Be Me: After School Program at the Y
Registration for the 2018-2019 school year is currently closed. Contact Katherine, for more information.
- Read through our Terms and Conditions of registration and familiarize yourself with our prices and fees prior to registering by clicking HERE. Pricing information is included in this document.
- Download a list of important dates for the school year HERE.
- Download the Mandatory Health Paperwork for students HERE.
- Download the Behavior Policy for students HERE.
- Download the Semester 1 Activity Schedule HERE.
Be Me: After School Program at the Y is an inclusive program for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. From the moment we pick up your children from school, to the time we drop them off at home, Be Me is a non-stop learning experience with one central theme: JOY! Trust us, you won’t need to go anywhere else.
Why should your family choose Be Me?
Be Me, the Y’s popular K-5 after school program, offers a variety of activities led by first rate specialists and well-trained group leaders to make sure your children are safe, engaged, and happy.
We see the Big Picture. We recognize the importance of the after school hours in a child's healthy development. Be Me is not simply childcare, it is a community program full of warm and attentive adults who are absolutely committed to positively shaping, not simply students' after school experience, but their character as well. Studies show that students who participate in a high-quality after school program, like Be Me, make significant gains in math test scores. According to the After School Alliance, a national non-profit advocacy group, students who go to after school programs have fewer absences from school, better study habits, lower rates of obesity, higher homework completion rates, greater participation in class, and fewer behavioral problems.
At Be Me, we align our program with the best practices laid out by the New York State Network for Youth Success. Twice a year, we use the Network's Quality Self Assessment (QSA) tool to do an internal audit of Be Me: we ask our stakeholders, students, staff, parents, and school-partners, "How are we doing?" We use that feedback to make the program better.
We are Guided by our Values. The Y of Washington Heights celebrated its centennial in 2017. We are a neighborhood institution that has been an anchor in the community through the many changes it has seen. Today, we are a non-denominational Jewish institution that welcomes all. At Be Me, we acknowledge the many different backgrounds under our roof, and all year we strive to foster a sense of community in our staff, students, and families. We start each day with Community Circles and a Community Snack. Studies show that family-involvement is crucial in creating a successful after school environment. That's why we invite family members to join Be Me leadership to enjoy wine and challah with us at occassional Shabbat Schmooze each semester, twice a year to large Showcase events, and to biannual focus groups, among other opportunities to get involved. Every school year, we choose 3-5 values that will guide us for the 10 months to come. This past year they were:
- Keepers of the Earth (Shomrei Adamah) - The importance of respecting our natural environment
- Introspection (Cheshbon Nefesh) - Looking within and striving to always be a better person than the day before
- Community (Kehila) - Respecting the diversity of our after school program and looking out for one another
- Shabbat - We celebrate Shabbat on Fridays and use this as an opportunity to reflect on our lives and be grateful
Staff Quality. Our background-checked staff go through extensive training before and throughout the school year so that you can rest easy knowing your child is in good hands. Our full-time team of after school professionals includes a Special Needs Inclusion Coordinator, a Jewish Education Specialist, and a dedicated Program Director. Our Activity Specialists, the individuals who plan and lead our activities, are charismatic and professionals in their fields.
Special Needs Inclusion. Our integrated programs reflect our desire to be inclusive whenever possible and to cater to the needs of each individual student. By adapting the programs offered throughout Be Me, we focus on providing everyone a caring, safe, and engaging environment. To ensure that each child’s needs are properly met, we conduct an intake interview with each student with special needs. Please contact our Inclusion Coordinator Rebecca Schonberg () for more information regarding inclusion at Be Me.
Convenient. We bus from school to Be Me, and from Be Me back home. We pick up from PS 152, PS 178, PS 187, PS 278, Amistad, Dos Puentes, and Muscota... and any other school above 168th Street and below 218th, as long as we have enough 5-day registrants to send a bus! Also, you get first dibs on signing up for our Holiday Camps and Days Off Programs, as well as coverage on half-days for no additional charge! Only those students registered for the day(s) in which a half-day falls will be automatically enrolled in half-day program at no additional charge. Be Me only provides half-day programs for those half-days that fall within the Department of Education's academic calendar and those of PS 187.
Competitively Priced. Costing around $8/hour, it’s a far better bang for your buck than hiring a babysitter! Financial assistance is available for qualifying families. Find out more about our Tuition, Fees, and Financial Assistance.
Program Variety and Choice. Students spend the day immersed in intensive tracks in order to build skills and pursue passions. Sports, science, nature, outdoor adventure, and art intensive-tracks are all available to choose from. Curate your child’s schedule based on his/her interests and supportive staff will help your child realize his/her potential. Plus, students have scheduled homework help and healthy snack time.
This school year we are bringing you a greater choice of activities than ever before. Every day we feature one intensive 75-minute long activity period (4:00pm - 5:15pm), which is preceded by small games, snack, homework, and Community Time. Each semester students choose from a diverse offering of 3-5 activities per day. Most Be Me activities are available to you at no additional charge. Participation in certain specialized activities, however, requires an extra fee. Our Activity Schedule for the first semester of the school year will become available by mid August.
