Philosophy, Mission and Core Values
Since its founding in 1971, ACT programs evolved to meet a variety of development and enrichment needs for the young people in and around the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. We recognize our young people as individuals, and we serve a deliberately diverse population. Families can trust a wide variety of programs provided in a nurturing, educational environment and facilitated by caring, highly trained leaders.
Founded in 1971, ACT 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.
Child-centeredness | Learning | Fun | Diversity | Safety | Organization | Teamwork
Summer CampsJuly and August
Our affordable, awesome summer experience serves diverse young people from PreK-8th grade, providing a classic day camp in July, complete with trips and a carnival on the Close, as well as specialized camps in August, including Arts, Sports, Performing Arts, and an entire week of trips and special experiences known as Adventure Camp. Campers routinely come year after year, and many campers go on to join our Counselor in Training high school internship program, generously funded by a grant from Columbia University. Several then go on to become counselors at ACT, leaving a lasting legacy of commitment to camp!
Full-time PreschoolSeptember to June
Our play-based preparation for kindergarten serves diverse young people in all subject areas, from natural Science on the Close to Math and Literacy. Children play games and explore our incredible gym and play spaces, as well as the Cathedral grounds themselves, and all the life and richness they entail. PreK students at ACT go on to a variety of public and private school experiences and families often stay closely connected with other ACT programs!
2 and 3 Day NurserySeptember to May
Our play-based preparation for PreK serves diverse young people in small, mixed age classes taught by master teachers and dedicated, eager to learn assistant teachers. Children learn confidence and independence in our flexible program that is tailored to the individual children it serves, thanks to an incredible teacher/child ratio.
One-to-One ClassesSeptember to May
Our play-based preparation for Nursery serves diverse young people aged 9 months to 36 months in small one-to-one classes. Taught by master teachers, we offer gym time, circle time, snack time and activity time in 45 or 90 minute classes. Caregivers and children join us for social-emotional learning, music, games, art and play.
AfterschoolSeptember to June
Our play-based after school program serves diverse young people from public, private and homeschool settings, providing social-emotional learning, games, gym time, homework help, art, baking, outdoor play and talent shows. We build character and community through service projects, in our peacemakers program and philosophy, and by listening to young people and providing both clubs and choice in activities.
Holiday & Vacation CampNovember, December, February, March, April
Our play-based holiday and vacation camp serves diverse young people whenever school is closed. We provide games, teamwork, and social-emotional learning in a safe environment. Young people experience a variety of artists and experts, and even take trips around the city!
Our affordable, awesome party service provides a theme-based 2 hour party that is completely customizable to the young person being celebrated. From planning, to set-up, to clean-up, ACT staff provides indoor and outdoor parties on the Cathedral’s beautiful Close. Choose a Mat Party, Techno Party, Art Party or Sports Party on Saturdays between 10am and 6pm. Additional services and hours can be added to customize the party!
Indoor PlaystationLate November to March
Our play-based indoor gym time serves diverse young people under age 5 when the weather is inclement. From late November through March, families can bring young people to play in our gym space. Drop in, buy a ten class pass, or buy a monthly subscription to a safe, fun, child-centered and stimulating play space at an awesome and affordable rate.
Stellar SoccerFebruary to May
Our newest program, Stellar Soccer, teaches 2-4 year olds techniques and skills to become a great soccer player! Coach Alex, ACT’s seasoned Sports Coordinator, will lead two age-appropriate skill lessons before the kids, decked out in ACT peacock pennies, will play a soccer scrimmage.
ACT, as a program of the Cathedral, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. You can donate to ACT via our website by selecting Advancing the Community of tomorrow.
Financial aid is available for parents and children who face obstacles that may challenge a family's health and safety and to expand opportunities for parents and children to pursue ventures otherwise out of reach. ACT's unique environment, focused programming, talented staff and diverse student body can make a difference in the lives of parents and children. Working parents can depend on a safe learning environment away from home. Families that can not afford ACT or are in a crises situation can enroll at reduced rates into these A.C.T. Programs:
- Preschool Program
- Summer Camp Programs
- After School Programs
Financial Aid Information (PDF)
To be used by families applying for financial aid for the first time.
Supplementary Application for Financial Aid (PDF)
To be used by families who have a current and complete financial aid application for the summer camp already on file.
Important deadlines, program start and end dates, and much more is available here (PDF).
ACT is always looking for leaders with all levels of experience to work, volunteer, or intern with us. You can browse a list of open positions and learn how to apply or email us with any specific questions!
8:30 am to 6:15 pm, Monday through Friday
1047 Amsterdam Ave (in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine)
New York, NY 10025
Find contact information for and learn more about our experienced full-time staff!