2010-10-15 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

All About KidsmART
Rockaway Artists Alliance by Susan Hartenstein

kidsmART After- School Program kidsmART After- School Program InkSplash, the printmaking exhibition, opened this weekend. In order to do this splendid show justice, it will be reviewed next week.

Hot off the presses from the RA Education Department:

Have you heard the news? The kidsmART after-school program has been saved!

Based on kidsmART’s exemplary performance history in combination with your support, 95 percent of kidsmART’s funding for the 2010-2011 school year has been reinstated.

Here are some of the new ideas we have planned for the coming season: Regular homework assistance — and for children in grades 3-5 preparing for the ELA Tests and middle school, our staff will be offering fun reading enrichment workshops using the AfterSchool KidzLit (R) program. At Building T-149 in Fort Tilden opening earlier – We’ll be waiting for your children to be dropped off at 3 p.m.

kidsmART opening dates: Fort Tilden: Monday, October 18. kidsmART will be open weekly Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m.

PS 104 Q: Monday, October 25. kidsmART will be open weekly Monday through Thursday from 3 to 5 p.m.

Answers to frequently asked questions:

What is kidsmART about? kidsmART staff is dedicated to offering a safe, nurturing environment in which children can engage in creative and enriching workshops. We’re very big on safety and even more emphatic about respect and kindness. Everyone is welcome at kidsmART, but bullying will not be tolerated. Our social code is based on the principles of kindness, imagination, dependability, sensitivity, motivation, acceptance, respect and tolerance.

Who will be with my child? kidsmART is staffed by professional artists and educators and responsible local youth. All of the employees have had thorough background checks and receive seasonal professional developments. We’re proud to say that many kidsmART staff members have been working at the program for five or more years.

Am I guaranteed a spot if I attend the Fort Tilden site? Yes and no. It’s been our experience that children arriving within the first 30 minutes of the doors opening – 3 to 3:30 p.m. – have no problem participating in the program. However, we cannot guarantee this. On a very busy day, we might turn away 5-10 children. The typical experience is that your child will get in. kidsmART is governed by the rules of the NYS Office of Children and Family Services and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. These agencies have determined 100 children can be on-site at one time. We also ensure that your children will be supervised by the correct number of trained staff.

What if I get shut out? If you arrive too late and we’re already full, your child’s name goes on the top of the list for the next day you plan to attend. We can’t stand turning kids away. We don’t like to see disappointment on the faces of children or parents and we would like coming to kidsmART to be something that does not add stress or anxiety to anyone’s life.

Can you pick your child up earlier than 6 p.m. at the Fort Tilden site? Yes. From 3 to 3:30 children are getting settled and doing homework. 3:30 to 4:30 - The first session. Children are engaged in a choice of activities including theater games, dance, arts and crafts, board games, chess, clay, painting, drawing, cartooning, KidzLit, outdoor recreation and more. 4:30 to 4:45 - snack. kidsmART provides a snack. We ask that you send your child with a drink in a reusable container. However, water is available. A great time for an early pick-up is at snack time. This way the children have finished their first activity and not yet begun the second. Parents sometimes have a hard time convincing a child who is involved in a project to leave without tears! 4:45 to 5:45 - The second session, in which the same wide variety of activities is offered. 5:45 to 6 p.m. - Dismissal.

Are opportunities to perform community service hours available? Yes. Youth from 6th-10th grade may fulfill community service hours for their schools or religious organizations at kidsmART. Depending upon the young person’s age, he or she is either enrolled as a participant or a volunteer. Community service volunteers are never allowed to supervise children, but they are given tasks to help kidsmART staff make the program run smoothly. High performing volunteers are frequently the first people we think of when they reach hiring age.

Can my teenager work at kidsmART? If you have a teenager between the ages of 16 and 19, she or he is eligible to fill out an application for employment. Applications are available online at RAA’s website or you can call our office to request one.

RAA CONTACT INFO:

Phone: 718-474-0861; Fax: 718-474- 4373; e-mail: info@raa116.org; website: www.rockawayartistsalliance.org

Fort Tilden Highlights

INKSPLASH: Printmaking exhibition on view through Nov. 7 in sTudio 6, RoCA at Fort Tilden. Gallery hours: Sat. and Sun. 12-4 p.m. and by appointment. Free admission to exhibit and special events. NEXT RAA WRITERS GROUP MEETING: Sun., Oct 24, 4-6 p.m. in sTudio 6

GRIMM AND SCARY TALES: Halloween extravaganza. Fri., Oct. 29-Sun., Oct 31, 6-9 p.m. in sTudio 7

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