.  Private lessons and small classes ensure each student gets the customized attention they need to succeed.  Infant swim class is a great bonding experience for parents and their children where babies learn to overcome any fear of the water through games, songs and other activities.

Many programs are starting fall registration now. To enroll or inquire about membership opportunities, call the Mandel JCC at 216-831-0700 ext 0 or visit