Founded in 1971, The Adults and Children in Trust (ACT) Program provides a safe haven where toddlers to teens from many faiths, cultures and economic backgrounds gather to learn, play and grow, as they participate in a broad range of programs among highly-trained and caring adults. ACT consistently provides children and their families with high quality services that sustain, support and enhance their ability to thrive in diverse communities. ACT offers year-round, affordable, reliable, nonsectarian and socially enriching educational programs and special events for families in and around the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the world's largest Gothic cathedral.
THE SEVEN CORE VALUES established by staff expressed through our actions, program events and staff training activities unify the staff approach in creating memorable and fun camp experiences for each child. Our seven core values are a love of LEARNING, achievement through TEAMWORK and partnerships, acceptance and recognition of DIVERSITY, a FUN and friendly environment, CHILD-CENTEREDNESS, ORGANIZED people and resources that provide a SAFE rewarding experience.
FULL TIME STAFF
JEN GOWERS, Executive Director
Jen has been a leader in New York City public and public charter education for more than 13 years. She has expertise in curriculum design, instruction, professional development, and assessment practices, as well as experience building and sustaining new schools and managing literacy at the district level. Jen is passionate about transforming systems, developing individual capacity and potential, and making a brighter and better society. She holds a BA in English and a BS in Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; an Ed.M in Secondary Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and an Ed.D in English Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
MARIE DEL TEJO, Director of Programs
Marie Del Tejo has worked in the educational field since 1980. She holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science in Education from Hunter College. She attended Columbia University Middle Management program for Youth Services as well as Developing Leaders. In the educational field for the past three decades, Marie has been a classroom teacher, mentor to teachers and group leaders, as well as served as adviser to parents in area of supportive behavioral management. As a resident of the west side since childhood, Marie has served as advisor to parents of the program, friends and family member of exmission process and appropriate steps to take in children’s educational path. She has been with ACT since 1990.
BARBARA CINER, Preschool Head Teacher
Barbara Ciner began teaching middle school and then had the opportunity to work as an Early Childhood assistant teacher at the Heschel School, moving on to the JCC for around ten years. She has been with ACT for 10 years. She received her Master's degree in English Education from New York University, and her reading certification from Hunter College. Ms. Ciner is certified in Early Childhood Education with a concentration in Literature and Reading, and mentors her classroom assistant teachers. She received the Blackboard Award for teaching in 2012. Barbara believes in being a student of life and tries to put this into practice daily!
ANN SHEPHERD, Nursery Head Teacher
Ann Shepherd, better known as Ms. Ann to our Nursery school children, has been teaching for almost two decades. A graduate of Wells College, with studies in English Literature, Ms. Ann has experience in a wide range of settings with children between the ages of three and eight years old. She has worked in Head Start and in full and parttime programs at the YMCA Coop Nursery. Before becoming a lead teacher, she did a student internship at P.S. 234, tutored children at the Northside Center of Child Development and worked as a volunteer at The Lenox School and the Mabel Barrett Fitzgerald Day Care Center.
ORISSA WOODS, School-Age Program Coordinator
Orissa Woods has nine years experience as an early childhood education teacher. In 2003, she established Unity Group Family Daycare Services and administered the entire operation while maintaining a healthy educational environment. During the year, Ms. Woods serves as ACT's School Age Coordinator, Manages Divine Parties, and, in the summer, is the Voyager Division Head. Orissa has worked at ACT for 12 years.
ALEX GARCIA, Teacher, Sports Specialist and Coordinator
Alex joined the ACT family 14 years ago and has played many important roles: first, as an assistant teacher in the nursery program, creating and teaching lesson plans focusing on non-competitive sports, science & nature, and through Spanish language arts. Alex is the sports coordinator for our summer camp program, and when he is not leading a sports lesson, you can find Alex bright and early as a supervisor for the Sunrise program, making sure children have a successful start to the day! Alex also serves as a lead counselor with ACT after school, as well as a specialist for Divine Parties, in addition to working in the Sunday school program at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
SHAREN MERCADO, Executive Assistant
Sharen has worked with the ACT program for over a year. She worked processing litigation at a Law Firm for five years prior to working at ACT, and prior to that, she worked in career services at Columbia University. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Business from Niagara University.
