Core Values and Mission

Core Values

Child-Centered | Learning | Fun | Diversity | Safety | Organization | Teamwork

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.

2022-23 Applications now available!

Now accepting applications for Summer Camp, Nursery, Afterschool, and Hangout Haven.


2 & 3 Day Nursery Programs

September to June

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.

More information (PDF)

2 & 3 Day 2022 Registration Now Available!

Download 2022 registration form or contact our office

Download additional required forms:
- Safety & Emergency Form
- Medical
- Allergy-anaphlyaxis
- Code of Conduct
- Credit Card Authorization


September 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!

To register for 2022-23, visit:

Download additional required forms:
- Safety & Emergency Form
- Medical
- Allergy-anaphlyaxis
- Code of Conduct
- Credit Card Authorization

Call for virtual tour.

More information.


September 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.

Applications for the 2022-23 school year are now open!

Download additional required forms:
- Safety & Emergency Form
- Medical
- Allergy-anaphlyaxis
- Code of Conduct
- Credit Card Authorization

ACT Afterschool Adventures: Afterschool Parent Blog

More information.

Hangout Haven Camp

Sept., Nov., Dec., Feb., Mar., Apr., Jun.

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!

Download 2021-22 Registration Form (PDF)

More information.

Are you elligible for free tuition to Hangout Haven? More info on financial aid >

Divine Parties (Private Events)


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 an Outdoor or Indoor 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!

More information.

2022 Application

One-to-One Classes

Currently on hold

ACT is now offering adult and child 45 minute outdoor classes, which will allow us to have small, safe, socially distanced classes in a variety of disciplines for young people of various ages with the support and presence of a parent. Caregivers and Children join us for social-emotional learning, music, games, and play.

Indoor Playstation

Temporarily Closed

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.

More information.


Office Hours

8 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday
1047 Amsterdam Ave (in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine)
New York, NY 10025




[email protected]

Full-Time Staff

Find contact information for and learn more about our experienced full-time staff!


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. Help us provide a safe and diverse haven for more children of all ages and cultures.

Financial Aid

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 cannot 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 or returning.

Supplementary Application for Financial Aid (PDF)
To be used by families who have a current and complete financial aid application for the summer already on file and require additional aid.


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!

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