For the third straight year students at a Port Morris elementary school who would otherwise be idle are getting a chance to improve their grades through fun activities.
The children at PS 5 on Jackson Avenue are participating in New York City Summer Quest, a pilot program that aims to keep kids busy during the summer months.
The city’s Department of Education funds the program, which is a creation of the non-profit group Learning through an Expanded Arts Program or LeAp. Other funding sources include the Fund for Public Schools and the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development.
“Strengthening [students’] base knowledge and excelling academically while engaging in fun, hands-on activities,” is the program’s innovation, said Ila Lane Gross, LeAp’s Executive Director.
Students this summer start each weekday with breakfast and yoga before moving on to LeAp’s eclectic Active, Arts-Based learning model, which this year has included the use of clay to create continents, islands and the seas. Over the summer they will be taken on field trips to Manhattan’s High Line, the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge among other.
The model will be replicated in 11 schools in The Bronx and Brooklyn, according to the DOE.
Many of those in the program are learning English as a second language