176 Afterschool

Dec 2019 - Vol. 9 Issue 1

Thinking BIG For Our Children

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Lights On Afterschool

This year we celebrated the 20th Anniversary of Lights on Afterschool! We joined the nation to highlight the importance of Afterschool programs. Lights on Afterschool recognizes Out of School Programs for their nurturing environment, and acknowledges their impact on students. Programs like ours give students the academic assistance and social opportunities they need and desire. These programs continue to be beneficial to students, but equally as important, they are helpful to parents who both need time during their work hours to retrieve children from school and want them to remain productive. We marched around our home school of PS176 and chanted "Lights on Afterschool" in celebratory fashion. We hope all of our students received the message, as we explained to them the importance of our program and had them explain why they needed Afterschool.

Many thanks to Ms. Castello, Principal of PS176 and our CYCSI parents for their contribution to the success of the event. We have already begun thinking about the 21st anniversary of Lights On Afterschool next year. AFTERSCHOOL MATTERS!

Assemblywoman Alicia Hydman

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Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman stopped by to celebrate with her daughter. Her presence was felt by students, parents and staff as she read from her citation dedicated to the program. We also thank Congressman Gregory Meeks, President of The Borough of Queens, Melinda Katz, Senator Comrie, Councilman Daneek I. Miller and Assemblyman Clyed Vanel for their acknowledgment of the importance of Afterschool Programs with their Citations and Proclamations as this we also celebrate 10 years of providing Afterschool services to the community. We appreciate their leadership in Queens and look forward to their continued support as we embark on the next ten years of our journey.

Costume Party 2019

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Thrill the World! returned to CYCSI for yet another successful Costume Party. Children dressed from head to toe in creative attire flooded the gym and set out to collect as much candy as they could find. As they traversed through the foggy scene, they stopped and marveled other students' notable and familiar costumes. Various superheroes, characters from TV shows and movies, and even athletes were recognized this year by our students. After a few rounds of trick-or-treating, the students met their friends to share what they had collected and trade candy. They snacked and settled into to their seats as they prepared to view the various performances by their peers. The Dance, Music, Step and Theatre Clubs all performed, truly displaying the skill of our students by showing what they've practiced since the beginning of the school year. Following a roar of applause after each performance, the students ate pizza and candy, danced, and flaunted their costumes for the camera. With so much fun to be had and so much to eat, no student left unsatisfied.

Thank you to all the parents who made donations to our program for the Costume Party. Everything is greatly appreciated, and we hope to receive your continued support.

Holiday Party 2019

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Happy Holidays from CYCSI! We always take time at the end of the year to celebrate the holiday season, acknowledging the various holidays that bring us together. We celebrated each occasion in one party which was highly favored by students eager to begin their winter recess. Our party was very festive with holiday decor lining the walls of the gymnasium and fake snow creating realistic cinematic effect during the students’ performances. As students entered the gym, they socialized and prepared for a fantastic showcase of peer performances. Our Dance, Music, Step and Theatre clubs all contributed to a wonderful showcase with presentations they worked on all Fall. Following the final performance, the student enjoyed a four-course meal filled with delectables. The remainder of our extended Holiday Party was spent by students dancing and playing with friends, embracing a true value of the holiday season, unity. Upon leaving the party, each student was able to leave with a gift generously given by another student through our secret santa tradition. This was a wonderful way to end the party, with satisfied students leaving the building with smiles on their faces as they sought to enjoy more presents the following week. Thank you to all of our staff, students, and parents for helping cultivate an upstanding environment for our children to grow and develop. We wish you a great Holiday Season and a prosperous New Year.

Happy Birthday!

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We would like to wish all students and staff members who celebrated their birth these past winter months a Happy Birthday! We hope they enjoyed their special day and wish them many more to come.

