Classes

AFTER SCHOOL ARTS PROGRAM

The Serious Fun After School program began September 11, 2017 and is open on all public school days, except for District holidays, ½ days and clerical days.  Please visit our Calendar page to view the Serious Fun 2017-18 Program Calendar.  We partner with a bus company for one way pickup from local Astoria schools, click here for more information on Transportation. To see what classes are offered at each site and to start your child’s enrollment, click  here.  Click here for more information on Registration.

There is no Serious Fun program on the District dates scheduled for afternoon elementary school Parent-Teacher Conferences, for Chancellor’s Professional Development Days, and for Chancellor Mandated School District Clerical Days.

A Sample Day at Serious Fun
(individual programs may vary)

2:30-3:25 Children arrivals (including bus children)/snack/social time
2:45-3:15 Indoor table or indoor/outdoor active play, all ages together as they arrive
Grades K-1 3:30-4:15         sports/arts class
  4:15-5:00         homework help/quiet time
Grades 2-5 3:15-4:30         homework help/quiet time
  4:30-5:15         sports/arts activity
5:00-5:35 Outdoor/Indoor play, divided by age
5:45 Program ends, pick ups.


Class Descriptions

(Class Offerings Vary By Serious Fun Location)

Allergic to Salad: Allergic to Salad works to increase life-skills and familiarity with healthy foods while developing a platform of exploration and passion for adventurous eating through hands-on STEM-based cooking classes. We utilize fresh, local, seasonal, and organic ingredients whenever possible. Students develop basic kitchen skills such as kitchen safety, knife technique, measuring, an appreciation of kitchen tools and the various techniques each recipe requires. In handling the students the ingredients, giving them agency over the production of the meal and allowing them to smell, taste, measure and manipulate each part of the cooking process, Allergic to Salad hopes to open up a new perspective on food and help students begin a lifetime of cooking nourishing food.

Beat Global:   Make beats and move your body!  In BEAT Global’s classroom, students learn the fundamentals of beatboxing (vocal percussion) and bboying/bgirling (breakdancing), cultivating skills as musicians and dancers while learning to collaborate and co-create with their peers and classmates.

BEAT’s Certified Instructors are all professional artists and have been trained to uphold the classroom as a space of safety, inclusion, fun, and mutual respect. This class is perfect for energetic youth seeking a unique and culturally responsive physical and creative outlet.

Broadway Jazz: Go Dance NYC’s Broadway Jazz classes are a great way for students to get fit, have fun and express themselves all at the same time. Broadway jazz students stretch, learn jazz steps, put on Broadway styling, and participate in choreographing dances. They enjoy performing their Broadway Jazz dances at mid and end of the year performances.

Cartooning:  Through the use of step by step instruction, students will learn how to draw some well known and less familiar characters, while being introduced to a variety of mediums: pencils, micron pens, markers and watercolors.  By learning how established cartoonists work, students will go on to design their own characters and create their own comic strips.  Students will work independently to create personal mini comics, and work together to create a class produced comic book and cartoon character paper mural.

Chess with Kidspire: Chess has been shown to help improve critical thinking skills, spatial analysis and non-verbal reasoning. Our chess program endeavors to encourage focus and develop concentration while having fun! After an initial assessment, lessons are customized to fit the needs of the particular group. Groups of players mostly new to the game will first learn how to play a legal chess game of chess. Students will then develop foresight as they learn strategies, tactics, calculation and thought process as applied to chess. More advanced players will use these skills to analyze and learn from historical games in a group format. Every chess lesson begins with a 15-20 min lesson and demonstration with a specific aim. An activity is then given to the students to reinforce their new skills before playing a full game against one of their fellow students.

Clowning:  Does your child like to be silly? Or maybe they like to goof around? If so, enroll in Serious Fun’s Clowning class! Students will discover a variety of clowning through clown games and circus tricks. By creating their own clowning characters, students are encouraged to embrace what makes them unique through the cultivation and celebration of their inner clown! Clowning class culminates in a year end performance, in which students will introduce their own clown to a live audience.

