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Howard Beach has new, free after-school program – QNS.com

Howard Beach has new, free after-school program

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

P.S. 207 in Howard Beach now has a new after-school program that benefits students beyond the school’s enrollment.

The program, which is open to sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders, is free and will accommodate any student who is able to arrive by 3 p.m., no matter which school he or she attends, said Michael Taylor, after-school program director for P.S. 207.

“The cornerstones of structure for the program are STEM [science, technology, engineering and math], literature and leadership,” Taylor said. “We provide a successful model for children to follow.”

The after-school program is called School’s Out New York City (SONYC) and is run by the Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation (SASF). P.S. 207 is one of the 33 schools in which SASF established new programs for the 2014-15 school year.

The program runs five days a week from 2:30 to 5 p.m.

It mixes both intellectual and physical activities to fully engage the students, Taylor said. These include studies in core curriculum, newspaper writing, video editing and activities in gymnastics, basketball, yoga and Zumba, among others.

Educators will also work with students on leadership skills, engaging them in teen talk, community service, student counseling and peer mentoring.

“Our job is to make sure kids are not only occupied but that we keep them productive,” Taylor said. “With this model, the sky is the limit.”

Students will also work on programs such as Middle School Today, High School Tomorrow, where they will visit schools and learn different things about the high school application process to better prepare them for their futures.

Furthermore, the program will take students on field trips to places such as Coney Island and to productions such as “How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical” at The Theater at Madison Square Garden.

“We were given top-quality resources to run the program which allows us to do a lot of different activities,” Taylor said. “Our desire is to get kids engaged and provide a fun learning environment.”

To learn more about the program, email ps207@sasfny.org or call 718-848-2700 and ask for Michael Taylor.

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