At its core, The Children’s Aid Society’s School-Aged programs form a starting point in what will hopefully be a relationship that continues into adulthood. By keeping children involved in Children’s Aid programs throughout their grade school years, they will have the support they need to graduate high school, move on to college or careers, and become successful citizens.
The After-School Programs at Children’s Aid Community Schools and Centers are more than just places to go after 3 p.m. Once children enroll, they enter a portal where their academic, social, cultural, health and recreational needs can be met.
The programs, which run in 21 community schools and all eight Children’s Aid community centers, serve hundreds of elementary school-aged children in Manhattan, Staten Island and the Bronx. They create a safe haven for children in some of the city’s most economically challenged neighborhoods. When children have a place where they feel comfortable and supported, they can focus on their school work and discover their hidden talents.
The mix of programming furthers The Children’s Aid Society’s mission of helping each child become a healthy, happy and productive adult. Homework assistance is available for children who need it. Recreational activities such as basketball do more than help kids break a sweat; they team them with mentors who serve as role models and provide invaluable emotional support. The Mobile Dental Van brings tooth cleanings, fluoride treatments and cavity care as well as dental hygiene education. Mental and physical health services are also available, all in a convenient location that the children trust.
The community schools and centers also expose children to opportunities they might not otherwise encounter. For example, swimming lessons are offered at Harlem’s Dunlevy Milbank Center. There are 17 children’s choruses, where the only pre-requisite is a love of music and singing. And because not every child has a computer in the home, computer labs in centers and schools help teach vital skills and provide homework assistance.
And as a bonus, many of our current mentors and program leaders started as children in Children's Aid after-school programs themselves!