82nd Street Academics

82nd Street Academics

Sponsored Content I April 25, 2022

By Ronald Dale Tompkins, Ph.D.
Executive Director

Are you searching for an inclusive, play-based learning center for your 2/3/4-year-old child? Have you already made some visits and felt anxious about the welcome? Were you discouraged that the program felt more like expensive daycare?

Maybe 82nd Street Academics can help.


One of our promises is Delighted, Students. Another promise is Creating Family Memories. Some centers tolerate LGBTQI or BIPOC families, but we celebrate our diversity. I’m Ronald Tompkins and I direct 82nd Street Academics as a gay Anglo my husband is Vietnamese American. I know the uncomfortable feeling of being greeted by someone who -- is uncomfortable. If we can’t make your family and your child feel comfortable in the 1st month of attendance, we’ll return your tuition!

Appropriate Development

We want to give children tools to develop so they’re ready for a great Kindergarten experience at the top of the class. In addition to a curriculum (NYS Prekindergarten Foundation for the Common Core), we use resources from the University of Virginia (Classroom Assessment Scoring System), Work Sampling Portfolios, and lessons using concepts from Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences.

  • Foundations for the Common Core
    • 5 Domains guide the children through various experiences that will add to their development and skill set. Social-Emotional learning, physical skills, problem-solving skills, etc turn the year into an exciting adventure. Our 3rd promise is curiosity-based learning!
  • Classroom Assessment Scoring System – Teachers are trained in emotional support, concept development, and classroom management to 10x the student experience. Each room has a minimum ratio of 1 adult per 5 children (2-year-olds) or 1 adult per 9 children (5-year-olds)
  • Work Sampling – we use an 80-item survey three times in the year and compare it with parents' observations at home. Each item is marked ‘Proficient’, ‘In Process’, or ‘Not Yet Started’. Parents get insights about child development and a lot more peace of mind!
  • Multiple Intelligences – we follow the 7 learning intelligence proposed by Howard Gardner (verbal, visual, logical, kinesthetic, intrapersonal, interpersonal, rhythmic). Our sequences in Summer Scientist, PreSchool Studio, and World Travelers give children time to experiment with different learning intelligence and you will gain insight as into how your child learns.

There are many daycares and early childhood centers, but 82nd Street Academics combines an inclusive environment with teachers who make magic with play-based learning. Call 718-457-0429 to arrange a visit.

82nd Street Academics started in 1974 with 4-year-old PreK classes. Summer School was added in 1974 and an AfterSchool program in 1996. Students in the early years did not speak English at home and 82nd Street still hires much bilingual staff in Spanish, Bengali, and Mandarin. Bi-racial families, LGBTQI families, and inter-religious families realized that 82nd Street Academics had a challenging academic environment in a welcoming space. The school added contracts with NYC at four additional sites and increased the range of grades served from age 2 to 10th grade. A popular overnight trip for older students was added to an Ivy League type university with trips to Harvard, Brown, Cornell, Binghamton, and Princeton. The 2022 trip will visit Harvard. College visits during the year include Hunter, City, Columbia, NYU, and Baruch.

Slowly, a brand emerged of the joy of diversity and a strong academic system of Early Childhood, After School, and Summer Academics. The Student: Teacher ratios are much smaller than in normal public schools. Staff uses the extra time with each student to build 8 social/emotional skills such as task persistence and optimistic thinking. The results for parents are pride and relief. The results for students to be prepared for quality higher education are priceless!