176 Afterschool

December 2021 - Vol. 11 Issue 1

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Thinking BIG For Our Children

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This Year We Hosted Two New York City Learning Labs

During the pandemic Community Youth Care Services Inc. supported the New York City Learning Lab. The Learning Lab was developed in response to academic hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program provided free child care to students in remote and hybrid learning. Our team assisted students with remote instruction and assignments. Students also engaged in social emotional enrichment and physical education lessons.

In response to the urgent need of child care for P.S. 176 students, we worked diligently to open our Out of School Program for the 2020-21 school year. Despite challenges of the pandemic we were successful in continuing to create a safe, educational and enriching environment for our students. Students enrolled participated in arts and crafts, theater, marching band and step. We also hosted mental health wellness checks with students and staff, providing a safe space for dialogue regarding Covid-19. The discussion allowed participants to reflect on their experiences during the pandemic. Many expressed the difficulty of being home alone, away from peers, school and how the healing process made them hopeful. These discussions inspired the theme for our annual culminating event, H.O.P.E. “Hold On Pain Ends”.

H.O.P.E Hold On Pain Ends Culminating Event June 2021

The H.O.P.E. culminating event was hosted on June 26th at P.S. 176 Park Delphin H. Greene Playground. Participants enjoyed amazing performances by our P.S. 176 Out of School Performing Arts Clubs, Joe’s Academy Dance Ensemble, Beacon’s Finest Steppers, and NY Alliance Drumline.

Special thanks to Council Member I. Daneek Miller, NYC Cultural Affairs, NYC DYCD, Occasions Catering Hall and Community Bridge Home for allowing us to use their facilities for 10 months.

Students Reflect on their 2020-21 Learning Lab and Out of School Program Experiences

Interview with Kaitlyn Cudjoe, 4th Grader Learning Lab participant, Theater Club Member

Q: How was your experience during your time at the Learning Lab?

A: We completed assignments during the week and participated in art, dance and theater on Fridays at Occasions.

Q: How did the learning lab support you with your remote learning?

A: They supported me by helping me complete my assignments and making sure I understood my school work.

Q: If there wasn’t a learning lab to attend would you have done well in your classes?

A: If there wasn't a learning lab to attend there would only be remote learning and no one to help me or check my school work.

Theater performance “Hope”

Q: How was your experience participating in the Theater club performance?

A: My experience allowed me to be myself and showcase my acting skills.

Q: What was your role in the theater performance and how did you prepare for it?

A: My role in the theater performance was Amanda Gorman. I prepared by recording myself and listening to the recording daily.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to share about your experiences in the Learning Lab and the H.O.P.E. culminating event?

A: I noticed when completing my work, the staff wanted to make sure I felt comfortable by checking in with me and asking my opinion of the learning environment.

Interview with Cherrelle Lowry, 4th Grader Learning Lab participant, Theater and Dance Club Member

Q: How was your experience at the Learning Lab?

A: My experience was good because it was nice to be in another setting besides home.

Q: How did the learning lab support you with remote learning?

A: Learning Lab supported me with remote learning by helping me learn additional concepts that I wasn’t learning in class.

Q: If there wasn’t a learning lab to attend, what do you think would happen with your academic progression?

A: If there wasn’t a learning lab to attend, I would not have had a great learning experience.

Theater performance “Hope”

Q: How was your experience participating in the Theater club performance?

A: I enjoyed it because I was able to learn more about acting.

Q: How was your experience with the Dance club performance?

A: My experience with dance was excellent because I was able to dance on an outdoor stage for the first time.

Q: What was your role in the theater performance and how did you prepare for it?

A: My role in the theater performance was Grandma Anya. To prepare for the role I practiced everyday and I studied the way my grandmother acts.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to share about your experiences in the Learning Lab and the H.O.P.E. culminating event?

A: I enjoyed watching the marching band and other performances.

Interview with Rodney White, 3rd Grader Learning Lab participant, Step Club Member

Q: Explain your experience during your time at the Learning Lab?

A: It was a good experience because I was able to participate in activities like drumming and step.

Q: How did the learning lab support you with your remote learning?

A: They supported me by helping me learn new things such as multiplication skills, art and other sports.

Q: If there wasn’t a learning lab to attend, what do you think would have happened with your academic progression?

A: I would probably stay home and not learn as many things as I did at Learning Lab

Step performance “H.O.P.E.”