Drawing & Painting: All children love being creative when given the chance!  In this class students will be shown a basic approach to and knowledge of drawing and painting.  Focus will be given to the materials involved, how to draw, and how to view and interpret the world within different visual mediums. Students will be introduced to materials and color, and how to use them. Creative activities have been shown to develop basic maths skills like geometry, measuring, and sorting, and can provide a positive outlet through which to express emotions. Painting, drawing, cutting and pasting all help to develop fine motors skills. Students will be encouraged to develop their motor coordination, and visual perception through this creative play.    

Guitar:  Students will learn skills and techniques that can immediately be turned into fun on the guitar!  Students will study selections from Hal Leonard’s “Guitar for Kids”.  Popular songs keep the children motivated, and the clean, simple page layouts ensure their attention remains focused on one concept at a time.  Students will be introduced to the basics of the Guitar: correct holding of the instrument and posture, identifying strings and parts of the guitar, as well as rhythm exercises.  Less experienced students will learn how to play simple songs, while the more experienced students will be introduced to guitar riffs and scales, and some basic soloing.  Students will experiment with the mechanics, acoustics, pitch and sound quality of the guitar.

Keyboards: Keyboard students learn proper  positioning of the hands, posture, note names and chords.   Learning simple songs allows students to play scales, and prepare them to learn chords.  Students then progress to  playing melody and harmony with both right and left hands.  Rhythm exercises are taught to prepare students to play songs selected for them, while the singing of notes will help the theory get “into their heads.”  Students will be introduced to the musical staff, clef, and ledger  while learning note names.

Maker Space:  Introducing Serious Fun Maker: a class for creators! What makes a light turn on? Or what it is about a motor that makes some cars go faster than others? Serious Fun’s Maker Space will follow the invention cycle of Create, Play, Remix, and Share, to encourage questions of the inquisitive mind. Students will explore the world of invention through the use of the littleBits® Gizmos Gadgets Kit and some simple craft materials. The children create, play, remix and learn how to turn their ideas into functional objects. Students play, design, explore, question, build, and learn what it takes to be a creator, an inventor and, most of all, a Maker!

Making Music:  Making Music is an introductory class to the language of music.  Musical experience at an early age is important for a child’s developmental process. Our young students will be exposed to a variety of instruments, which will help them to develop meaningful relationships with music. The ability to hold focus will grow as they partake in simple movement activities such as musical games, dancing, singing, and playing. By the end of the program year, students will have developed a strong base in ear training, advanced their sense of rhythm, and learned the basics of notation. The goal of Making Music with Serious Fun is not for our students to become great performers of an instrument, but to further the understanding of music.


M
artial Arts:  Serious Fun Martial Arts classes are designed to teach focus and concentration, while developing muscle groups, balance, and gross motor coordination. These classes, while teaching martial arts basics, encourage behavior development, awareness of others, self-confidence, and character development.


Sculpture: 
The art of sculpture encourages our students to work with their hands fostering self-exploration and imagination through their three dimensional mini creations. Working with multiple materials students will be exposed to a vast variety of mediums, colors and subject matter that can express different themes, sensibilities, feelings, motifs, cultures or seasons.  While ensuring a fun environment; one where the children will find joy in the process of hands on creativity, they will be introduced to new and various materials, challenging their dexterity. Students will transform objects; learn how to make a mask and cast it using a secondary material, learn to mix colors to paint their creations, and combine opposing materials both hard and soft as part of their endless creations.

Soccer: Students learn the fundamentals of soccer, gaining the techniques of  kicking, passing, shooting, dribbling and trapping. While gaining a further understanding and knowledge of the game, students will gain an understanding of teamwork, healthy competitiveness and good sportsmanship. Through soccer, students will become more aware of their surroundings, and develop eye/foot coordination.  Students will enjoy a positive and safe environment of learning soccer and develop a lifelong love for sports.

