ABC Language Services
135 W. 29th St., near Sixth Ave., Ste. 1204
Beyond school-subject and standardized-test tutoring, this
learning center offers instruction in more than ten languages,
including sign. It accepts students 4 years old and up, and
offers a host of group classes (starting at $324) as well
as private instruction. No extra fees for at-home instruction
($660 for twelve hours).
Call 212-874-5978 for class locations
According to instructors (and many enthusiastic parents),
teaching infants to sign will help them learn to talk. Baby
Fingers offers year-round, twelve-week mommy-and-me sessions
($75–$450), as well as a drop-off nursery school ($2,500–$7,500
yearly) for kids 2–4 and a six-week summer camp starting
French Institute Alliance Française
22 E. 60th St., near Madison Ave.
212-355-6100, ext. 214
Younger students learn all things français through songs,
games, and stories, while older children move through the
rules of grammar, vocabulary, written and spoken dialogue,
and some of the fundamentals of French culture ($190–$285
for eleven weeks). The institute also offers special classes
for bilingual students, as well as one-on-one lessons.
54 Franklin St., near Broadway
LanguageLunch’s kids program teaches youngsters ages
21⁄2 to 7 languages ranging from Spanish and French
to Italian and German ($350). All classes are limited to six
children, and instructors keep their attention through storytelling,
songs, and arts-and-crafts projects; private instruction is
available ($720 for twelve hours).
The Language Workshop for Children
888 Lexington Ave., at 66th St.
This school utilizes the Thibaut technique, which involves
structured play groups and specially composed vocabulary-building
songs. They offer mommy-and-me classes called French for Tots
and Spanish for Tots for kids ages 6 months to 3 years ($495–$941).
French or Spanish for Children for ages 3–10 is $541–$1,705;
preschool program, $1,881–$4,995.
300 Park Ave. So., near 23rd St., second fl.
Convinced your kid is movie cute? From Gap ads to
Spider-Man 2 parts, Wilhelmina Kids (a division
of Wilhelmina Models), with three superagents, has
more placement bragging rights than any other agency
in the city.
122 W. 26th St., near Sixth Ave., 11th fl.
Instructor Kerry Lea hosts eight-week sessions focusing on
improvisation and character development for kids 7–16
($200–$300), as well as periodic workshops with specific
themes like auditioning and circus performance ($65). Students
are invited to participate in an Industry Showcase, where
they show off their skills for casting directors and agents.
Brooklyn Arts Exchange
421 Fifth Ave., at 8th St., Park Slope, Brooklyn
This popular center for the arts offers K–12 children
after-school classes in dance, circus arts, drama, video,
and musical theater ($117–$250) plus a seven-week summer
arts program: Each week, kids in grades K–5 focus on
one of six different specialties for $285 per week. There
are also theater and dance intensives for ages 13 through
48 W. 21st St., near Fifth Ave.
This theater space offers classes—including Basic Acting,
Developing the Dramatic Idea, and Improvisation—geared
toward students who are truly passionate about the performing
arts. Workshops are $25; semester-long classes start at $400;
sit in on a free class to see if it fits.
Drama Kids International
180 W. 135th St.
Kids ages 5 to 17 participate in confidence- and self- esteem-building
activities in this Harlem-based program. Verbal and movement
skill exercises culminate with the presentation of scripted
productions for friends and family at the end of the year.
Tuition is $195 for twelve weeks with a free trial class.
The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute
115 E. 15th St., near Third Ave.
If your child or teen is especially passionate about theater,
this serious-minded institute is a good bet. The application
process requires an in-depth interview, an essay, and recommendation
letters; students can enroll in their age group and study
acting, singing, and music and dance. Tuition for twelve weeks
is $550 for ages 7 to 11; $500 for ages 12 to 17, or $750
Tada! Youth Theater
15 W. 28th St., near Broadway, 3rd fl.
Tada! offers a wide array of age-appropriate classes (most
are around $200 to $275) in acting and musical theater, in
addition to running the community service-oriented Resident
Youth Ensemble Program (ages 8 to 18), which gives members
the opportunity to perform for the general public, take advanced-level
classes, and see Broadway shows. Weeklong sessions ($300)
are also available during the summer.