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Excitement Abounds in After-School Program

After the school day ends at St. Mark’s, our students continue to learn and grow.  St. Mark’s provides comprehensive after-school programming every day from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.  The school partners with various organizations and volunteers to provide a wide range of activities for all ages.

For kindergarten and first grade, New York Cares sponsors the Dance Explorers program, which guides children to pair movement with music.  Our youngest elementary students also enjoy an interactive science class twice a week with parent volunteer Ebony Boone.  They recently finished a unit on the five senses.  Now, as they explore the four seasons, the students are excited to create their own autumn trees and snowflakes.

Students in Grades 2 through 5 participate in Kids in the Game, a structured sports program that encourages exercise while also cultivating important transferable skills like leadership and teamwork.  In November, the students had great fun playing European Handball.  In addition to sports, the second and third graders are also beginning a new chess program with Chess NYC.  These activities are generously sponsored by The Partnership for Inner-City Education.

The fourth and fifth graders at St. Mark’s explore health, nutrition, and fitness in biweekly MAChO meetings.  MAChO, or Motivating Action Through Community Health Outreach, is a volunteer program administered by Weill Cornell Medical College.  MAChO empowers youth with the education and tools required for healthy living.  “We exercise together and learn about our bodies,” says fifth grader Tamia Gibson.  “Right now, we are studying the digestive system.”  Classmate Tyla Rae Boone adds, “We also learn about healthy foods and how to stay in shape.”

The sixth and seventh graders at St. Mark’s also take part in a diverse array of after-school activities.  Thanks to a grant from The Partnership for Inner-City Education, middle schoolers can receive math tutoring and also try their hand at robotics, forensic science, sewing, and ukulele.  The robotics program, administered by All About Learning, is new to St. Mark’s this year.  The interactive classes incorporate motorized LEGO kits to teach kids about science, technology, engineering, and math.  Recently, our students had a blast building and racing their electronic LEGO cars.  Soon they will be modeling cranes, carousels, and windshield wipers.  Seventh grader Johnathan McDonald says, “It’s really amazing to build new things and learn how they work.”

The extensive after-school offerings at St. Mark’s ensure that our students are never in a hurry to leave at the end of the day.  They are enthusiastic about learning both in class and

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