Spanish:  Spanish visual literacy, cognitive skills development, art appreciation and cultural awareness all in one fun class!  Our goal is to promote visual and language literacy in Spanish at an early age, and to give students the basic language skills they will need to start using Spanish in their homes and neighborhoods. We also aim to foster an appreciation for the Spanish language and culture in our fun and casual setting. Students will begin to learn the language by participating in our Spanish immersion program. We will employ music, books, poetry and games in Spanish. While enjoying the many fun activities we have planned, our children will learn both the educational concept and the Spanish Language at the same time!

Theater:  With a focus on ensemble and storytelling, students in Theater work together to create an ensemble, learn about elements of a story and different theatrical ways to tell that story. Using theater games, and tools eventually the ensemble (class) will create their own story that they perform at the end of the year together. Throughout our time together, we will make props, play a little with improvisation and learn how our emotions and physicality help us create and understand characters and environments. At the end of the year the students are not only actors, but writers, and create a little company of their own as they showcase their work to their families!

Traditional Dance:  Serious Fun and Go Dance NYC are pleased to offer the Traditional Dance class. Students in this Ballet/Tap combo class spend the first half of the year on Ballet technique and learn a ballet dance. In the second half of the year they learn Tap dance technique and learn a tap dance. This class is a great way for students to grown in strength, coordination and focus through these two excellent dance forms.

Violin: This music education applies the basic principles of language acquisition to music instruction as developed by Japanese violinist Shinichi Suzuki.  Students  learn the correct hold of the instrument and bow, and their proper care and maintenance. Through body mechanics and rhythm exercises students will create a clean and strong sound preparing them for song play from Suzuki Violin Book I. More advanced students will play higher level songs from Book I and may progress to play songs in Suzuki Violin Book II, as well as how to play 2-3 scales.

World Dance: Go Dance NYC’s World Dance classes are a wonderful way for students to stay active while learning about cultures different from their own. There are four different cultures studied throughout each year and each year different cultures are introduced. Students listen to music, watch video clips and, of course, learn the dance from the culture they are studying. They enjoy dance games and performing one of the dances they’ve learned for an audience at mid and end of the year performances.

Writopia:  Writopia Lab is a national community of young writers, ages 6 to 18. Founded in New York City in 2007, Writopia Lab has now spread to Greater New York, Greater Washington, D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles.

Parents: At Writopia, your kids enjoy individual attention, fun writing games, stellar feedback from published authors trained in our method, and, best of all, the satisfaction of completing a wonderful original story.

Writers: Do you love the idea of developing a short story, screenplay, or memoir? Are you thrilled by the idea of polishing exceptional new pieces? Or have you had less positive experiences, and would like to join a community that can change your entire feeling about writing? Our students enter at different levels…and leave with at least one piece of polished, original prose.

THIS CLASS IS AVAILABLE TO STUDENTS IN GRADES 4-5 ONLY.

Yoga:  Yoga is an integrative practice that helps students find a sense of calm and mind-body-heart connection by engaging the body, breath, heart and mind. Students will begin by learning basic yoga postures to develop body awareness, flexibility, strength, balance, focus and confidence. They are encouraged to pay attention to their breath and breathe deeply to cultivate inner awareness, relax the body and calm the mind. We practice meditation and listening skills using sounds of bells to develop concentration and a focused mind. We sing and instruct with songs to open our hearts and uplift our moods, read Yoga stories to connect each postures with a story to engage our minds, and practice fun partner postures to build friendship and teamwork. Students are motivated to continue their practice and learn challenging postures in a fun, safe, and supportive environment. With regular practice, Yoga students will feel happy, confident, healthy, strong and focused.

 

Serious Fun is registered with the State of New York as a licensed School Age Child Care.  As a registered child care provider, the cost of the Serious Fun program and transportation can be deducted from federal income taxes for families that qualify. Click here for information on the Child Care Tax Deduction. Click here for information on using employer Dependent Care Savings Accounts to pay for your child care expenses.