Adults and Children in Trust
1047 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10025   212.316.7530




Testimony from a preschool family (class of 2016):
“They say that when you walk into the right school for your child for the first time, you'll know. That was the case for us at ACT. When making our pre-pre K choice we toured many schools, sat in on classes, did a load of research online, and considered the input and experience of most every parent we knew and met. Through it all ACT remained at the top of our list, even though it meant a significant commute outside of our neighborhood...
... Immediately we began to cultivate lasting relationships with teachers, administration, and other families. Month after month, we watched her thrive emotionally, socially, and intellectually. She was challenged at her level and encouraged to go beyond. Her passions grew as did her confidence. In the end, she was invited to attend one of the city's most prestigious programs for advanced learners next fall!
Thank you for getting to know us, for teaching us, guiding us, and supporting us. We are thrilled with our experience at ACT and firmly believe you laid down the stepping stones to pave us a path to some extremely exciting tomorrows…
…We firmly believe that we would not have been as prepared for the "New York Kindergarten experience" had we gone elsewhere….”
Ethan and Lori Kent: 2/11/16

Part-time First Step Nursery School 2.0 to 3.3 years old
ACT Summer Camp For Preschoolers  (June-August)

2.9 - 5 years old (as of September 1)

Full day: Monday through Friday 8:30 AM -3:00PM
See afternoon sections: Monday through Friday 1:30-3:00PM

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine's 11 idyllic acres provide a natural outlet for your child's curiosity and desire to explore. With an emphasis on plant and animal life, children study squirrels and peacocks living on the grounds, leaf samples, worms, and classroom animals. They plant bulbs, tend to plants, harvest vegetables, observe and draw flowers, recycle materials, picnic, sled, and build snow people. In the classroom, students continue to learn and take responsibility for their environment through processes integral to the study of science: observation, classification, communication, measurement, inference, and prediction. Your child's exposure to the great, big, beautiful world is an invaluable opportunity unique to A.C.T. Our cozy classroom centers, decorated with children's artwork, dictated stories, class-made graphs and charts, and illustrated songs and poems, are conducive to creative learning and dramatic play. Our other indoor facilities include a spacious kitchen fit for baking projects and a fully matted gym perfect for rainy days and winter weather. Equipped with slides, tunnels, tricycles, scooters, ride-on toys, a balance beam, soft blocks, balls of all kinds and sizes, hoops, hockey sticks, bowling pins and more, our gym provides children with the "outdoorsy" play they crave. The on-grounds playground features rubberized surfaces, a sandbox, two climbers, and several standing spinners.

KINDERGARTEN READINESS: Areas of Achievement and the Process.

labeling, word cards, name cards, writing control, progress from straight vertical lines to more challenging lines.
directionality, storytelling, poetry, literacy chart
Social Studies
exploring different families, neighborhoods and the world
outdoor/indoor year-round gardening, study of animal habitat and behavior, and other scientific concepts
counting using guesses and check method, sorting, patterning, graphing

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine's 13 idyllic acres make possible our unique encouragement of your child's curiosity and desire to explore. Learning about the homes and habits of the squirrels and peacocks living on the grounds, raking leaves, digging for worms and making them a home, planting bulbs, tending plants, harvesting vegetables, observing and drawing the flowers of spring, gathering art materials from nature, picnicking on lovely days, sledding and building snow people in winter, are just some of the things we'll do as your child learns about learning and the great big beautiful world.


Our cozy classrooms features a built-in loft for dramatic play and blocks, and a child-sized bathroom and sink. Its walls are covered with children's artwork and dictated stories, class-made graphs and charts, and the illustrated songs and poems that are sung and recited by the group. Conversation flows during snack and lunch. Our kitchen is big enough for the many cooking projects we'll be doing. The matted gym anticipates the days when rain or cold keep us from the on-grounds playgrounds. The gym is equipped with slides, tunnels, tricycles, scooters, ride-on toys, a seesaw, balance beam, rocking boat, soft blocks, balls of all kinds and sizes, hoops, hockey sticks, bowling pins and more. So, rain or shine, your child will get the outdoor play she/he craves. The on-grounds playground features rubberized surfaces, a sandbox, two climbers, and several standing spinners.

A class limited to 12 - 15 children with a low teacher/child ratio gives us the freedom and flexibility to respond to individual needs and interests, and additionally, helps nurture the creation of strong bonds and strong beginnings. At the beginning of each day, children help choose and subsequently participate in a wide range of games and activities, share important news, sing, dance, review attendance and seasonal charts, and discuss the day ahead. After lunch and rest (full-day students only), stories and poems are reenacted and new dances and games are learned, contributing to a continuous atmosphere of play critical to early education and the making of friends. The day concludes with the satisfying ritual of a Good-Bye Circle.


On--grounds explorations are enriched by the return to the classroom where group discussions, observation charts, organized games, art projects, song, dance, dramatic play, and storytelling all play a significant role. Each child's discoveries and insights are recorded; graphs and charts provide chances to predict, compare, count, and measure; printed words and pictures make songs and poems easier to remember; and dictated stories enliven drawings and paintings. Additionally, through literacy-based activities, children become familiar with the mechanics of books, directionality, print, and pictures as representations of ideas, word spacing, and sentence structure. Regardless of progress and product, all children are encouraged, and accomplishment is celebrated at all levels. With the help of our parents, children participate in inter-generational activities with the elderly, take trips to the local library, and visit willing family members at work. We invite parents to share their special hobbies and skills, a favorite book or song, and/or family customs in their native language. We also partner with the Meet the MET program, which exposes our teachers to materials and classroom strategies related to object-based learning.

Private Schools:   Cathedral School, Dalton, Calhoun, St. Hilda & St. Hugh, Mandel,Riverdale Country,Bankstreet, Ascension, Manhattan Country, West End Collegiate, Columbia The School, Dwight, Metro Montessori, 
Public Schools:    Hunter Elementry School, The Music School, Manhattan School for Children, Central Park East 1 &2, Gifted and Talented schools and other dual language and G&T schools. Public Schools--- 75, 165, 87, 166, 199, 9.

Committed to a first come, first served admissions policy, ACT accepts registrations until the class fills. Plan to come for an in-class visit before signing up. There is no better way to know if a school is right for your child. We don't require testing as a prerequisite.   Our limited financial aid is used to promote economic diversity and only applies to full time preschool candidates. Awards are made on a first come, first served basis. Register early if you plan to apply for aid.

Check our Calendar for the days ACT is closed. Registration form available

Call for more information at (212) 316-7530.

Additional Program Information


  Parent-toddler class



  Young Preps : Summer Camp

  Rookies at camp: Summer camp in August



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