After-School Programs at Beginning with Children Charter School 2 an Opportunity for Students to Explore Interests

In a week of after-school programs, Violet, a sixth grader, cared for butterflies and sunflowers. She prepared macaroni and cheese and performed in improv scenes.

Culinary Masterclass reignited her dream of running her own bakery.

“I got really inspired from cooking,” Violet said.

In addition to Culinary Masterclass, gardening and improv, after-school programs offered at Beginning with Children Charter School 2 Middle included forensic science, painting, video game club, chess, soccer and football.

Raven Dantzler, our sixth-grade humanities teacher, first was exposed to crocheting through her grandmother but it was her English teacher in high school who ran a crochet group that taught her the art. This year, she started an after-school crochet group at B2.

She helped Mia, another sixth grader, make a bucket hat.

“I’m going to teach her how to work in the round and also how to read patterns,” Ms. Dantzler said. “It’s really cool that I get to share something that I really love.”

In Action Improv with Aiden Orr, Violet participated in games of “freeze” and “park bench.” Ms. Orr asked her students to think about the process of building a character.

“Learning improv when I was a kid gave me a lot of self-discovery,” Ms. Orr said. “The reason I like teaching it is it helps with confidence.”

Keon Seabrook, our after-school director, ran Gentlemen’s Club. The school provided shirts and neckties and Mr. Seabrook helped our students tie them.

“We have a wide variety of activities that we offer,” he said. “We feel like our students deserve to have that outlet after-school hours just to let that expression, creativity and imagination go wild.”

Mr. Seabrook developed after-school programs by collaborating with teachers and students. School leaders are flexible and always willing to listen to new ideas, he said. “Our leadership here at B2 is phenomenal.”

Tynique Williams, who lives in Richmond Hills, Queens, works at a public school. She enrolled her son, Lucas, at B2 for sixth grade this year, his first at a charter school. He strives for excellence, she said, and was on honor roll all year.

“The smaller school setting has been good for him,” Williams said. “He is a child who is seen by staff. And he has a good group of friends.”

Lucas learned how to make pie crust after school in Culinary Masterclass.

“My grandmother baked and I always watched her but I never learned how to do it,” Williams said. “Lucas has offered to teach me.”​

Share this post