After School

Under One Sky
Environmental Exploration and Play-Focused After School

Under One Sky is the Trail Blazers year-round after school program, inspiring urban youth to understand that everything is connected to the environment. This program expands the notion of environment to include everywhere we live, work and play. Through opportunities in, out of and after school, students are empowered to become active participants in their local environment – because we all live under one sky!

Under One Sky offers holistic and innovative after school programming to elementary school students throughout New York City to promote critical thinking and a sense of wonder for the world around us. Our four core values – respect for one’s self, respect for others, respect for the community, and respect for the environment – guide all aspects of our program, ensuring that your child is growing and learning in the process of having an amazing time. Our Under One Sky After School program is modeled after 130 years of experience designing exciting summer programs. In after school, too, each day is filled with outdoor elements and a schedule determined by the interests of the group. UOS differs at each school, as we customize this after school solution centered on environmental exploration and community engagement.

Helping Students Connect

Students connect to themselves, their peers and adults in their lives and their communities. Daily environmental science lessons highlight science in every day life.

Caring for the Local Environment

We help young people care for their environment and community, finding real-world solutions to local problems.

Small Group Experiences

Small communities comprised of 8-10 campers help young people develop bonds with others, build leadership skills and character.

A Typical Day
Individual check-in, team meeting, and daily goal setting

As students transition out of the school day into after school, our staff spends time checking in with each child. Guided by the Value Catcher, students determine a focus for the day.

Homework time and snack

Every day, we share snack and dedicate 30 minutes to homework time. We don’t offer academic tutoring or one-on-one support but our group leaders are always available to provide assistance and encourage kids when homework is tough.

Thematic activity including hands-on science experiments, art projects, or specialty programming

Each day includes one activity or experiment, either guided by the theme of the week or by student interest. We focus on environmental exploration through science experiments, nature crafts, and outdoor scavenger hunts. At some schools, we may have specialists teach lessons on other topics, such as chess, yoga, and theater.

Visit the school specific page to learn more!

Outside time, group games, team building activities

We play – a lot! Play in after school is an important component for social learning, physical health and plain old fun! Not only do our groups receive at least one full hour of free play everyday, but we also play outside year-round – in all types of weather!

Pow-wow reflection with camp games, songs and more!

The day ends with a Trail Blazers camp tradition – the pow wow circle, singing songs, playing games and reflecting on successes and challenges of the day.

Sample Themes

Trail Blazers Content
Trail Blazers Content is our environmental science curriculum. These programs are designed by TBC program specialists and led by your camper’s group leader. All grades will participate in these program themes but specific activities will vary by age appropriateness.

People and Plants – Campers will explore the wide variety of ways that people use and engage with plants in our daily lives, including for food, medicine, and enjoyment. We’ll delve into the science of plant parts and how we use them, cook plant-based recipes together, learn how to care for our own plants in and out of the garden, and much more!

Survivor – We will explore all living things and how they are able to survive and thrive in the world around them, even when conditions are tough. We’ll learn about all types of environments, in Brooklyn and beyond, and what lives within them. Topics may include anything from plant and animal adaptations to wilderness survival skills.

Nature Art – Time to let the creativity flow! Using natural or recycled materials and drawing inspiration from the world around us, campers will express themselves creatively through take-home art as well as group projects. Whether making seed mosaics, landscape paintings, recycled-material wind chimes, or leaf prints, campers will have fun letting their imaginations run wild!

Additional specialty programs vary by site and may include Yoga, Chess, Circus Arts, and Sports & Games. Please visit the individual school pages to learn more.

Our After School Staff

Trail Blazers hires staff from all over the country and the world who have a passion for working with youth. Our UOS program is largely staffed by local staff members, many of whom work with us throughout the summer as well. Each staff member undergoes an intensive interview and reference check, as well as a thorough background check, before starting in a school. In addition, all staff complete a thorough training covering all aspects of the Trail Blazers program, to prepare for the important job of looking after your child’s physical and emotional safety. Key staff members at each school are CPR and First Aid certified and provide close supervision to the group leaders. As in all Trail Blazers programs, we aim to have group-leaders with the same group throughout the week, allowing students to develop close bonds with their leaders.

Cost and Registration

The fees for UOS After School differ at each school. It is our goal to make UOS after school accessible and affordable to all families. UOS is supported by local foundation grants, Trail Blazers’ fundraising effort as well as school and family participation.

We now accept HRA/ACS vouchers

at PS 316, PS 705, PS 770. and PS 241

Please visit the individual school page to review pricing for UOS at that school.

As of fall 2017, there will be a per-child annual registration fee of $50 charged to all accounts. This fee helps to cover administrative costs associated with registration and will only be applied once per year, even if you enroll your child in multiple programs.

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