Activities and Opportunities for Students 2020-2021

Below is a listing of low or no-cost programs, events and opportunities for middle school students around the city. They are neither endorsed nor recommended by ESMS, but rather listed for reference only. Suggestions and updates can be emailed to


Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) connects NYC youth 14 – 24 years old with career exploration opportunities and paid work experience each summer.

Because of COVID-19 pandemic, a new virtual program called Summer Bridge will take the place of SYEP this year. Through Summer Bridge, youth ages 14–24 will have the chance to learn new skills, explore potential careers, and earn money.

Apply for Summer Bridge July 9–15, 2020.



Be great. Do art!

Free, live & interactive online classes in the arts for all NYC Public School kids & teens. Real artists, writers, dancers, singers, and musicians of every kind are ready to share their expertise with you. There are over 90+ incredible classes to choose from.

If you’re a NYC Public School student from 3K – 12th grad we know that you’re already a ZOOM expert.

Registration starts Monday June 29th. Classes start July 6th!



Online History Program

This summer, Gilder Lehrman's Institute of American History is pleased to offer online programs for middle, and high school students!

Each of our five summer courses will include live online presentations anchored in primary source documents on topics such as AP US History, American film, American song, and more.

Explore courses HERE.

Some classes begin mid-June so sign up soon!

American Debate League - Camp and Scholarships!

** District 2 Students Are Eligible **

American Debate League is very excited to offer 50 Special Scholarships made available by our generous donors to the students in your school district for our 4th Annual "Public Speaking, Debate & Speech Summer Camp" hosted by the American Debate League in partnership with Queens College. Due to COVID-19, we will be hosting our summer camp online this year.

Please share this email and flyer with all administrators, school staff, parents, and community members. We do not have a deadline for this scholarship award, however, this opportunity is on a 1st come, 1st served basis. If you have any questions about the camp, please contact us at 646-883-0123 or

Click HERE for flyer

Virtual Debate & Speech Summer Camp Information
Dates: June 29-August 21 (Students can sign up for 1-3 weeks)
Times: 9-12pm or 1-4pm

The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Programs @ The Met

The Met is the place to be for Middle School Students.  Check out classes, workshops, and special events designed especially for teens to develop their skills, and connect with art, ideas, and other young people. 
More information is HERE

The Met - Free Admission

 Free Admission @ The Met with your Teen Pass

Check your backpack at the door, and travel around the world and across time at the Met! All you need for unlimited free admission is this Teen Pass and a valid middle or high school ID. Use this pass and keep it in your wallet for access to some of the world’s greatest art, anytime the mood strikes you.  Get your Teen Pass  HERE


New-York Historical Society

At the New-York Historical Society, discover dynamic education programs and curriculum resources about the history of our city, state, and nation.  More information is HERE

Guggenheim New York

The Guggenheim’s programs for families, kids, and teens are taught by artists and museum educators who use a wide range of media to foster creativity. More information is HERE

American Museum of Natural History


The American Museum of Natural History offers a variety of experiences and opportunities for teens. From internships and research opportunities to courses, workshops and special events, there are offerings to suit a range of interests.  More information is HERE


Museum of the City of New York

At the Museum of the City of New York, discover weekend and after school programs for middle and high-school students who want to dig deeper into NYC and its history while building their skills and resumes. More Information is HERE

The Whitney Museum of American Art


Programs at The Whitney give New York City students the opportunity to discuss art critically, think creatively, and make art with contemporary artists, educators, and their peers.  More information is HERE

(check events for details - some are limited to HS Students)

Cooper Hewitt, A Smithsonian Design Museum

Image result for Cooper Hewitt Museum

Cooper Hewitt's mission is to educate, inspire and empower people through design.  They offer an array of programs and opportunities geared towards tweens and teens.  More Information is HERE

And be sure to check out their family programs HERE

Museum of Arts and Design


 Special Events and Programs @ MAD

With the understanding that a great deal of learning occurs informally outside of school, MAD offers free admission to students with a school ID.   MAD also offers a number of programs just for teens including teen nights, artist and teen workshops, peer-to-peer tours, and work-study opportunities.

More Information is HERE

Wednesday Atelier at The Frick

Wednesday Atelier at The Frick
5:30 - 7:30 PM

Artists of all skill levels are welcome to sketch in the tranquil, historic galleries of the Frick among the Old Masters.  Free online registration includes museum admission and after-hours access to selected galleries; participants are welcome to arrive anytime after 5:30 p.m.   Paper, graphite pencils, erasers, drawing boards, and gallery stools are provided.

Registration is available HERE

Children's Museum of The Arts

Children Museum of the Arts

CMA’s Teen program offers art lovers in 6th-9th grade a variety of free opportunities to create, develop, and explore art-making under the guidance and mentorship of their teaching artists.  More information is HERE

Museum of The Moving Image


MOMI offers a wide variety of learning activities--from drop-in workshops to multi-week courses--for young people and teens. For more information about the Museum’s tween and teen programs, click on the descriptions HERE, visit their education program Tumblr, or sign up for the teen programs newsletter.

New Opportunities for Spring 2020 and Beyond


Throughout the year, students across the City can take part in many exciting activities and programs, including STEM-based (science, technology, engineering, and math) enrichment programs, arts workshops, and career-building internships.

