Educational Programs: Catholic Elementary Academies and Schools

Here are some of the educational programs and activities you may find at academies and schools within the Diocese of Brooklyn.  Additionally, academies and schools offer other programs, unique to their schools, that you will not find on this list.

Aquinas Honors Society
The Aquinas Society provides Catholic school students in Brooklyn and Queens with an opportunity to conduct in-depth research into a variety of topics. The program exists to promote excellence in education by providing intellectually engaging experiences for students who are academically capable of advanced work, as well as those students who are committed to developing their unique gifts and talents. Each year, members of each school’s Aquinas Society, under the direction of a teacher-advisor, select an issue to research; create a collaborative project with written, visual and technological aspects; and then display their work at a diocesan expo.

Catholic Telemedia Network (CTN)
CTN of Brooklyn and Queens provides educational media programs for the classrooms in Catholic academies and schools within the diocese. They believe in enlightenment for young minds through their media programs. Their goal is to provide media that can transport, inspire and enlighten students. Learn more at

Performing Arts Residency Program
The Performing Arts Residency is a unique program created by the members of Stages on the Sound, Inc., a non-profit theatre company that has been partnering with Catholic schools within the diocese since 2006. The program currently serves 40 academies and schools. Each academy or school has three participating grades, some with multiple classes in each grade. The fourth grade works on film-making and stop-motion animation using tablets and cameras, the sixth grade focuses on play-writing, and the eighth grade reads and acts out scenes from Shakespeare plays. A team of two teaching artists spend one hour per week for 15 weeks with each class.  Learn more at

Paul Effman Music Services
This band program, which is present in almost all academies and schools, allows students interested in playing an instrument to receive lessons in small groups during time periods that are flexible so that academic time is not impacted. The service provides highly trained educators along with a skilled manager to regularly oversee the program. The instruments involved in the school band include: bells, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and drums, as well as many background instruments. The instruments involved in the school orchestra include: violin, viola, cello, and bass. Students in grades 3 and up are eligible to participate in the band program. Students in grades 1 and up are eligible to participate in the string program. Learn more at

Dancing Classrooms
Dancing Classrooms is present in 6 academies and schools. Pierre Dulaine & Yvonne Marceau founded the American Ballroom Theater Company in 1984 and established Dancing Classrooms in 1994 as the educational arm of their company. Dancing Classrooms sends teachers into the schools to teach the 5-6 ballroom dances twice a week. They also teach manners and teamwork, and later put on a show for the parents. Learn more at

Making Books Sing
The mission of Making Books Sing is to promote children’s literacy and social development through professional theater productions and arts-in-education programs. They believe the arts can inspire learning, strengthen families, improve schools and communities, and enrich young people’s lives. Students work with a classroom teacher on reading and understanding a literature piece. They then write their own original scene and work with a different teaching artist to write an original song related to the book. Their education programs utilize theater arts instruction rooted in experiential learning to advance literacy, language and social skills; teach academic subject matter; and address topics that are socially relevant to young people. Learn more at

Superkids Reading Program
Most academies and schools within the diocese utilize the Superkids reading program, a core reading program designed for kindergarten through second grade with a cast of characters that children love. Based on a proven pedagogy and compelling brain research, it combines rigor and fun to deliver on their promise that every child will learn to read. They also provide the Happily Ever After reading readiness program for Pre-K students. Learn more at

Latin and Greek Roots Challenge Program
This program recognizes the importance of Latin and Greek roots within the English language. Students who have a command of roots and their meanings have a distinct advantage in vocabulary acquisition and retention, in reading comprehension, and in taking standardized tests. Learn more at

Renzulli Learning Program
The Renzulli Learning Program is a web-based learning tool that identifies student interests and boosts academic performance. It aids teachers as they differentiate instruction and methods. This tool features an inventory that captures the interests and learning styles of each student to develop a unique profile for each. Learn more at

Teachscape empowers educators to systematically improve teaching practice and to accelerate their professional growth. They provide software tools, online content, and services to allow educators to assess their skills and competencies, collaborate with colleagues, build their expertise, and plan their careers. With Teachscape, administrators can strategically manage and develop their educators, along with non-teaching personnel, resulting in more highly skilled staff and improved student outcomes. Learn more at

Harlem Hip Hop
Harlem Hip Hop puts on assemblies for students at various academies and schools. As education is the true foundation for success in life, they are dedicated to helping youth through Edutainment, a unique blend of music and various educational themes. They combine hip hop and subjects like civil rights, diet and nutrition, or economic literacy and teach youth in a hip-hop-centric way. Learn more at