CUNY Prep extends beyond the classroom walls. We host special events and all-school activities which not only enhance academic learning but also generate a strong sense of community.
“A lot of our students come from learning environments where they felt forgotten and fell through the cracks,” says Director and Principal Jenny Ristenbatt. “From the moment they arrive here, we want them to feel like they are really part of something—and the events we put on are crucial in creating a close-knit learning community.”
Students can also participate in special-interest clubs. CUNY Prep clubs have included fashion, salsa, video games, chess, drama, and more. Others get a chance to showcase their singing or poetry at CUNY Prep Live, a talent show event.
“It’s incredible how amazingly talented our kids are,” says Math Teacher Frantz Barbier, who helps coordinate the show. “Even those who may be a little shy or nervous over their fear, get up on stage and shine. It’s a wonderful feeling to see them in this setting.”
Many of the events emphasize the importance of getting involved in the community, one of the core values we try to instill in our students. For example, CUNY Prep puts on a yearly Halloween carnival, where the school opens its doors to neighborhood children. The students plan and implement the event.
Other school events include class presidential elections, forensic investigation, field day, and even a prom.