A year-round community centers for young people

Beacon Programs | NYC Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD)

Enrichment Grade-Schooler Pre-Teen Teen Young Adult Caregiver

Beacon Programs are school-based community centers for children, youth, and adults across the City. They are a safe place for fun activities, discovering new interests, learning new skills, and finding opportunities to contribute to the community.

Programs operate year-round during non-school hours on weekdays, weekends, and in the summer.

  • Programs are hosted in New York City public schools, but some programs are open to the whole community.
  • Beacon offers activities and services for school-age youth, families, and adults, including seniors.
  • Beacon makes special efforts to engage hard-to-recruit youth and young adults. Program areas include:
    • Academics: Including tutoring, homework help, reading clubs, and financial literacy.
    • Life Skills: Activities designed to increase personal responsibility, self-esteem, and confidence.
    • Career and School to Work Transition: Including career exploration workshops, work readiness opportunities, and help transitioning between school programs.
    • Community Building: Activities designed to strengthen leadership skills, community awareness, and civic responsibility.
    • Recreation, Health, and Fitness: Activities designed to promote healthy lifestyles such as cooking programs and organized sports.
    • Culture and Art: Including music, dance, photography, and drama.

Who is eligible

  • Youth ages 5-21 who are enrolled in school can participate.
  • Beacon also offers adult programs for people who are over 21 years old.

How to apply

  • Enrollment is ongoing.
  • Apply online at Discover DYCD. You can apply to multiple programs with one application.
  • Apply in-person at a Beacon community center. To find a center in your area:
    • Go to the Discover DYCD website.
    • Type “Beacon” into the “Program Search” box.
    • Enter your zip code, neighborhood, or borough, and click “Search”

How to get help

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Updated February 7, 2022