Children Follow Their Passions through Ossining S.T.A.R. Afterschool Program 

Students practice poses in the Yoga Club at Anne M. Dorner Middle School in Ossining.

In a darkened classroom at Anne M. Dorner Middle School in Ossining, about 10 students practiced the downward-facing dog yoga pose as music played softly. Down the hall, others learned how to make potholders and create artwork with Do-A-Dot Art Markers. In a nearby room, boys in the Watu-Gente My Brother’s Keeper group discussed an upcoming field trip to Harlem. 

It was all part of the popular S.T.A.R. – Success Through Activities and Relationships – afterschool program. For each of three sessions, children have a few dozen options, from Crochet and Robotics clubs to the Earth Watch and Kindness clubs. About 300 students participate in the program.  

Seventh-grader Gavin Thomas-Walters described Watu-Gente MBK as a brotherhood for African-American and Hispanic students. “This has made me push my expectations of myself higher and higher each and every day that I come here,” he said. 

Sixth-grader Loreliz Guallpa, who made her first potholder, said, “I like doing arts; I like drawing and all that stuff.”

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About the Author: Evelyn Mertens