After School Programs (ASP)
Calhoun runs an expansive After School Program (ASP) for our younger children in the 74th Street building, and another for the second-fourth graders at 81st Street. Classes range from art and sports to science, cooking, and community service (see After School Program). There are also Extended Day options—5pm for 4's-1st graders and 6pm for 2nd-4th graders—for parents who need coverage. There is a fee for ASP classes.
Children in threes through first grade participate in special holiday assemblies such as Thanksgiving, Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, and the Lunar New Year. First graders meet weekly for grade sing-alongs. Talented faculty members, parents, outside professionals and older students are often invited to perform for our students. Past programs have included a Schubert quintet, a storyteller, an animal trainer and a puppeteer. Programming varies from year to year, capitalizing on the talents of our community members, and our "yearly theme." Students in 2nd-4th grades will frequently perform for fellow students as well.
Clubs & Special Courses - 2nd-4th Grades
Special courses, offered one afternoon each week in the fall and spring, allow second, third and fourth graders to explore their own particular interests while providing them with additional avenues of expression and success. Past courses have included filmmaking, community service, yearbook, creative storytelling, birdwatching, cooking, rollerblading, kickball, math quest, Holá Calhoun and computer technology. Cross-grade groupings enhance a sense of community while providing new opportunities for socialization. In addition to special courses, students in 2nd-4th grades can get involved in Student Government as well as Community Service activities.
Numerous cross-grade and cross-divisional activities throughout the school year expand our students' concept of community, and contribute to their confidence, socialization skills and command of their environment. Lower School children are sometimes joined by older students as classroom helpers, Upper School students volunteer to work in classrooms as part of their community service program, and Middle School students may be invited to spend a day as teacher assistants.
Parents in the Classroom
Curriculum is enriched each year by parents who volunteer to bring their expertise, talents and passions to the classroom. Occasionally, a parent-guided project may be tied to a unit of study; other times, it might simply be an enriching experience for the children. In all cases, teachers work with parents to make the activity timely, educational and age-appropriate. Examples of past activities: a doctor's in-depth presentation on the human body and senses; an artist's instruction on primary and secondary colors; a chef's demonstration of culinary skills; an author's reading; a discussion (and canine guest) on the role working dogs play in hospitals with patients; and multicultural holiday discussions with ethnic foods and art projects.
For three- and four-year-olds, a major excursion might be a nature walk around the neighborhood. Kindergarten and first grade students take frequent trips to Central Park and Riverside park, and to the American Museum of Natural History. First graders visit an apple orchard, the Museum of Modern Art, the Hall of Science and the Central Park Zoo.