Little Sun People
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Builds pride in children’s African-American heritage
Somewhat cramped space
Founded in 1980 by community activist Fela Barclift, Little Sun People is dedicated to building children’s pride in their African-American heritage. Children learn African drumming, dance, martial arts and songs.
Class trips are an important part of the curriculum. Children go apple picking, or visit a farm in Queens where they learn to milk cows and feed farm animals. The trips help build their vocabulary and awareness of the world.
“Mama Fela,” as Barclift is called, received her master's degree from Bank Street College of Education, and the school reflects the Bank Street methods of learning through exploration and play. Teachers are experienced and have the opportunity to perfect their craft through ongoing retreats and trainings.
Housed in a former office building, the space is a bit cramped and some of the classrooms don’t have windows. But children seemed unusually happy and engaged on our visit as they played with Duplo, listened to a story or practiced drumming. The school has no dedicated outdoor space but teachers take children to the playground at PS 93 across the street.
The school offers year-round day care for about 55 children ages 2 to 4. It has one public “UPK” or universal pre-kindergarten class. Children may be dropped off as early as 7 am and picked up as late as 7 pm. Tuition ranges from $600 to $1,375 a month, depending on the age of the children and the number of hours attended. (Clara Hemphill, October 2019)