Q: How was your experience participating in the Step club performance?

A: It was fun, it was my first time learning how to step.

Q: What was your role in the step performance and how did you prepare for it?

A: I had a solo step routine and I led a step routine I practiced at home often.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to share about your experiences in the Learning Lab and the H.O.P.E. culminating event?

A: I felt excited and surprised to see everyone who attended.

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Efforts to support the interruption and loss of learning came to fruition with the switch to remote learning and the creation of Learning Labs. However, many challenges still arose, mainly due to technical difficulties and adjusting to a virtual learning environment that was new to all of us. The Summer Rising initiative was conceived to combine Summer School and a FREE Summer Camp program to recoup learning loss. Students completed Summer School in the morning and Summer Camp in the afternoon. This was a great opportunity as Covid cases declined, vaccines became available, and covid restriction mandates were lifted. The program was a citywide integration of resources from the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) and the Department of Youth and Community Developments (DYCD). Our Out of School Program serviced district 29 students. Students in grades K-5 engaged in Literacy, Mathematics, Social Emotional Learning, Performing and Fine Arts, Physical Education, Science, weekly enrichment workshops and special events.
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Lights on Afterschool 2021

We kicked off our annual Lights on Afterschool celebration with a march to bring awareness to the necessity and importance of Afterschool programs in our communities. P.S. 176 Quality Out of School Programs supports students and families, providing a safe haven that offers academic enrichment, health and physical education, social and emotional development and career readiness. We're delighted that for the past 12 years that we've helped students "walk around trouble by providing a place to walk to and someone to walk with".
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Enrichment Clubs Spotlight

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We are shining the spotlight on our enrichment Clubs! Students were excited to revisit their favorite Clubs. Resuming Clubs was another step towards our return to normalcy following the pandemic. Below are some highlights of the fun activities and projects students participated in during Clubs.

Chorus, Ms. Dominique

In Chorus Club, pre-k students learned how to sing “Twinkle Twinkle Christmas Star ''. Students were able to perform for their peers and showcase their talent.

Coding, Mr. Donovan

In Coding Club the first grade students are learning how to code using the Scratch program. They were able to create their own meditation app. The other grades are completing lessons on Code.org using basic coding language to solve problems in puzzles and create media art projects.

Dance, Ms. Stasia

In Dance Club students are developing their rhythm and stamina. Working on these skills has enabled students to improve their performance. Students had an instrumental role in choreographing their performance for the costume party. I collaborated with the students because I want them to feel included in the creation process and invested in their craft.

Marching Band, Mr. Stephon

The students are learning introductory music reading with drums; how to read quarter notes, 8th and 16th notes with accompanying rest. With the support of drum sheet music they are able to identify and count notes. We are working towards playing and memorizing 2-3 drum beats that will be playable to perform live or record. I will also be showing them 4 drum rudiments: Paradiddle, flam, 5 stroke roll and double stroke roll.

Science and Crafts, Ms. Katrinka, Ms. Mildred

In Science Club students participated in many experiments including a slime making project, using balloons to demonstrate static electricity and forming Oobleck, a non-newtonian fluid that isn’t a solid or a liquid. We created the Oobleck from cornstarch and water. Students also honed their hypothesis skills by theorizing what would happened if they turned milk into plastic. Then they conducted an experiment to test their theories.

Sports, Mr. Darien

In Sports Club students are learning how to play basketball, soccer and develop Team Building Skills such as sportsmanship, leadership, communication and supporting team members.

Step, Ms. Phylicia

Students are learning the basics of stepping as a team. They participate in drills to improve their stepping skills while also learning about the craft and history of Step.

Theater, Ms. Eboni

Students are learning about different aspects of theater including the creative process and performance. Key topics include script writing, set design, stage crew, acting and auditioning.

UniverSoul Circus 2021

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Program participants participated in a raffle to win tickets to the UniverSoul Circus. Winners enjoyed thrilling circus acts, comedy, and performances representing cultures across the globe. The tickets were sponsored by Senator Leroy Comrie for families of the community.

Thrill the World! Costume Party 2021

Students were overjoyed to finally celebrate and perform with their peers once again at our annual Thrill the World celebration. Thank you to all the parents who made donations to our program. We hope to receive your continued support.