- Sample schedule
2:30 - 3:30 Students arrive at the Y by bus and by foot (arrival time varies by school). Students go to homerooms, which are divided by grade, where they participate in small group games and/or homework help. 3:30 - 3:55 Cleanup, Attendance, Community Snack, Community Circle, Announcements (Swim bus departs Y for Riverdale Y at 3:30) 3:55 - 4:00 Students transition to their activity's classroom 4:00 - 5:15 Enrichment Activity Period 5:15 - 5:30 Students are organized for a safe dismissal (Swim bus returns to Y at 5:30) 5:30 Parents/guardians pickup students from Y 5:35 Buses depart the Y to take students home (Not available on Fridays) 6:15 All students enrolled in Late Care are picked up from Y (Not available on Fridays; There is no bussing home following Late Care)
On Fridays, all students meet for an end-of-week Shabbat celebration at 5:00 and participate in enrichments from 4:05 - 4:50.
- Selecting classes
The Be Me year is split into two semesters, the first running from September to January and the second from February to June. We will change the slate of classes for the second semester. Before each semester, you have the opportunity to choose your Be Me activities. Students commit to activities for the full semester. The schedule of activities for the first semester will be available in mid-August.
- Experiential Jewish Education
At Be Me, we integrate Jewish learning into most of our enrichment activities. Whether our Puppetry class performs a play about why they love Shabbat, our Gardening group composts and learns about Tikkun Olam, our Chess class learns the names of chess pieces in Hebrew, or Creative Movement learns Israeli dancing, we weave Jewish education into enrichment activties in seemless, interesting, and fun ways. At Be Me, Jewish education is open to all children and highlights our commitment to experiential Jewish education; you do not have to be Jewish to participate in, and enjoy, Jewish ed. Through our activities students develop a sense of identity and respect for other cultures by teaching them about the rich diversity of the world through Jewish stories. Be Me participants receive a top-notch cultural education from esteemed professionals in the field that is rarely available in an after school program. Whether through music, nature, storytelling, puppets, or pottery, students participate in specially-crafted, hands-on lessons that teach them that their actions matter in the world. If this sounds like the type of values-based education you would like for your child, then Be Me is right for you!
- Schedule alterations
You will select your child's schedule before the school year begins. You may make alterations to your schedule in December, and they will go into affect at the start of the second semester, in late January. To learn more about schedule alterations, review our Terms and Conditions here.
We have scheduled pick ups at PS 152, PS 178, PS 187, PS 278, Amistad, Dos Puentes, Muscota, and WHEELS. but we can go to any other school above 168th Street and below 218th as long as we have enough 5-day registrants to send a bus. When your child will be absent from Be Me please email us at so we'll know not to pick your child up from school that day.
- Bus drop off at the end of the day
Our buses depart the Y at 5:35pm. When you register for busing home, you provide a drop-off location. That location you provide is where we will drop off your child, with an authorized adult, at the end of the day (children 10 and older may "self-dismiss" with written consent from a parent/guardian). Your drop off location must be south of 218th and north of 168th. The order of our drop offs are created by our bus drivers and are non-negotiable. Expect your child to return home on the bus between 5:45-6:15pm, depending on where he/she is in the drop off order. An estimated time of arrival will be emailed to you prior to the beginning of the school year. Bus drop off is not available on Fridays. There is no bussing home following Late Care.
- End of the day pick up at the Y
Pickup from the Y is at 5:30pm. In order to minimize disruptions to our educational environments, if you would like to pick up your child prior to 5:30pm, you must email no later than 4:00pm the previous business day, and detail the time you plan to arrive. Exceptions to this policy will be made in the event of an emergency. Otherwise, you will be asked to wait until 5:30pm to sign out your child.
You must be present, in the 1st floor hallway, when you are picking up early. In order to ensure appropriate ratios, a staff member will not be able to wait downstairs with your child until you arrive. Similarly, we will not bring students outside to waiting adults or idling cars. Please be prepared to present an ID if asked by a Y staff member.
Late Care until 6:15 is available for an additional fee. Late Care is not available on Fridays. There is no bussing home following Late Care.
Want to add someone to your child's list of authorized pickups?
No problem. Just email the adult's name and phone number to us at .
Tuition, Fees, and Financial Assistance
Tuition is based upon the number of days per week your child is enrolled at the Y. Rates below are for the full 2018-2019 school year. Family Membership is optional, but purchasing membership entitles you to lower tuition rates and other benefits.
Days Member Price Public Price 5 $3,800 $4,100 4 $3,500 $3,800 3 $3,000 $3,300 2 $2,400 $2,700
- *Yearly tuition includes the cost of one-way transportation
- Transportation Fees
End-of-day transportation is optional. End-of-day busing is not available for students enrolled in Late Care.
Days Busing Home 4 $600 3 $550 2 $500 1 $400
*Busing home is not available on Fridays.
- Late Care Fees
Late Care until 6:15pm is optional and the price is based upon the number of days per week your child is enrolled (Late Care is not available on Fridays; There is no bussing home following Late Care.)
Days Price 4 $600 3 $550 2 $500 1 $400
- Fees for Additional Activities
Premium Be Me Activities, such as swim, require additional fees.
The combined payments will be paid in 10 monthly installments, from August to May. Fees for tuition, transportation and late care, less applicable discounts, will be paid in 10 installments of 10% each, plus a deposit, plus activity fees (if applicable). Premium Activity fees for each semester will be spread out across five payments of 20% each.
We do award partial scholarships based on need. Download the application for financial assistance by clicking here. We consider applications on a rolling basis. We will only consider an application for Financial Assistance after a $250 deposit has been paid and the after school program's registration form has been completed and submitted. Incomplete applications (i.e. those missing information or requested documents) will not be considered. The application deadline is July 13, 2018.
If your child will be absent from Be Me or you would like to authorize another adult to pick up your child, please email us at .
View a list of our list of important dates for the 2018-2019 school year here.