Afterschool Begins

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Year number ten of CYCSI is underway! We would like to welcome all returning and new parents and students to the CYCSI family. It is a pleasure to continuously serve the students in our community, providing them with enrichment and learning opportunities. We hope to grow and learn with our students as they embark on a journey to complete their primary schooling and prepare for middle school. The program begins at 2:30pm, however, we assign staff to escort younger students from their classrooms to the cafeteria beforehand. When the students enter the cafeteria, they settle in by placing their belongings neatly on a table, then enjoy snack and converse with their peers. Following that, they clean up after themselves before moving into the next part of their day. Younger grades eat snack quickly and move to the gym, where they enjoy physical activity before starting their homework assignments. Older students begin their homework sooner, and have gym time, board games, and arts and crafts to look forward to upon completion. Students try their best to complete their homework independently first, before receiving assistance from our staff members. The program concludes at 6:00pm as the students are prepared to be picked up by their parents, brought home, and wind down before another day at school.

Our Children…Truly Amazing

2019/20 marks our 10th year of operation! In September 2009 we launched PS 176 Afterschool Program. As I reflect on the past eight years, the capabilities of the children continue to inspire me in Thinking BIG. Whether they are acting, dancing, painting, sewing, playing a game, coding, building a robot, a planetarium or proudly showcasing their completed science projects, they are truly amazing.

I am appreciative of the many hours the community expends developing quality programs exposing students to new experiences. As a result, our service offering includes Spring/Winter Break programs, Summer Camp and Community Service Learning/Job Readiness programs enabling us to continue “Thinking BIG for Our Children”.

We also treasure our community partners throughout the journey: Mrs. Bartlett, Ms. Castello and P.S. 176 staff, FAA, La Guardia Community College, Queens Council on the Arts, UPS, ESOTA, York College, NY1, UniverSoul, Girls Scout, NAACP, Body By Denise, Queensborough Community College, Cambria Heights Academy, Institute for Health Professionals High School, Saint Frances Prep High School providing funding, human resources and programs that enhanced our Out of School Time Service Menu.

Congressman Gregory W. Meeks, 5th District, Senator Leroy Comrie, District 14, Councilman Daneek Miller, District 27, Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman, District 29, and Assemblyman Clyde Vanel, District 33. We look forward to your continued support!

UPS 2019

Students from P.S. 176 Afterschool Program returned to perform at UPS North Atlantic African-American Business Resource Group’s (AABRG) Black History Celebration. This year the AABRG collaborated with the Womens Business Resource Group (WBRG) to lead a discussion on Mentoring Matters: Empower Others to CHALLENGE themselves, LEARN about the world and be a POSITIVE FORCE within it. Our students entertained the audience by performances of "Afro Beat" Dance and the "Beat of the Drums" Step. These performances were choreographed by Jasmine Warren, and Dominique Coppin, the CYCSI Dance and Chorus Instructors.

SEMAA York College Program

Students returned this year to York College to experience flight simulation programs and learn about Aeronautics. This trip was sponsored by the SEMAA (Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy) program. The goal of the program is to increase the number of American youth who have an effective, authentic STEM experience before completion of high school.

We hope to promote careers in STEM and Aeronautics fields to our students, as it is important to expose them to viable career options at a young age. All students seemed to enjoy the experience, with many given the option to try something new and different.

Kennedy International Tour Sponsored by The FAA

The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) sponsored a tour of the Kennedy International Airport. Students experienced the panorama of planes arriving and departing from the Control Tower. Then they tested their piloting skills via the flight simulator.

After experimenting with the flight simulator students visited the Emergency Division and saw the big yellow emergency vehicles and met a member of the Canine Unit. They witnessed a demo of the canine detection dog at work, searching and finding narcotics. The students enjoyed being exposed to careers such as Airport Traffic Controllers, Administrative positions in the Air Traffic Control Department and K9 Trainers.

The Aeronautics Program at JFK airport exposed the students to various phenomena in the world of aviation. The students were greeted and escorted to a special room by airport staff and were briefed on their activities for the day.

Flight Simulation: Students viewed simulation demonstrations by Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) in training. These simulators were based on the real scene in the control tower and could replicate many different real-world scenarios.

JFK Control Tower: Students were able to see real Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) at work when they visited the tower. They learned about ATC personnel direct aircrafts on the ground and in the air. They are essential to ensuring that aircrafts don’t get too close which could cause many problems.