O.G. Scrooge York College Fall Production

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During the summer students auditioned for the opportunity to join the cast of O.G. Scrooge, a remix of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The director of the production, York College Professor Tom Marion, was inspired by the hip hop musical Hamilton when he conceived the idea for the play. In need of children to complete the cast, Marion contacted Community Youth Care Services, Inc. This production marks our second collaboration with York College Theater. P.S. 176 Out of School participants graced the stage six years ago in “Live Laugh Love Cry” inspired by the poetry of Dr. Linda Michelle Baron, also directed by Tom Marion. Noel Boone, a former program participant and current volunteer, starred in both plays. The cast also included Jordyn Renée Carrero, Chloe Callender, Aiden Enniss, Graison Gordon, Kaydee Pierre, Kamryn Reddick, Rodney Amare White and Jolie White, a graduate of P.S. 176q and featured our Media Arts Teacher Mr. Eric.

Jolie White reflects on her experience as an Actor in the production.

When I first heard about the offer to perform, I wasn’t so sure, but I learned the audition song and performing seemed fun so I was ready. After submitting my audition the suspense of waiting for the results "was killing me". Finally, I heard the good news. I received a part in the production and I was so excited! A few days of the week children cast members rehearsed after completing homework. Every time we rehearsed we made progress and continued to improve. Finally, we had our first practice at the theater. I was so surprised. The stage was huge! There were props and dressing rooms unlike any performance I've experienced. Before we knew it, it was opening night. To be honest, I was more excitement than nervous. I went on stage and gave it my all. It was the end of the first show and we all thought we performed well. I had some well deserved rest and woke up for the next two shows. We went through the first one in a breeze and in our two hour break we had cake for Aiden’s birthday, one of the children cast members. The second show was pretty hard because I was extremely thirsty, but overall I was fine. By the last day of show we got to know each other very well so we were like a real family. We had a great run of the show and it felt like a big relief. We said our goodbyes and gave our hugs. This was a great learning experience and I truly enjoyed my time in the production.

Fall Birthday Celebrations

Happy birthday to everyone celebrating birthdays in the Fall.

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Holiday Dinner 2021

We had an extraordinary time at our Annual Holiday Dinner. Many students performed music selections and dances to spread the Holiday cheer. Some students participated in the creation of the performance pieces, serving as Directors and Choreographers.
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It was an exciting journey with your children over the past 12 years. Thank you for this tremendous opportunity to see many of them grow into amazing young adults.

The past year was extraordinary as we continued our battle with COVID-19. Many of us had to deal with unexpected deaths, financial instability, and social challenges. Despite the challenges, this year has also left me with a deep sense of appreciation and gratitude for the things in life that matter most: family, friends, community, and warmth in the company of people we care about.

In that spirit, we value and thank you for trusting us with your priceless and most valuable treasures, your children. Now more than ever, we are committed to being a resource through any challenges you face in the upcoming months while focusing on the following:

· Providing an environment that supports academic prowess, facilitates development of initiative, independence, and creativity while learning appropriate social skills, behavioral expectations, and boundaries.

· Continuing Thinking BIG For Your Children in providing programs and activities to improve self-esteem, and a sense of belonging.

· Ensuring the program is injected with a constant flow of positive mentors and role models to inspire excellence and life-long success.

· Helping you feel confident in your support for your children’s educational and social needs in an environment that respects their values and cultural background.

The pandemic of the past year has also inspired us with people everywhere rising to the occasion through kindness, caring, and acting as forces for good within their families, communities, and in our society. So, let’s remember the importance of finding silver linings and moments of joy.

Thanks again for trusting us with the care of your children. THEY ARE TRULY AMAZING….

Cheryl Caddle

Executive Director

Special Thanks to Our Partners

District 29 Assembly Member, I. Daneek Miller | District 27 Council Member, Senator Leroy Comrie | Ms. Marissa Castello | P.S. 176Q Principal, Mrs. Lorraine Bridges | Community Youth Care Services Inc. Chairwoman | Home Depot | LaGuardia WorkForce Center | Queens Community College | Summer Youth Employment Dept. | Tam Jam Entertainment | the NAACP Jamaica Youth Council | YMCA | and York College.

P.S. 176 Out of School Program

Community Youth Care Services, Inc.

Quality Out of School Programs

120-45 235th Street, Cambria Heights, NY 11411

Telephone no: (718) 276-8140• Fax no: 775 459-4359

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