With schools closed indefinitely, students are missing out on not just their time to learn in the classroom, but also valuable afterschool programs that can develop important life skills and allow them to explore different interests. 

Thanks to the Russell Berrie Foundation’s new sponsorship of the Bergen Family Center’s Remote Learning Arts Experience Afterschool Program, in conjunction with the Performing Arts School at bergenPAC, Englewood students can now enjoy virtual dance, music and art classes.

Two sessions are held each afternoon on Zoom; one for middle school students, and then one for high schoolers. The programs, which are free to Englewood students, include Hip Hop: Beatboxing and Breakdancing, Film & Media, Movement and Spacing: Introduction to Different Dance Styles, and Hip Hop Visual Art Projects. 

This is an extension of Beyond bergenPAC, the performing arts center’s educational outreach initiative that brings assemblies, teacher residencies, co-theater productions and more to 16,000 students in 143 schools across eight counties. Performing arts education has been shown to help students develop discipline, self-confidence and creativity. This helps them regardless of what field they pursue in life.

“We are very thankful to have the opportunity to offer extensive arts programming to our community during these trying times. The arts can provide a vehicle for healing, creativity and joy, and we look forward to providing a variety of different disciplines for participants to enjoy,” said Becky Serico, managing director at The Performing Arts School at bergenPAC.

The Bergen Family Center offers a wide range of social and health programs for children, families and seniors.

“Providing direct services remotely is now the new normal. BFC is thrilled to continue our partnership with bergenPAC and the Russell Berrie Foundation to bring the arts into our virtual space with teens. The arts heal and inspire wellness during a time of national crisis,” said Liz Corsini, VP & Director of Programs, and Mariam Gerges, Director, Adolescent & School Based Youth Services, Bergen Family Center.

“Our mission is to make live performing arts and arts education more accessible to everyone in the community. We greatly appreciate the Russell Berrie Foundation’s strong belief in bergenPAC and helping us continue to deliver on our mission to impact our local community in a meaningful way,” said bergenPAC President & CEO Dominic Roncace.

The virtual sessions will run through the end of June.

Session Schedule

Early Childhood – 10-10:45 a.m.
Hip Hop: Beatboxing with D Cross – 4-5 p.m.
Hip Hop: Breakdancing with Carlos – 5-6 p.m.

Film and Media – 4-5 p.m., 5-6 p.m.

Movement and Spacing: Introduction to Different Dance Styles with Kalena – 4-5 p.m., 5-6 p.m.

Film and Media – 4-5 p.m., 5-6 p.m.

Hip Hop Visual Art Projects with D Cross – 4-5 p.m., 5-6 p.m. 

Early Childhood – 10-10:45 a.m.

For more information, please email bserico@bergenpac.org.