Enrichment Programs


Enrichment programs are in-class activities designed to give students the opportunity to try new things, explore, and develop interests outside of the standard curriculum. Activities can range from dance to engineering to musical theater to fine art.  Enrichment programs are a great way to encourage students to follow their passions, develop new interests, and build new skills. The Parents' Association funds several enrichment programs per grade, from 3-K to 5th. Each program runs for 6-12 weeks and is taught by experts in the respective field. The following programs are tentatively being held in the 2022-2023 school year and may change on an annual basis. 


Program: Ballroom Dancing

Vendor: Dancing Classrooms

Description: This perennial favorite teaches the art of ballroom dance, culminating in a performance for parents and peers. Our dancers have been featured in the film Mad Hot Ballroom and participated in citywide competitions. Dancing Classrooms offers a 10-session social development program utilizing ballroom dancing as a vehicle to change the lives of not only the children who participate in the program but also the lives of the teachers and parents who support these children. With core values of respect, compassion and creating a safe space, Dancing Classrooms Teaching Artists create environments and model behaviors that offer children a place to thrive during their school day. The program helps develop important skills and behaviors in students, including civility, respect, teamwork, and self-discipline. https://www.dancingclassrooms.com


Program: Musical Theater

Vendor: The Broadway Class

Description: Former Broadway actress Leah Zepel and her music director husband, Rob Preuss, are thrilled to be teaching songs from Hairspray! Broadway is one of the few unique American art forms. By learning Broadway musicals, the students can experience music that truly comes from a place of storytelling, and each song furthers the dramatic development of characters in a show. They also learn stage etiquette and how to work together as a “cast”. https://www.TheBroadwayClass.com


Program: Biology

Vendor: DNA Learning

Description: This residency brings the excitement of molecular biology to P.S. 144 in partnership with the educational arm of famed Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, home of Dr. James Watson, the co-discoverer of DNA's double helix structure. The DNALC’s program of genetics laboratory experiences includes a variety of hands-on experiments to introduce students to the wonderful world of molecular biology.  https://www.dnalc.org


Program: Chess

Vendor: NY Chess Academy (NYCA)

Description: Students learn how to play chess, develop decision making skills, strategic thinking, improve self-confidence, discover new talents and enhance sportsmanship and friendship. New York Chess Academy is determined to promote chess, in all its aspects, to all those interested in it. NYCA strives to ensure that chess, its undeniable benefits, and its welcoming community are accessible to all. Each member of their enthusiastic team has had their life positively affected by chess. It is this passion for the game and the desire to share it with others that led to the founding of the academy. https://www.newyorkchessacademy.us


Program: Music History

Vendor: The Broadway Class

Description: The Broadway Class is led by Leah Zepel and Rob Preuss, local parents who have each spent over 25 years as theater professionals, with many of those years on Broadway. The Beatles Class is a celebration of the most influential band in recorded history. In this class students learn who The Beatles were (and are), who their influences were, and how they changed the landscape of music forever, through learning some of their most famous songs and the stories that go along with them. https://www.TheBroadwayClass.com


Program: Sculpture Through Mask-Making

Vendor: Smartworks

Description: Under the tutelage of Smartworks teaching artist and founder, Gustavo Asto, students will create an original mask using wire, papier mache, clay, and paint. They will learn how to use geometric shapes to reproduce the features of the face, how to mix and juxtapose colors, and how to stylize details for dramatic effect. The enrichment program will culminate in an exhibit for families where they can speak with the young artists and learn about their artistic process. https://www.smartworksnyc.com


Program: Learning Through Art

Vendor: Guggenheim Museum

Description: New York's famed Guggenheim Museum has created an innovative program focusing on the intersection of art and science. LTA cultivates student creativity by designing sustained, process-oriented art projects that support learning across the curriculum. Past years have featured Da Vinci inspired inventions, the science of color, and the artistic rendering of kinetic and mechanical energy. Prior to COVID, children made multiple visits to the museum, which offers new insights into art and challenges them to think critically about art and ideas. We hope these visits are able to resume soon. At the conclusion of the enrichment program there will be an in-school exhibition featuring the work of every child in the grade, and selected student works are exhibited in the annual A Year with Children exhibition held at the Guggenheim Museum. https://www.guggenheim.org/for-educators/learning-through-art