And with spring just around the corner, this is the perfect time for students and families to explore their options for Spring Recess and Summer Break.

The Morning Bell has compiled a wonderful list of programs for limited periods of time and for the duration of the school year. 

Explore them here:

NYC Culture Pass

Explore New York City’s museums and attractions with Culture Pass. If you have a library card, you can get free admission to dozens of cultural institutions. Save money and discover more about your city!   Reserve your pass HERE

Growing Up NYC - After School Programs

New York City provides a database of free & low cost after school programs in NYC, searchable by program type, borough, and age.

For more information:



YMCA - Teens Take the City

 New York City's YMCA
Teens Take the City Program

Teens Take the City is a civic engagement program focused specifically on NYC government and fostering community organizing skills to build thoughtful, leaders of tomorrow.  By working alongside local political leaders, teens have the chance to see how political decisions are made, and learn how to become effective agents of change. Writing legal memoranda, resolutions, and press releases gives teens hands on experience, and exposure to how the democratic process impacts NYC communities.

The program provides opportunities for students to:

Understand the New York City legislative system
Read and debate current bills before the New York City Council
Meet and work alongside local politicians, professionals and managers of NYC agencies
Hold a legislative session in New York City Council Chambers
Pursue internship opportunities within City government
Make change in their community

Contact your local branch to learn more about Teens Take the City opportunities near you!

NYC Parks Department Programs

 Youth Sports Programs & Instructional Clinics

NYC Parks offers plenty of sports for children ages eight and up. All programs are free, but participants must be registered members of a recreation center. Check with your local recreation center for more details.

Inside Schools

New York City offers children and teens a wide range of after-school and summer activities--from paid museum internships to free science research programs. The free and low cost programs listed here are a great way to explore new interests, get extra support, and supplement what is being taught during the school day.   More information is HERE

Discount Tickets for Students at Carnegie Hall


Student Insiders have the benefit of purchasing $10 tickets online or over the phone. They are also eligible to purchase Hope and Robert F. Smith Chairman Student Seats (Parquet Level) at the Box Office.  With the pass, students are allowed to purchase up to 2 tickets per concert with the discount.itting your ID, you will receive a confirmation email in 3 to 5 business days. The 2019-2020 Student Insider Pass will be available beginning September 9, 2019.  Carnegie Hall also offers other student opportunities.    More information is HERE 

Free Fridays at the NY Philharmonic

Logo of NY Philharmonic
Philharmonic Free Fridays
(Ages 13+)

For the 2019–20 season, the New York Philharmonic again invites young people to hear the Orchestra free of charge.  The Philharmonic is giving away free tickets to select Friday subscription concerts to people ages 13–26.

Here’s how reservation works:
The online reservation portal will open at noon on the Monday before each Philharmonic Free Fridays concert. The link to the portal will be available on this page.   You’ll be able to reserve a ticket on a first-come, first-served basis — one ticket per person.

For more information, visit - 

Drawing Center Workshops


Upcoming Drawing Workshops with The Drawing Center

People of all ages are invited to join us for upcoming guided conversations, presented in English and Mandarin, and artmaking workshops, organized in conjunction with the exhibition,Guo Fengyi: To See from a Distance.

Led by educator, Emerson Chang and teaching artist, Ada Pilar Cruz, this workshop will explore Guo Fengyi’s self-taught practice and her visionary drawings, which reference Chinese mythology, traditional medicine, and the philosophy of the I Ching.

Saturday, March 14
10:30am - 12pm
$5 RSVP →

Thursday, April 2
6:30pm - 8pm

Saturday, May 2
10:30am - 12pm
$5 RSVP →

35 Wooster Street, New York, NY, 10013 • +1 212 219 2166



Our city’s children have big dreams. As they get older, and more curious, they want to do and explore more. Now, as they turn 10 years old, you can help them get their very own New York City government issued ID card to explore the city together.

IDNYC is now accepting applications for New Yorkers 10 and up. With free one-year memberships at museums, plus discounts on movie tickets and amusement parks, the whole family can do more, together. Even better: Your child’s IDNYC card works as a city-wide library card

Be sure to check out their Teen and Young Adults Page

Click Here To See Additional IDNYC Benefits

Summer in the City Applications are Now Open

Summer in the City is now accepting applications for the Summer Academy!

The FREE, five-week Summer Academy programs offer students the opportunity to continue learning during the summer through hands-on STEM activities, art, recreation and visits to museums, parks and other cultural sites.  You can see for yourself why students love Summer in the City in our video.

To learn more about the Summer Academy programs, including information about student eligibility and how to apply, visit:

Learn more

Call: 718-935-2838
Email: receive regular updates about Summer in the City at
In Person: talk to your student’s principal or visit a Family Welcome Center in your neighborhood

Summer Resource Guide from District 2

Summer Support Guide for Students with Disabilities


District 2 has created a resource guide of summer supports for children with IEP’s, struggling readers, anxiety, ADHD and more.

To view and download the guide, click HERE


New offerings will be listed as they become available

Should you like to see a non/not-for-profit institution listed, email


Go Tigers, Roar!