TANYA GLENN, Office Manager and Registrar
Tanya Glenn has over 10 years of experience providing administrative support. She began as an office assistant and moved up to become our registrar/office manager at ACT. When she is not at ACT, she is baking beautiful cakes and planning events.
ROSIBEL BERNABER, Administrative Assistant
Rossy is a capable, determined, well-organized administrative assistant with over ten years in customer service experience and a passion for working with young people. She has more than three years experience working in day care settings, and assisting young people with tutoring and homework. She obtained her Bachelors of Arts from Lehman College in 2018 and is pursuing a Masters in Early Childhood Special Education. Rossy has a positive, can-do attitude, and a willingness to make a positive mark!
PART TIME STAFF
We are able to offer our robust programming through employing a variety of invaluable, caring, trained part-time staff, including summer school counselors and counselors-in-training; visual art, sports and performing arts specialists; nursery school and preschool part time teachers; parent-toddler class instructors and vacation camp support staff.
Located at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine
The ACT program is one of the few programs within the five boroughs that can boast of its spacious grounds, a year round program, extended hours and services for a wide range of age groups. Our 11-acre oasis in Manhattan allows children to garden, play in fields, meet outdoors, eat under the shade of cherry trees, play in gymnasiums and use crafts rooms. Peacocks and squirrels roam our unique setting. Come and visit!
- September 3: Labor Day ACT closed.
- September 5: After School program begins for private and public school children.
- September 6-7: Full-Time Preschool families & children Meet and Greet the teachers.
- September 8: Early Childhood Program Open House: Saturday 10:00 a.m. 11:30 am (children welcome only provided two parents attend).
- September 10-11 Rosh Hashanah: Vacation camp offered for K-7th graders
**Free trial Yoga (Sept 11) classes 9:00 a.m. (Call 212.316.7530 for reservation)**
- September 12: Full-time Preschool section begins.
- September 12: After School program pick-up begins at select locations.
- September 13: MEET FRIENDS AND TEACHERS 9:00 & 10:00 am 2day Nursery families
- September 12 & 13 : Early Childhood program
**Free trial Toddler classes (both days) 9:00 & 10:00 a.m. (Call 212.316.7530 for reservation)**
- September 14: MEET FRIENDS AND TEACHERS 9:00 &10:00 am 3day Nursery families
**Free trial Toddler classes 9:00 & 10:00 a.m. (Call 212.316.7530 for reservation)**
- September 17-18: 2 day and 3 day nursery morning and afternoon classes begin this week.
- September 17: One-to one toddler classes and PM Nursery Drop Off Classes begin.
- September 19 Yom Kippur: Nursery and Preschool programs closed
September 19 Yom Kippur: Vacation camp offered for K-7th graders
- October 8: One-to-One toddler classes canceled (make up class 12/10)
- October 8: ACT is closed. Columbus Day.
- October 19: Afterschool Parent Meeting 5:30 & Potluck 6:15p.m.
- October 22: 3day Nursery Curriculum meeting 9:15 am (school open)
- October 23: 2day Nursery Curriculum meeting 9:15 am (school open)
- October 27: ACT Fall Festival (open to the public) Tours, games, craft stations and more.
- November 6: Election Day Vacation Camp offered for K-7th graders
- November 6: Nursery & Full Time Preschool Parent-Teacher Conferences (no classes in session for children) PM drop off classes closed.
- November 6: One-to-One toddler classes in session.
- November 12: One-to-One toddler classes in session.
- November 12: Nursery & Full Time Preschool Parent-Teacher Conferences (no classes in session for children in the morning or afternoon).
- November 12: Veterans Day Vacation Camp offered for K-7th graders.
