Beacon Program

Beacon Program 25

In honor of the 25th year of the Beacon model, DYCD is celebrating the creators, participants, staff, and alumni of Beacon community centers across New York City. To help commemorate this milestone, share your Beacon story at DYCD will highlight your stories online, in print, and at events throughout the year.

Beacon programs are school-based community centers serving children age 6 and older and adults. There are currently 80 Beacons located throughout the five boroughs of New York City, operating in the afternoons and evenings, on weekends, during school holidays and vacation periods, including the summer.

Youth Programs

Beacon youth programs are designed to help participants acquire the skills and attitudes they need to graduate from high school, succeed in their chosen career, and give back to the community. Typical programs are intended to build:

  • Academic Enhancement: Activities designed to help with school including tutoring, homework help, reading clubs, and financial literacy
  • Life Skills: Activities designed to increase personal responsibility, self esteem and confidence.
  • Career Awareness/School to Work Transition: Activities designed to educate young people on career opportunities and assist with the transition to work or higher education. Activities include career exploration workshops, work readiness opportunities, help transitioning from middle school to high school and from high school to college/vocational programs.
  • Civic Engagement/Community Building: Activities designed to strengthen leadership skills, community awareness and civic responsibility.
  • Recreation/Health & Fitness: Activities designed to promote healthy lifestyles such as cooking programs and organized sports.
  • Culture/Art: Activities designed to provide students with opportunities to express themselves through music, dance, photography and drama.

Adult Programs

Beacon adult programs are designed to enhance skills and promote social interaction, community engagement, and physical activity. Typical adult programs include:

  • Adult Basic Education (ABE)
  • General Educational Development (GED)
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
  • Parenting Skills
  • Family Relations
  • Tenant Education and Advocacy
  • Intergenerational Activities
  • Recreation


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