Clubs and Activities
Academy and school students have the opportunity to participate in sports through the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO). The CYO provides opportunities for those interested in baseball, basketball, cheerleading, soccer, softball, track, swimming, or volleyball. The person is the main focus, not the athletic activity. Through their programs the CYO promotes participation and sportsmanship, with the leadership necessary to form a well-rounded individual. Visit the CYO website.
Almost all academies and schools offer a variety of after-school clubs and activities. Some of the common clubs include Year Book, Aquinas, Student Council, Chess, Arts & Crafts, Choir, and Science. However, you may also find clubs like: Drama, Crochet, Tap Dancing, Cross-Country, Confectionary, Cooking, Flag-Football, Hand Bells, Origami, Piano, Robotics, Photography, Twirling, and more. New clubs are introduced frequently and throughout the year, so call the school you’re interested to find out what they offer. Have an idea? They might take you up on it.
Many students participate in scouting activities throughout the diocese. The Diocese of Brooklyn Catholic Committee on Scouting provides guidance, vitality and leadership in the spiritual phase of Scouting for all Catholic Scouts and Scouters of the Diocese. They endeavor to make the Scouting Program available to increasing numbers the youth, especially those in Catholic parishes and schools. The agenda of the Committee supplements the programs of the Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of America with special instructions and activities, in the spiritual phase of Scouting as it relates to Catholics. Visit the Catholic Committee on Scouting website.
Aquinas Honors Society The Aquinas Society provides Catholic school students in Brooklyn and Queens with an opportunity to conduct in-depth research into a variety of topics. The program exists to promote excellence in education by providing intellectually engaging experiences for students who are academically capable of advanced work, as well as those students who are committed to developing their unique gifts and talents. Each year, members of each school’s Aquinas Society, under the direction of a teacher-advisor, select an issue to research; create a collaborative project with written, visual and technological aspects; and then display their work at a diocesan expo.
Catholic Telemedia Network (CTN) CTN of Brooklyn and Queens provides educational media programs for the classrooms in Catholic academies and schools within the diocese. They believe in enlightenment for young minds through their media programs. Their goal is to provide media that can transport, inspire and enlighten students. Learn more at ctnbq.org.
Performing Arts Residency Program The Performing Arts Residency is a unique program created by the members of Stages on the Sound, Inc., a non-profit theatre company that has been partnering with Catholic schools within the diocese since 2006. The program currently serves 40 academies and schools. Each academy or school has three participating grades, some with multiple classes in each grade. The fourth grade works on film-making and stop-motion animation using tablets and cameras, the sixth grade focuses on play-writing, and the eighth grade reads and acts out scenes from Shakespeare plays. A team of two teaching artists spend one hour per week for 15 weeks with each class. Learn more at stagesonthesound.com.
Paul Effman Music Services This band program, which is present in almost all academies and schools, allows students interested in playing an instrument to receive lessons in small groups during time periods that are flexible so that academic time is not impacted. The service provides highly trained educators along with a skilled manager to regularly oversee the program. The instruments involved in the school band include: bells, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and drums, as well as many background instruments. The instruments involved in the school orchestra include: violin, viola, cello, and bass. Students in grades 3 and up are eligible to participate in the band program. Students in grades 1 and up are eligible to participate in the string program. Learn more at pemusic.com.
Dancing Classrooms Dancing Classrooms is present in 6 academies and schools. Pierre Dulaine & Yvonne Marceau founded the American Ballroom Theater Company in 1984 and established Dancing Classrooms in 1994 as the educational arm of their company. Dancing Classrooms sends teachers into the schools to teach the 5-6 ballroom dances twice a week. They also teach manners and teamwork, and later put on a show for the parents. Learn more at dancingclassrooms.org.
Making Books Sing The mission of Making Books Sing is to promote children’s literacy and social development through professional theater productions and arts-in-education programs. They believe the arts can inspire learning, strengthen families, improve schools and communities, and enrich young people’s lives. Students work with a classroom teacher on reading and understanding a literature piece. They then write their own original scene and work with a different teaching artist to write an original song related to the book. Their education programs utilize theater arts instruction rooted in experiential learning to advance literacy, language and social skills; teach academic subject matter; and address topics that are socially relevant to young people. Learn more at makingbookssing.org.
Superkids Reading Program Most academies and schools within the diocese utilize the Superkids reading program, a core reading program designed for kindergarten through second grade with a cast of characters that children love. Based on a proven pedagogy and compelling brain research, it combines rigor and fun to deliver on their promise that every child will learn to read. They also provide the Happily Ever After reading readiness program for Pre-K students. Learn more at superkidsreading.com.
Latin and Greek Roots Challenge Program This program recognizes the importance of Latin and Greek roots within the English language. Students who have a command of roots and their meanings have a distinct advantage in vocabulary acquisition and retention, in reading comprehension, and in taking standardized tests. Learn more at the-rooted-mind.com.
Renzulli Learning Program The Renzulli Learning Program is a web-based learning tool that identifies student interests and boosts academic performance. It aids teachers as they differentiate instruction and methods. This tool features an inventory that captures the interests and learning styles of each student to develop a unique profile for each. Learn more at renzullilearning.com.
Diocesan Math Bee Each year, the diocese, with the support of Sadlier Publishers, hosts two annual Math Bee competitions: upper grades (6-8) and middle grades (3-5). During the Math Bee, students are challenged to think under pressure, solving difficult math problems within a time limit. The competition is aligned to the common core and contestants advance to the Diocesan Math Bee from their Regional Bee. They advance to the Regional Bee from their respective school-wide competition
Oratorical Contest The annual diocesan oratorical contest provides a wonderful forum for the development of a child’s oratorical skills. This is a great opportunity to foster the development of poise and confidence in students and provide a medium to enhance the essential life skill of public speaking. Winners from each participating school gather annually to deliver famous speeches of their choosing.
Aquinas Expo Each year, members of each school’s Aquinas Honors Society, under the direction of a teacher-advisor, select an issue to research and create a collaborative project with written, visual and technological aspects. During this exciting event, students gather to display and present their research projects.
Early Childhood Extravaganza This annual event consists of an entire morning jam packed with a keynote address, breakout sessions, vendors and a multitude of useful information for those principals, teachers and coordinators responsible for the education of early childhood students. All teachers in grades Pre-K 3, Pre-K 4, Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2 are invited to attend to develop their skills. Developmentally appropriate practices within the early childhood classroom are discussed, as well as new educational tools and methods to reach young minds.
Celebration of Catholic Education The annual Celebration of Catholic Education is a full day of professional development for Catholic educators, attracting over 700 elementary education teachers. Professional development workshops and presentations typically include information about technology, Common Core Standards, Catholic identity, aligning instructions and assessment with Common Core Standards, state assessment changes, science, and more.
Tech Expo The annual Tech Expo is a professional day for educators within the diocese devoted to developing their skills in technology. The aim for the event is to educate teachers on how to better utilize the tools of the 21st century in the teaching and learning process. Equipped with new knowledge, teachers are then able to educate the students in their classrooms with new tools and insight.
Catholic Schools Night at Citi Field This semi-annual event is a collaboration between the Office of the Superintendent ~ Catholic School Support Services, Catholic academies and schools, and the Mets. Catholic school students and their families and friends are able to purchase discounted tickets through the schools to go to a Mets game. With the national anthem sung by children and freebies for those attending, it is a great way for all academies and schools to build community, raise funds, and strengthen team spirit! The Mets even offer incentives for the students and schools who sell the most tickets, and do you want to know the best part? All tickets purchased for the game also raise money for the academy or school through which they were purchased.