- November 15: Public School Half Day Program offered for K-5th graders
- November 17: Early Childhood Program 2018 Open House tours: 10:00 a.m. 11:00 am (children welcome provided two adults attend).
- November 22 & 23:ACT is closed. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.
- November 22 & 23 One-to-One toddler classes canceled (make up class 12/13-14)
- November 26: Playstation: Indoor playground opens: 12:30pm-2:45 PM Mondays through Thursdays.
- December 2-10: Happy Chanukah!
- December 15: Early Childhood Program 2018 Open House tours: 10:00 a.m. 11:00 am (children welcome provided two adults attend).
- December 17-21: Last week for One-to-One toddler classes and PM classes.
- December 24- January 4: Playstation recess/closed.
- December 24- January 4: All Nursery & Preschool programs are closed.
- December 24 & 25- ACT Closed in observance of Christmas.
- December 24- January 1: After School programs are closed.
- December 26-December 28: Vacation Camp.
- December 31 ACT Closed in observance of New Year
- January 1: ACT closed for New Years observance.
- January 2: Afterschool Program resumes.
- January 2-5: Vacation Camp . Offered for K-7th graders.
- January 5: Last day for nursery and preschool priority registration.
- January 7-8: Nursery and Preschool Program resumes.
- January 7-11: One-to-One toddler classes begin.
- January 10-11 : Early Childhood program Free trial classes 9:00 & 10:45 a.m. (Call 212.316.7530 for reservation)
- January 12: Winter Family Festival (open to the public) Tours, games, craft stations and more.
- January 14th -18th : New semester of parent-toddler classes & afternoon drop off classes begin. Registration form available.
- January 21st ACT is closed in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday.
- January 21st : One-to-One toddler classes canceled (make up class 5/6)
- January 31st : Summer Camp tour @ 4:30
- February 5: Vacation Camp . Offered for K-7th graders.
- February 5: All Nursery & Preschool programs are closed.
- February 5 : One-to-One toddler classes canceled (make up class 5/7)
- February 9 : Early Childhood Program 2018 Open House tours: 10:00 a.m. 11:00 am (children welcome provided two adults attend).
- February 18: Presidents Day. ACT is closed.
- February 18: One-to-One toddler classes canceled (make up class 5/8)
- February 18-22: Mid-Winter Break…All toddler, nursery, preschool program and Play Station are not in session .
- February 19-22: Vacation Camp. Plans offered for K-7th graders
- February 27th :Summer Camp tour @ 4:30
- March 7 :Summer Camp tour @ 4:30
- March 14: Half Day Program offered for K-5th graders
- March 14: Last day of Playstation.
- March 18-29: Vacation Camp is in session for private schools Offered for K-7th graders.
- April 19 : One-to-One toddler classes canceled (make up class 5/10)
- April 19 : ACT is closed in observance of Good Friday.
- April 19-26:Vacation Camp is in session for public schools
- April 19-26: nursery, PM drop off classes, and preschool program are not in session: spring recess.
- April 19-26: One to One toddler classes are not in session: spring recess.
- May 1 & 2 2& 3 day Nursery Programs closed: Professional Development Day
- May 2 & 3 Preschool Closed: Professional Development Day
- May 6-10: One-to-one Toddler Make up week
- May 14: Half Day Program offered for K-5th graders
- May 16-17: Last days of afternoon drop off classes.
- May 23: Last Day of 2- day nursery class.
- May 22: Last Day of 3- day morning nursery class.
- May 24: Moving On Ceremony 2day & 3day class together. 9:00am-12:00pm
- May 27: ACT is closed. Memorial Day.
- June 4: Vacation Camp. Plans offered for K-7th graders
- June 6: Vacation Camp. Plans offered for K-7th graders
- June 7: Full Time Pre School graduation 9:00 am. Program ends at 12:00.
- June 7: After School Program assembly and outdoor pot-luck: 5pm -7pm
- June 11: Vacation Camp. Plans offered for K-7th graders
- June 14: Last Day of Afterschool