5 Days, 5 Films, 36 Kids, 1 Incredible Event

On Saturday, April 19, the Tribeca Film Festival hosted a special screening of films produced by Manhattan Youth’s spring break middle school filmmaking intensive. Academy Award-nominated director Marshall Curry moderated a talk-back session with the young filmmakers following the screening.

We had a blast helping the students with their very creative films, and we invite you to enjoy them below!

Stage One
Six students wake up in a classroom with no memories at all. They have no idea who they are, how they got there, or why the world shows no sign of any other living humans.

Lost in NYC!
Three students are lost in New York City without their cell phones. Wait–WITHOUT THEIR CELL PHONES!?! How will they ever find anything? Or take selfies? Or live-Tweet their adventure to their many Twitter followers?

Side Story of West
This movie dares to ask the age-old question. Is Bambi really about death and destruction or bunnies on ice? A parody of West Side Story, it answers that question the way only a musical comedy can.

The Combination
Daniel finds a lock attached to the Brooklyn Bridge that he put there with his former girlfriend to symbolize their eternal love. Touching it causes him to revisit memories of her – both joyful and painful.

Spring Break Film Camp — The Making of…
A behind the scenes look at middle school filmmakers’ process. Interviews conducted, filmed and edited by elementary school students in our filmmaking program.

Tritons break more records!

Manhattan Youth Aquatics

The Tritons Swim Team started the spring semester with a splash on Saturday, March 29th.

Our superstar swimmers beat personal records in over 75% of their races! They also broke 7 team records, including 2 relay records.

The following “Ten Off the Top” Club swimmers dropped 10 seconds or more off their best times in a single race. We’d like to recognize this awesome personal achievement!Manhattan Youth Aquatics

Ellie T. – 10 second drop in the 50 Butterfly
Charles M. – 11 second drop in the 50 Backstroke
Dean C. – 10 second drop in the 50 Backstroke
Maia B. – 18 second drop in the 50 Freestyle

Congratulations, all Tritons swimmers!

Manhattan Youth Aquatics

Friday Night Detectives

The Junior Division of Friday Nights at the Center is in the midst of a slight makeover. We’ve recently introduced themes to our normal slate of activities. Two weeks ago, the 1st-3rd graders enrolled in our superhero training program. Last Friday, they became Detectives.

Manhattan Youth Friday Nights at the Center Detective Theme

Our staff led them through the Center, and at each activity, the detectives found a clue to help them solve the case of Little Quack, the missing red duck! After a trip to Detective Headquarters, where Ty put them through the paces of detective training, they participated in a digital scavenger hunt in the Digital Media Lab. The clues they gathered led them to question 4 suspects–your humble author being one of them. During a last-minute rehashing of all the evidence, the detectives caught Yessenia, the Friday Night program director, red handed. Literally. Her hands were red. Wait a second, Little Quack the duck was red. Yessenia was the thief all along!

The entire evening was a blast for all involved–even if some of us were wrongly accused of duck-napping.

Next Friday’s theme: Pool Party!

Don’t forget that Friday Nights at the Center is free for members. Register here.

MY Parenting Workshops – Bringing Your Teen to Success

Manhattan Youth is proud to support family life, and we invite you to join us for our Parenting Workshops. In this series of talks, we introduce speakers who often are available to our community for any needed follow-up after their talks take place. We invite you to join us at the Manhattan Youth Downtown Community Center at 120 Warren Street.

These talks are free, but registration is required. Register here.

Manhattan Youth Parenting Workshops

First up:

Bringing Your Teen To Success: 
Stop Lecturing and Start Leading 
by Sean Grover 
Wednesday April 2, 6:00 PM

Why are some kids independent and ambitious while others lack drive and motivation? If your household is a battleground filled with arguments around homework, chores and curfews, it’s time to hit the pause button. Why isn’t your parenting getting better results? This workshop teaches parents to stop lecturing and start leading by providing the five essential activities every teenager needs to develop healthy habits.

Register here.

Sean Grover, LCSW, has worked with families and children for over twenty years, and maintains one of the largest group therapy practices in the United States. Sean’s forthcoming book, “The Bullied Parent”, will be released later this year. For parenting tips and articles visit www.seangrover.com.

Standing Ovation for Manhattan Youth Players’ Performance of Annie

We aren’t the only ones who absolutely loved the I.S. 276 Manhattan Youth Players’ performance of “Annie.” The Tribeca Trib called it an “Energetic, Rousing Performance,” with the “packed auditorium” erupting into a standing ovation at the end of the deftly-performed musical. Read the full review here. The Trib has also included awesome slideshow of photos from the production!

As always, you can order DVDs of the performance. Click here for the order form. We are also offering DVDs of past Manhattan Youth theater and dance performances. Just fill out the order form with the name of the show and number of copies you would like.

Thanks to those who came out to the show over the weekend! And congrats to the Manhattan  Youth Players!

Manhattan Youth Players Annie

Photo by Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

Mayor de Blasio Proposes Tripling After-School Funding

After-School funding might be getting a real boost!

