The Only Way To Have A Friend
Is To Be One!

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

At The Meeting House, we help children develop their social and emotional selves in ways that will empower them throughout their lives.  Through exciting group classes and integrated programming we inspire Fun, Friendship and Community between kids and their world.  Located on the upper west side, The Meeting House is a non-profit organization providing recreational afterschool and weekend community for children who need help with socialization and communication.
Children between the ages of 6 and 12 are welcomed from general education, special education and inclusion programs. Our group sessions include up to twelve kids  per session that break into smaller groups for different activities. Our dedicated Meeting House team of special educators, teaching artists, therapists, psychologists, and volunteers provide the passion, professionalism and commitment to help achieve our vision. Each week they create The Meeting House experience that helps children develop the social and emotional skills, which will empower their lives.

What We do to Make a Difference!

Our mission is straightforward — To help create Fun, Friendship & Community for kids!  Our caring and effective approach uses a unique platform of play to provide enrichment and recreation activities in concert with therapeutic support.   This important combination of ours helps children to blossom personally and build friendships in each of our programs —Afterschool, Weekends and Juniors.

There is a need for a supportive afterschool community for children with social special needs. As we talked to parents, professionals and school leaders it became apparent that there was an opportunity to provide this service in ways that were not currently being delivered. To do this successfully we identified a guiding philosophy to inform how we would create our recreational afterschool programs.

Fun Safe Supportive

Our secret to engaging kids is to weave aspects of therapy into the fun of our recreational group activities. The Meeting House programs are designed to enhance a child’s social skills, artistic expression, physical ability, and academic skills in a gentle and encouraging environment filled with fun and enriching experiences for kids.

     For Kids that means

  • Being at a fun place to hang out and learn
  • Participating in our recreational studios (Sports & Fitness, Visual Arts, Music & Drama)
  • Enhancing interests and building expertise in favorite activities
  • Exploring new areas of interest and ability
  • Experiencing entire afternoons of fun activities with coaches, teachers and peers

      For Parents that means

  • Peace of mind under one roof
  • Professional and caring supervision of your children throughout the afternoon
  • Recreational programs blended with therapeutic enrichment that will appeal to your children
  • A variety of group settings that will support your child’s social needs
  • Multiple and integrated resources in one location
  • Reduce the constant hustle and bustle of city life by leaving your kids with us

Community and Friendship

The Meeting House is dedicated to building community for the children and families we serve. Our program experience is designed to facilitate the creation of relationships in new social circles among kids and families with shared interests.
Key to our philosophy is creating a special place for children to explore new friendships outside of the school setting. We strive to provide a smaller and gentler social environment where children can exercise the variety of skills they are developing as part a community they might not find elsewhere.
We work to develop confidence and greater self-esteem for our kids in the context of a diverse community of children and professional encouragement. The Meeting House will be a place for families and siblings to connect with each other. In coming together for special Meeting House celebrations and occasions, we hope that parents will find great value and a new community as a result of our programs.

We are Partners

The Meeting House working model will rely on collaborative communication between our team of professionals. This will help us to direct efforts toward an individual child’s goals for enhanced skill development. Course offerings are created through an inter-disciplinary approach, which focuses on socialization and communication goals. Teachers will work closely with speech and occupational therapists, under one roof, to provide the highest level of coordinated services to the children who participate. The activities we offer will allow children to practice and utilize skills that they are learning. This active reinforcement guided by a team of educators and therapists offers beneficial impact on a child’s development.

  • A range of child-centered programs will be coordinated as part of the afternoon experience
  • Classes will be developed with socialization and communication - specific developmental goals
  • Our blended therapeutic model allows our staff to harmonize the goals for each child during the afternoon program.