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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
“How to be a Trail Blazer”- Join the Trail Blazers tradition! This day offers a little of everything–songs, games, team building, and exploring nature together.
“Farm to Fork”- How does our garden grow? Use the 5 senses to take a journey from farm to plate. Plant, harvest and enjoy!
“Citizen Science”- What’s good in your neighborhood? Explore and care for your local environment through hands-on science projects.
“Survivor”- What’s wild in our city? Learn about what it takes in our habitat through hands-on science experiments.
Additional themes offered by our large network of arts, sports and music providers, customized to each school’s needs.
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.
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.