Our After-School program at I.S. 289 is already free for middle schoolers, but this initiative would allow all middle school students in New York City to access to quality after-school programs.

For more info on de Blasio’s proposal, here’s an article from this week’s eBroadsheet, featuring Bob Townley, the executive director of Manhattan Youth.

And since it is Throwback Thursday, here’s a little nugget from 19 years ago–a letter to the Tribeca Trib in which Bob Townley calls out former Mayor Giuliani for slashing the city’s after-school funding. We’re so happy that this ship has been turned around!

Getting Ready for Spring Swimming

This post is dedicated to all of the ways you and your family can utilize our beautiful indoor pool this spring. If you’re only coming in for weekend Family Swim, you’re missing out on some of our other great aquatics offerings!

Here is an overview of some of the programs we offer:

Now Accepting Rolling registration for Spring Swim Lessons!Manhattan Youth Aquatics Our Spring Semester of Swim Lessons started February 1st, but it’s not too late to register! We accept rolling registration and sometimes open up new classes over the course of each semester. We believe it’s so important for every child to love swimming and learn to be safe in and around the water. That’s why we will do everything possible to accommodate your child in an appropriate class, regardless of how far along we are into the semester.
Give us a call (212.766.1104) or email us at swim@manhattanyouth.org if you’re interested in registering for a class. We’re here to offer guidance and recommendations and would be happy to answer any questions you have.

We love Bubble Babies… But what’s next?Manhattan Youth Aquatics
Our weekend Bubble Babies classes are one of our most popular programs for ages 6 months – 2 years. Did you know it’s FREE with membership and offered 6 times per week? It’s 50% swim class, 50% music class, and 100% fun–for parents and tots alike! Our interactive songs expose children to the water, create an environment for parent/child bonding, and establish swimming as a pressure-free and fun-filled activity.
One of the biggest questions we receive is “What is the next step for my child after the Bubble Babies class?” The answer is: Our Begin2Swim program. What is our Begin2Swim program? Glad you asked!

Begin2Swim Classes
We’re SO excited to introduce this progressive program geared specifically toward children 18-24 months old (in addition, of course, to our 2-3 year old program)!* With so many of our members making Family Swim and Bubble Babies a regular part of their swimming routine, we have more rising little fish at the Center than ever.
We will also be adding additional Begin2Swim class times to our spring offerings starting in March. Contact us for additional information or to register!

 *Please note that regular attendance at Bubble Babies classes is highly recommended before registering for a Begin2Swim class. Children should be happy and confident in the pool before moving on to more advanced swim skills – every child at their own pace!

Throwing it back to the beginning of MY Weekend Programs!

“We want this place to be your place.” Bob Townley, Manhattan Youth’s Executive Director, has always loved empowering kids.

Manhattan Youth Weekend Programs

Photo by Carl Glassman

Manhattan Youth’s first Friday Night program (pictured to the right) in 2002 included dinner, board games, fitness, and two computers. Townley asked the kids, “Any suggestions on how to make this place better?”

Twelve years later, our weekend programs are stronger than over. Friday Nights at the Center (pictured below) still feature dinner, games, and computers. But we’ve added swimming, Xbox, art, karaoke, and 16 brand new computers. On Saturdays, we have Open Studio in the Digital Media Lab, Ceramics, Lego Robotics, Weekend Sports, Family Movie Night and much more.

Most importantly, we’ve never stopped asking how we can make this place better. To that end, share your thoughts in the comments!  What can we do better?

Here’s a link to the Tribeca Trib’s coverage of our first ever Friday Night.

Teen Night Thanksgiving

Comedy of Errors was Spot On, Favourable, Auspicous!

Congratulations to the Manhattan Youth Players of I.S. 289! Their work on Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors was outstanding!

Having tackled Macbeth a year ago, last week’s performance marked the second year in a row they have knocked a Shakespeare play out of the park. DVDs of the performance are available here. We now also offer DVDs of previous shows performed by the Manhattan Youth Players and Manhattan Youth Dance. Fill out an order form and tell us which shows you want.

We couldn’t be more excited for I.S. 276′s performance of Annie next week!
Manhattan Youth Players of I.S. 289

Throwback Thursday — Spirit Week and Basket Ball

This Thursday we’re looking back on some school spirit and some original performances.

It’s Spirit Week at I.S. 289. Tomorrow is School Pride day, and students will be wearing their Cougar blue and gold.  Let’s take a look at the first time our Lady Cougars proudly donned their blue and gold varsity basketball jerseys. A team, a rivalry, a pride of Cougars is born.
Tribeca Trib’s I.S. 89 Cougars Basketball article

Manhattan Youth Players -- 89 Dreams

Photo by Carl Glassman

This week also brings the Manhattan Youth Players’ production of Shakespeare’s “A Comedy of Errors.”(Click here for tickets!) While this year, students will be speaking the words of one of the best writers to grace the English language, 6 years ago, they performed a play which they themselves crafted. “89 Dreams” was a collection of students’ dreams woven into an exciting and surreal evening of theater. Here is the Trib’s coverage of the 2008 play.
Manhattan Youth Players’ “89 Dreams”