K-9 Unit: The participants loved this part of the trip. The canine was able to sniff out a hidden bag of explosives. The unit’s primary job is to train their K-9’s to identify only illegal goods such as explosives or drugs. Students also saw the airport firetrucks which respond to any emergency aircraft calls.

Overall, the students enjoyed the experience and learning about the world of Aviation.


CYCSI Summer Camp returned to Adventureland, with the hopes of recreating the laughter, joy and thrill we've experienced over the last few years. We were undoubtedly successful, as each student enjoyed their out of school experience with an assortment of amazing games and rides. Staff members looked on watching yellow shirts zip through the sky, while the screams that resonated across the park, echoed through our ears. By splitting up into groups, every student was able to enjoy as many rides possible, with the time provided, while also staying close to the friends they wanted to share their experiences with. Before we knew it, the clock ticked and it was time to head back to the buses. As we made our way back to the school, students reunited with their peers and recapped on the adventure they had experienced-ending another day of summer fun.

Our Stories

Everyone has a story to tell. Our stories were well illustrated on the stage and in our booths at the 2019 Summer Culminating Event. Our staff and students epitomized aspiring authors, as they wrote their detailed tales of the Summer, showing parents and spectators what the hype was all about. Masterful performances by Dance, Music, Step, Cheerleading, Chorus and ELA grabbed the attention of all attendees, hardly ever allowing them opportunity to lose focus.


Every summer we host a number of high school and college students from the Department of Youth Community and Youth Development Summer Youth Program.

UniverSoul Circus

Once again we were invited to perform at the 2018 UniverSoul Circus. This year the organization celebrated their 25th anniversary. We were thrilled to join the 25 years celebration of Fun Under the Big Top in Brooklyn. The theme of our performance this year was "Save the Arts", which focuses on combating and preventing future budget cuts to performing arts programs. The students who performed included Olanre Oridota, Noel Boone, Morgan Harris, Damiyah Hilton, Taylor Thompson, Zoe Henderson, Elise Silva, Peri Smith, Meghan Palmer, Huntley Swaby, Kalel Douglas, Jolie White, Ashley McClymont, and Savannah Solomon. We commend our students for working diligently to memorize their lines and routines, and give their parents a special thanks for allowing their children to perform. Kudos to the students for another great performance.

CYCSI Employee Awards

At our early September annual staff training, we awarded our best summer staff performers for their excellence. Our awards were divided into two categories, Best Booth and Creative Concepts. The Culminating Event gives our staff a chance to showcase what they’ve worked on with the students during the Summer Program. Their efforts are displayed through their booth design, decorated with all their completed projects, in addition to any performances they wish to conduct. This year’s winners truly showed brilliance in the eyes of fellow staff members and the management team.

Best Booth Award: Science w/ Ms. Katrinka and Joel

The best booth from summer’s Culminating Event hailed from the Science segment, hosted by staff members, Ms. Katrinka and Mr. Joel. The booth featured a massive, realistic planetarium which was an attention-grabber as parents filed into the room. While the exterior proved impressive, the science instructors somehow found a way to transform the interior into something more marvelous. Inside, an astronomical wonder appeared, as a map of the solar system was displayed.

Mrs. Hughley - "The Steady Hand"

Mrs. Hughley, thanks for your commitment to the children and families in our community over the past 29 years. We will miss you dearly. However, we are consoled knowing you will continue your quest of building a community of lifelong learners. Much success in your future.

We also treasure our community partners: Mrs. Bartlett and P.S. 176 staff, FAA, La Guardia Community College, Queens Council on the Arts, UPS, ESOTA, York College, Girls Scout, NAACP, FAA, La Guardia College, Queensborough Community College, Cambria Heights Academy, Institute for Health Professionals High School, Saint Frances Prep High School providing funding, human resources and programs that enhanced our Out of School Time Service Menu.

Senator Leroy Comrie, District 14, Councilman Daneek Miller, District 27, Congressman Gregory W. Meeks, 5th District, we look forward to your continued support!

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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