With 1.1 million students, New York City’s public school system is the largest in the country. At any one time, about one out of every 300 Americans is a New York City public school student. And the transition from daycare, homecare, or preschool is an exciting one for parents because it’s free!
Unfortunately, the school system’s definition of “full day” differs from the work world’s definition. Dismissal times vary school to school, but they are all 3pm or earlier. So the hunt for great care during the day is replaced with the hunt for great care after school.
One of the best after-school options in Southern Brooklyn is at Aviator Sports Center. Why? Here are just a few reasons:
- They’ve got amazing programming.
Aviator boasts a 175,000-square-foot indoor sports, recreational, and entertainment complex, as well as outdoor turf fields and more. Typically, kids in their after-school program will spend time participating in activities ranging from Gymnastics and Ice Skating to other indoor & outdoor court and turf activities. One of the more unique aspects of their program is that in addition to physical activities, they also offer things you would not normally find, like Improv Acting and Fencing.
Always on the lookout for ways to improve their programming, Aviator is currently talking to specialists to make soccer a bigger part of after school. And this year, they are looking to make Fencing a more core part of their program since they believe it’s a sport that can lead to a great career if a child were to take to it at an early age. It’s also super fun. Swords and beeping sensors? Come on!
- They’ve got a great staff.
Trevor Weaver, Aviator’s Manager of Youth Programs, spoke with us about his own journey to working with Aviator’s kids. “I have been with working with children in some capacity my entire life,” he says. “My love for children grew from my mother who was a registered nurse in the Labor & Delivery unit in a hospital in Brooklyn so at a young age I would observe her skill of caring for newborns. That led to a volunteering childcare opportunity at Hale House childcare center in the late ‘90s. After receiving a Social Work degree from NC State, I directed a before-and-after school program in Durham, North Carolina. Upon returning to NY, I worked as a Family Services Coordinator for the Harlem Children’s Zone before coming to Aviator in January 2017.”
When asked what he thinks goes into a great after-school program, Trevor told us this:
“A good after-school program should foster an environment of safety first at all times. It should have knowledgeable and skilled staff. After those factors have been fulfilled comes the fun. Keeping a variety of fun activities are key. Great after school snacks are key. Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day but your after-school snack is just as important since children are eating SO early in school nowadays. They’re very hungry by the time they get to their after-school program. These things make a GOOD after-school program. What makes a GREAT after school program is that there is a constant eye on revision and improving what can make after-school better. Aviator is always trying to create and maintain a GREAT after school program.”
There are lots of devoted staff like Trevor working at Aviator – your kids will be in good hands.
- They do school pick-ups.
Currently, Aviator picks up from PS 100, PS 195, PS 52, PS 234, PS 236, PS 277, and PS 312, which are close enough to make sense for them. They’re looking to expand to new schools as early as this year but they say the schools have to match up with other factors that can disrupt getting their children to Aviator as efficiently as possible. Parents and other caregivers are always welcome to drop off.
After school hours are 3pm–6pm and, on a case-by-case basis, they will accept kids as young as four years old. There is a time allotted for homework and two activities per day. The last 15 minutes are for gathering belongings and last of pickups. Parents are free to pick up as soon as they can. If they pay for late stay, they have until 7pm to pick up their child.
Not every after-school program is right for every child, but Aviator is the perfect place for any parent who wants to encourage proactive tendencies in their child. Their staff not only wants kids to have fun, but, using positive reinforcement, they want to cultivate in them accountability and the basics of time management. The program is structured as a bridge between school and play.
If that all sounds good to you but you’d like more info before signing your child up, come by their open house on Wednesday, August 22nd(that’sTOMORROW
The friendly staff at Aviator will be happy to answer all your questions and are confident you’ll want to sign up right then and there!