My experience in after-school programming gives me a unique perspective about what does and doesn’t work. Based on my years of developing and observing children’s programming, I created Aurora Skills, Inc.
Aurora Skills is a “Skill” driven program that specifically focuses on each individual child and their families. Aurora Skills works closely with families to accommodate busy schedules while providing a place where each child feels and knows that at Aurora Skills, they can confidently voice their feelings and opinions. I’ve spent the past 24 years as Director and Site Supervisor for one of the previous after school programs at PS6. I have two older children who attended PS6 and my youngest child attends a school in District 2. I’ve spent my career working with children and families in after-school settings. In addition to running the program at PS6, I set up, staffed, and provided training for several after- care programs throughout Manhattan, Long Island, and Brooklyn. I am dedicated to improving our communities by elevating the quality of after school programming for children and families.
How does the after – school program provided by you different from the previous programs?
In all of our Aurora Skills programs, every child has a voice. They are now involved in the planning and strategy as it relates to their class and they are guided by their instructors. Children learn that they have a voice and that each idea is taken into consideration. As much as possible our classes are hands on for the children. The instruction time for all classes has now changed from around 45 to 50 mins to 1 hour and a half. The children also attend the program now for around 30 minutes prior to the start of their classes. This allows them to have a snack, reset and transition more easily into their class. Parents are able to view and enjoy the programs that they enroll their children in by attending our ‘Showcase’ week at the end of each semester.
What are your program’s main strengths?
Our programs allow children to be creative, show entrepreneurship, develop their own way of learning all with guided supervision. By making them active participants in their own education, we make them more actively interested in learning versus passively being “taught.” We have high level vendor programs with longer learning and instruction times. We welcome parents to take an interest in what their children are learning and invite them to come observe and sometimes participate in collaborative activities with their children and staff. This type of inter-generational learning is integral to the Aurora Skills concept and we welcome input about our programming.
What are the most popular offerings?
All our programs are popular! Our Tennis program is a huge favorite. The Hip Hop, Art & Space, and acting classes are also at the top of the list. Our new Maker Space program, starting Spring 2020 – is already creating a lot of interest. We are constantly looking for new and innovative programs to inspire our children.
Do you add new classes every semester?
Yes, we are always adding new and exciting classes. For the Fall semester we will be adding language classes – Mandarin and Spanish. We are also adding music classes – Violin, Guitar and Piano – the class sizes allow each child a semi-private yet collaborative learning experience.
Does Aurora Skills only provide classes for already established after-school programs?
Aurora Skills provides a catalog of classes for already established after – school programs. Additionally, we can set up a new after – school program for schools desiring to start their own program. We offer many incentive programs that can benefit the School, PTA and Teachers.