Greenpoint Gazette
Ramon Lopez and PS 196 OST Students

PS 196 Gets Afterschool

BY Jeff Mann

Local elementary school parents have a new reason to send their kids to PS 196. The perennially A-rated school has announced the launch of its first afterschool program – a partnership with Grand Street Settlement that gives working parents a safe, nurturing option for the hours between end of school day and their return home from work.

Starting February 3rd, participating PS 196 students, from kindergarten through fifth grade, can receive tutoring in math, science and reading, homework help and join enrichment programs including sports, music and art. Already, more than 100 students have signed up.

“The purpose [of the program] is to enhance what the kids learn on a daily basis and to offer family support,” said Ramon Lopez, who runs the program for Grand Street Settlement. The program is aligned with Common Core standards, offering students a level of continuity as they do their homework that they may not receive once they leave school for the day. Resources such as tax advice and credit counseling are available to parents.

Understanding the community is central to the program’s success, explained Lopez, a Williamsburg native who has worked with neighborhood institutions PS 250 and the St. Nicks Alliance. The program employs more than 15 community members to assist with the program as group leaders and tutors. “They look for teacher input about the students,” PS 196 Principal Janine Colon noted. “Ramon talks to us on a regular basis to learn what our needs are for the students and to connect the school to the program.”

“We have a good bond with the community,” Lopez added.

Grand Street Settlement, a Lower East Side nonprofit, brings nearly 100 years of service to PS 196 following the receipt of a Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) grant to develop an Out-of-School Time (OST) Program at the Bushwick Avenue school. Funding for the music and arts program comes via a grant from former Councilmember Diana Reyna. The program runs from 3 – 6 daily and 8 – 6 on holidays and during the summer. Parents seeking further information should call the school at (718) 497-0139.


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