Character & Community

WELCOME! Our Preliminary Application for 2024-25 Is Now Closed

Beyond academics, arts, and physical education, throughout the school day, Poly students learn about making good choices and helping others and what it means to be part of a community. The Lower School service learning program encourages children to develop empathy, self-confidence, and initiative.

Beginning in the early childhood years, children develop an understanding of how to care for their school community. As they progress through the Lower School, students engage in a variety of service projects and activities that serve the local Brooklyn and wider New York City communities. Projects may be directly linked to the Fairness and Justice curriculum and also support the conservation of the environment.

Families participate in larger school events like Prospect Park Cleanup and PolyCultura. Activities like these and others listed below, fuel connection and community-mindedness.

A few recent Initiatives:

Green Challenge – Led by our third graders, children in each class publicly committed to reducing the Lower School’s energy use, waste production, and overall environmental impact.

Festival of Lights – Students develop and lead presentations on the many winter holidays that cultures around the world celebrate. After the presentation, the entire Lower School comes together for a special family-style meal.

Ally Week – Students learn what it means to be an ally in age-appropriate ways. Our youngest students discuss how to be a good friend, while our older students discuss allyship with the LGBTQ+ community and learn how to be an upstander instead of a bystander.

PolyCultura – An annual tradition where families celebrate the many cultures of our community through performances, lessons, interactive activities, and more.

Identity Celebrations – Throughout the year, students learn about and celebrate the richness of our community by celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, LGBTQ+ History Month, Native American History Month, Black History Month, Women’s History Month, and Asian American Pacific Islander History Month. We share our learning through special assemblies, hallway displays, family projects, and weekly assignments and activities. Affinity spaces like Banana Splits are also available for students.

Clubs – Students in third and fourth grade have the opportunity to participate in a variety of clubs. These enrichment clubs are great ways for students to explore their identities and interests in fun ways. Clubs have included: Worm Club (composting), Newspaper Club, Girl Up Club, The New Boys Club, Gluten Free Club, Read under a Tree Club, and many more!


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