Riis Academy sets high standards and expectations for all program participants. Services and activities focus on educational, social, and emotional growth through the following core program areas:

Academic Achievement
By encouraging students to think critically about the world around them, we help them develop a love of learning that will allow them to improve their academic performance and stay in school. Services include:

  • Tutoring
  • Homework Help
  • Project-Based Learning (Math, Literacy, Science, Technology)
  • College Readiness and Test Prep (SAT/ACT/Regents)
  • Hydroponics


We prepare youth to become responsible adults and engaged citizens by equipping them with the tools to understand and address issues of public concern as well as to take action within their communities. Activities include:

  • Field Trips
  • Community Events
  • Youth Advisory Council
  • Service Learning- Community Service/ Volunteering
  • Recycling and Environmental Activities
  • Cultural Exchange with Denmark

Healthy Living

Through community partnerships with The Floating Hospital, City Year, New York Cares and Amerigroup, we offer a health-based curriculum in our programs. Youth learn to maintain a nutritional diet and an active and healthy lifestyle through activities such as:

  • Health Services
  • Cooking Classes
  • Nutrition Workshops
  • Dance
  • Martial Arts
  • Sports and Recreation
  • Guidance & Support

Girls Inspiring in Real Life

In 2011, we launched our Girls Inspiring in Real Life (GIRL) program. The GIRL program is designed to provide middle school girls at Riis Academy-Queensbridge and Riis Academy-Ravenswood, in grades 5-8, with the tools to make healthy and positive decisions regarding their sexual health. The curriculum focuses on team-building, increasing knowledge on health and sexuality concepts, and creating an interactive blog and website to be used as a community forum. Girls in the program will not only increase personal knowledge, but they will learn 21st century technology skills such as video editing and web design.

Brothers of a Young Society

Through conversations with staff and youth participants, as well as a recent focus group and studies of secondary literature, it became clear to us that gender-specific programming for middle school boys was needed to complement our highly successful GIRL program. The BOYS (Boys Inspiring In Real Life) program, to which our Board and staff are deeply committed, provides a safe, collaborative space for young men to navigate the middle-school years while enhancing our already-strong literacy activities and developing vital 21st century skills in technology among the boys we serve.  Curriculum and activities are developed around the following themes: trust, bullying, sexuality and self-confidence.

Life Skills

Beyond the classroom, we provide activities and opportunities to promote the development of skills and behavior that will allow students to effectively communicate and interact with others including their peers, parents, teachers and adults. These activities include:

  • Master Art Classes
  • Photography
  • Book Club
  • Career Awareness/Exploration
  • College Readiness and Campus Tours
  • Team Building Activities
  • Girl/Guy Rap Sessions
  • Job Readiness
  • Internships and Summer Jobs

Youth Services Contact: