ABC Clubs

ABC Clubs are no-cost afterschool programs for elementary school children who attend participating schools. Activities Beyond the Classroom designed this program to enrich the lives of students and families by providing a fun, safe environment for children at the elementary school level. Our role is to expand learning and skill development opportunities for students, beyond the classroom.

Creating Afterschool Opportunities for Cincinnati Children

Unfortunately, many students in the Greater Cincinnati area have nowhere to go when the final bell rings at the end of the school day. Many of the afterschool programs that are available to students are fee-based, limiting the access for families that cannot afford the expense of quality afterschool care for their children. At ABC, we believe poverty should not be a barrier to success, and that all families should have the same opportunities for high-quality enrichment programming.

Since the club’s inception during the 2017-2018 school year, the ABC Clubs have been a resounding success, highly valued by the schools, communities, students, and families. For students, they provide early exposure in sports and arts and a platform for students to exercise social skills. For parents, the Clubs provide a safe place for their children to go after school, and no-cost enrichment for their children. And for the community, the Clubs encourage responsible citizens, and provide a healthy place for neighborhood children to go during prime out-of-school hours.

During its inaugural year, ABC Clubs were offered at three CPS schools: College Hill Fundamental Academy, Roberts Academy and Roselawn Condon. By the 2019-2020 school year, ABC Clubs expanded to reach 12 different CPS elementary schools.  Each school is provided with a program menu of activities to choose from that fits the specific culture and need of the school. The list of program options is extensive and will continue to grow as ABC Clubs grow. 

Currently, schools can choose from:
  • Cooking
  • Gardening
  • Yoga/Meditation
  • Opera
  • Acting
  • Martial Arts
  • Photography
  • Sewing
  • Sign Language
  • Drone Flying
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Financial Literacy
  • Dance
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field
  • Soccer
  • Poetry
  • Chess
  • Zumba
  • Computer Coding
  • Foreign Languages
  • Playing Instruments
  • And MUCH more!

Expanding into the Arts: ABC Fine Arts Clubs

Starting in the 2019-2020 school year, Activities Beyond the Classroom and Cincinnati Public Schools decided to expand the offerings of extracurricular arts programming for elementary school children, and created ABC Fine Arts Clubs.  ABC Fine Arts Clubs function in the same manner as ABC Clubs, but they add an emphasis on creating more opportunities in painting, music, drama, poetry, and other activities that expand the creative, artistic minds of the students.

Responding to Remote Learning with Virtual ABC Clubs

In response to Cincinnati Public Schools move to remote learning, ABC launched Virtual ABC Clubs for second semester of 2021.  The Clubs took place afterschool, and provide safe, engaging activities for students to participate in, from their own home. CPS students were able to connect with local, knowledgeable professionals who will lend their expertise to the students.

Virtual ABC Clubs ran from February to May 2021, and were offered to all CPS students, grades 3-12, on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Over 125 students were able to participate in a wide variety of programming from the safety of their own homes.  Activities offered to students included anime, photography, chess, American sign language, graffiti art, video game coding, the STEM Bicycle Club, and much more. 

The STEM Bicycle Club was a particularly successful activity of Virtual ABC Clubs. Through a partnership with the Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative. In this innovative program, students made micro adjustments to, and reverse engineered, a new bicycle that they got to keep at the end of the session. Though ABC discontinued Virtual ABC Clubs following the return to in-person learning, the STEM Bicycle Club is now offered annually, in-person, at Aiken High School.

With all of the challenges surrounding COVID, we are eternally grateful for the generosity of the supporters who made this possible.  Thank you to U.S. Bank, The Woodward Trust, The John A. Scroth Family Charitable Trust (of PNC Charitable Trusts), Nordstrom, and Peoples Bank for your generous support at a critical time.