Sunset Park

The Daily Plant : Thursday, March 3, 2011

Spotlight On Sunset Park Afterschool

The next time you are in the Sunset Park area of Brooklyn stop by the Sunset Park Recreation Center between the hours of 3-6 pm (10 am-2 pm on Saturdays) and you will see the future of New York City at work and play. Sunset Park hosts the agency’s largest structured Afterschool Program in accordance to the DOHMH guidelines with 220 children registered. Open Monday through Saturday, this structured and comprehensive program offers Homework Help, Martial Arts, Fitness, Drama, Media, Percussion, Art, Field Trips and other enriching activities for students and their families. Each day children are required to have 20 minutes of Fitness (Calestinics, Isometrics, etc.), to read (10-30 minutes depending on their level) and do their homework. Homework is not considered “completed” until a Group Leader checks it.

Once students fulfill these requirements, they are free to participate in other activities. These activities are posted on the board in the main activity room daily for students to choose where they will go.

In an effort to further combat childhood obesity and improve their safety, children are also required to learn Self- Defense and healthy eating habits. These classes are taught throughout the year and include workshops for parents and caregivers facilitated by NYPD, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and Cornell University Cooperative Extension.

In addition to the above, children are expected to participate in a Media and/or Technology activity once a week. The goal is to not only to prepare our students for exciting careers in Media and Technology, but to use digital technology as a “common language” for the diverse populations we serve in Sunset Park. At least 40 percent of our students are English Language Learners and many of them have just arrived in the United States. These projects allow English-as-a-Second Language students to communicate their ideas and stories with others who don’t speak their native language.

As a two-time recipient of the competitive 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant, the program, in partnership with Sunset Park School/P.S. 169, develops activities and tutoring plans to meet the academic needs of the students. Along with this strategy, ELA and Math grades and test scores are tracked. The results are used to make program adjustments to further benefit the students.

Sunset Park Afterschool was designed and is managed by Program Director Letitia Guillory. This rigorous program is further supported by the Afterschool Coordinator, Maribel Guzman, Consultants, Recreation staff and West Brooklyn High School interns. Their efforts along with enthusiastic collaborations with Good Shepherd Services, Red Hawk Arts Council, Long Island University, Council of Neighborhood Organizations, Health Plus, Man-Up Global and others make Sunset Park Afterschool a dynamic program and an inspiration for the entire community.

Most of our recreation centers offer structured afterschool and out-of-school programming to keep the minds and bodies of NYC kids fit. The Public Programs (Recreation and Urban Park Rangers) arm of the agency is strategizing to engage ALL children in our Parks and Recreation Centers.

Submitted by Eileen Dalton


“To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.”

Benjamin Franklin
(1706 – 1790)

Directions to Sunset Park

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