When Annie Young was looking to rejoin the work force, she wanted to work with young children again, molding their brains and bodies into confident and strong adults.
Young, a mother of two boys from Manhasset, taught early childhood classes for 15 years, teaching 4-, 5- and 6-year-olds in Manhattan as well as serving as math intervention teacher at East Hills School.
“When I had my second child, I left the classroom, and I’ve been figuring out what I want to do,” Young said. “This felt like a great new adventure for us.”
Young and her husband Garrick took over The Little Gym of Roslyn at 55 Lumber Road in Roslyn about three months ago, offering enrichment and development classes for children ages 4 months to 12 years.
When it was originally opened in 1976, Young said, Little Gym was located in Port Washington but was moved to Roslyn by a former owner.
Young said the class schedule is split into two categories: gymnastics classes for ages 3 to 12 and parent-child classes for ages 4 months to 3 years.
Membership at The Little Gym of Roslyn includes one class per week as well as practice time three days a week.
Members also receive discounts on party rentals and are invited to member-only events.
The Little Gym’s curriculum for the gymnastics and parent-child classes is a three-pronged approach, getting children moving through gymnastics while also focusing on the Citizen Kid platform that teaches life skills like participation and socialization as well as the “brain boost” portion, Young said, which challenges the children on an cognitive level.
Young said it’s a “total blast” teaching all of the parent-child classes right now and enjoys seeing the children grow from class to class and can especially see changes in the babies from week to week.
Young’s younger son who is 2 years old comes with her to some of the parent-child classes, and she said she has seen development in his body control and social skills.
“We’ve gotten lots of comments from parents about them feeling more confident,” Young said. “Kids who might have been a little hesitant at the playground, after a few weeks with us, suddenly feel a sense of confidence. They can go on the monkey bars or go down the slide with more confidence in their abilities and their bodies.”
Young said every parent-child class is an opportunity for toddlers to take their first steps or crawl independently in the fully padded and enclosed room.
“I’ve always been a teacher at heart, so it’s always about the kids for me,” Young said. “Now, I get to do what I used to do with babies, and their growth from week to week is so impressive to me. Kids who come not walking, suddenly two months later, are walking and running. Just a few months of growth in these infants and toddlers is tremendous.”