Program: Hip Hop Dance

Vendor: Studio E

Description: Studio E has been a staple of the Queens community for over 50 years, creating a fun, safe and wholesome environment for their students, where they feel energized to dance with their friends while having fun and learning new things. By providing a sense of accomplishment and creative expression, their classes build the students’ confidence. Throughout “Dance Spotlight: Hip Hop,” students will focus on the fundamental concepts of Hip Hop and will learn about its history. Each class will progressively build on the previous by advancing the students' knowledge of Hip Hop dance and working on choreography, culminating in a final dance performance. https://www.studioe.net


Program: Puppetry

Vendor: Smartworks

Description: Students create puppets linked to women's history and black history under the tutelage of Smartworks teaching artist and founder Gustavo Asto. In this class, students make an original puppet, construct and assemble a rig, use sculpting techniques to create limbs and features, understand proportion in figures, understand how to reproduce features of the face and body, stylize details, manipulate a rod puppet, recognize options in communication style of various characters. In the process of creating a puppet, students also learn how storytelling is passed down through artistic expression with each generation expanding its meaning and understanding and explore cultural resources that enhance their understanding of puppetry. https://www.smartworksnyc.com


Program: S.T.E.M.

Vendor: MadScience

Description: Mad Science offers curriculum-correlated, hands-on preschool and elementary-level workshops for kids that complement concepts taught in class. From rocket launching and slime making to photosynthesis and sonic horns, Mad Science workshops promote a fun and inquiry-based learning environment. It's like taking a field trip without ever leaving the classroom! https://www.newyorkcity.madscience.org


Program: Martial Arts

Vendor: Champions Martial Arts

Description: Champions Martial Arts classes are an exciting way to stay active and learn an effective self defense style. Classes help to improve flexibility and build strength through performing forms, combinations, and footwork. Workshops, traditional self defense, and sport style, help each student to find their own path and to develop according to the goals they want to achieve! https://www.championstkd.com


Program: Spanish Language

Vendor: ABC Languages

Description: ABC Languages provides Spanish language classes through the use of children’s language curriculum, applying games, songs and hands-on activities. ABC instructors customize a lesson plan for each age group and level to ensure a fun and engaging learning journey. ABC is one of the nation’s leading independent language schools, and has been the go-to language provider for a wide range of public and private schools in New York. Fun fact, they also regularly work with actors who need language or accent training such as Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman and Keanu Reeves. https://www.abclang.com


Program: Latin Dance Exploration

Vendor: Studio E

Description: Studio E has been a staple of the Queens community for over 50 years, creating a fun, safe and wholesome environment for their students, where they feel energized to dance with their friends while having fun and learning new things. By providing a sense of accomplishment and creative expression, their classes build the students’ confidence. The Latin Dance Exploration series introduces students to different styles of Latin Dance. This may include Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Samba, Tango, Cumbia, Reggaeton, and Afro-Latin. Each class will introduce students to a new style, where they will learn the basic moves, dance history and work on a choreography in the style. At the end of the series, students should have a better grasp of the different forms of Latin Dance. https://www.studioe.net


Program: Disney Music

Vendor: The Broadway Class

Description: The Disney Music program will introduce some of our younger students to music appreciation through learning timeless songs. The Broadway Class hopes to impart the love of creating music with our voices and bodies and also teach our students how to be engaging on stage. https://www.TheBroadwayClass.com


Program: ABCs of Creative Movement

Vendor: Together In Dance

Description: This program is designed to provide high quality dance education to early learners, while providing teachers with skills and knowledge in order to integrate movement into their daily activities. Students learn to deepen connections between arts learning and cognitive, social and personal development. They are taught discipline and how to foster self-expression thereby developing communications skills – both verbally and kinesthetically. The classes help students create strategies to work cooperatively and collaboratively while engaging them in the creative process of dance making. https://www.togetherindance.org


Program: Spanish Language and Music

Vendor: Musiquita

Description: Musiquita offers a playful exploration of music in Spanish and English for pre-school aged children. Combining music with language and culture, Musiquita! builds and strengthens Spanish and English language skills through vibrant and approachable songs. Instructors Blanca and Jesse use violin, piano, ukulele, melodica, voice, percussion and movement to engage young learners in a mix of traditional, modern, and original musical compositions. https://www.musiquita.nyc


Program: Animals Alive

Vendor: Alley Pond Environmental Center (APEC)

Description: APEC’s outreach program aims to educate children about the wonders of our natural environment. It seeks to augment core curriculum and state standards by providing safe and quality inquiry based science lessons. The APEC program also brings stimulating materials to enhance understanding and promote critical thinking skills among students. Each grade will receive an interactive lesson that offers observation and inquiry of live animals to help students understand animal classifications (mammal, bird, reptile, and more) and address predator/prey relationships and animal adaptations. https://www.apec.org