After School Program

After every school day, children ages 5 to 12 are escorted to the Manhattan High School from five local schools to participate in the After School Program until 6 PM. The children enjoy a nutritious snack and a healthy balance of play, academics, and creative projects. The After School Program provides children of working parents with a safe and warm environment where they are encouraged to develop their academic, creative, and leadership skills through a project-based Learning Community (LC) design, taught by a dedicated staff.

Each LC group has Idea Lab (formerly Story Circle), gym, one visual arts session (ceramics and arts & crafts) and one performing arts session (drama and music) per week. Idea Labs utilize a Multimodal “VARK” approach: Visual, Aural, Read/Write, and Kinesthetic sensory modalities. Each lesson contains three main components: (1) reading aloud, (2) writing development, and (3) literacy skill game (anything from Alphabet Relay to Sight Words Around the World). Our younger participants focus on phonemic awareness activities, parts of speech, and print. The older participants spend more time learning and retaining vocabulary, developing creative and report writing skills, and editing. Children in our After School Program also benefit from individual art therapy sessions with the Creative Arts Director, who is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist.

The Program offers stimulating and meaningful volunteer opportunities for the program graduates as part of our GRADS Program. GRADS (Growing Responsibly And Delivering Services) students ages 13-15 serve as teachers’ aides and student mentors.

The After School Program is at full capacity, serving 70 children; our license is held by NYC’s Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. Tuition for this program is kept very low, at about 1/3 of what it costs to actually run the program; the remainder is subsidized by Hartley House through private funds.  Based on donations, Hartley House provides as many scholarships as it can each year (five on average).


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