WeeZee World of “Yes, I Can!” a Great After-School Solution
The Best of Westchester-winning “health club for kids” in Chappaqua offers a new take on after-school activities
WeeZee World of “Yes, I Can!”, a 16,000-square-foot health club for kids and families located in Reader’s Digest former space in Chappaqua, is more than just a place to work out or throw a birthday party. This Best of Westchester 2013 winner also offers an after-school program for both neurotypical and special needs children. In keeping with the center’s mission, it does so in an environment that allows children to enhance their academic and social learning, all while having fun.
“Everyday, it is his favorite part of the day—including the bus ride,” said Wendy Gonzaga of Pleasantville, whose 7 year old son, Max, started attending WeeZee’s After School Zone last September.
The program, ASZ for short, is fully supervised by WeeZee’s coaches, who lead children through both structured and unstructured play. The program’s highlights include a kid-friendly version of circuit training throughout the gym, cooking classes and homework help.
After School Zone is open to children kindergarten to sixth grade, or up to age 16 with an IEP (Individualized Education Plan), and runs Monday through Friday with flexible pickup times as late as 6:30pm. Additionally, WeeZee provides transportation directly from local schools including ones in Mount Kisco, Pleasantville, Briarcliff and Chappaqua, and is also looking to expand as popularity increases.
Louise Weadlock, founder of WeeZee, based the concept of this kid-friendly gym on research from the Autism community, sports community and Christopher Reeves community. This research culminated in the notion that kids learn about the world through their senses, an idea that is extremely prevalent throughout the space.
“Every piece of equipment is set up to stimulate or to make the mind wonder about those different feelings,” says Weadlock of the club, which includes a rain room, “GaGa” pit, oversized bubble machine, and surfing and mechanical bull stations—GaGa, for the unitiated is a variant of dodgeball played in a large pit.
WeeZee also employs occupational, physical, and speech therapists for children with special needs. Furthermore, coaches are taught to recognize over-stimulation and use the equipment in creative ways to calm children down.
Pleasantville mom Jasmine Agati, whose three children attend WeeZee on a regular basis, praised WeeZee for promoting inclusive play. “Now my kids use the word disability and they know what it means. They have a broader perspective in terms of being exposed to this.” Gonzaga also saw a change in her son, which she attributes to WeeZee. “Max has definitely gained a certain level of confidence. He feels comfortable and confident in trying new activities in front of others.”
WeeZee After School Zone offers monthly membership for attendance of one to five days a week, with prices differing depending on pick-up time. Additionally, members of WeeZee get up to a 30 percent discount on After School Zone.
For more information about WeeZee world and After After School Zone go to weezeeworld.com or call 914-752-2100.