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NYC students: use Winter Recess to level up your learning next year!

This holiday season, City public school students in grades 6–12 can apply for unique programs and learning opportunities at organizations like the United Nations (UN) and Irondale that take place both inside and outside of the classroom.

If you are one of our middle or high school students, consider any (or all) of the following opportunities available to you, and check out their respective websites for more info!

Group of five students recording a film project scene at a booth in a restaurant

Photo by Ron Lach. Used under Creative Commons license. Original can be found on Pexels.


Register for the 2021–22 NYC Junior Ambassadors Virtual Classroom

January–June 2022
For students in grade 7—teacher registration required

Registration Deadline: December 31, 2021

The NYC Mayor’s Office for International Affairs is accepting applications from grade 7 teachers for the 2021–22 NYC Junior Ambassadors program, an initiative empowering students in grade 7 in all five boroughs to become actively engaged with the United Nations (UN) and its mission of addressing pressing challenges around the world. Program benefits include personalized virtual tours of the UN; a classroom visit from a UN diplomat and NYC agency senior-leader; opportunities to collaborate with the UN or NYC agencies on new or existing projects; and a private year-end virtual celebration with all NYC Junior Ambassador classrooms.

If you are a student in grade 7 and would like to participate in this program, speak with any of your teachers about this opportunity and ask them to consider applying on your school’s behalf!

Join the Junior Company Theater Ensemble

January 11—May 24, 2022
For middle school students (Grades 6–8)

Registration Deadline: January 10, 2022

Junior Company is a free, year-long middle school acting ensemble. Students will explore ensemble theater, poetry, monologues, and scenes in this program while training in voice, movement, music, and devising techniques. Winter/spring classes meet Tuesdays from 4–6 p.m., from January to May. Junior Company will be meeting in person, but may move to a virtual platform in accordance with CDC guidelines and policy. Students will perform in a final show at Irondale.

Learn more and register directly on the Irondale Junior Company website.

The 24 (ish) Hour Plays: NYC Teens

January 9–22, 2022
For middle and high school students (Grades 6–12)

Registration Deadline: January 5, 2022

Co-hosted by Irondale’s Young Company and SheNYC Arts, the 24(ish) Hour Plays is a festival of one-act plays written by teen playwrights throughout a fortnight (as in 14 days, and not the popular videogame), and is rehearsed and produced by teen performers, directors, and technicians in 12 hours. Students may participate as writers, directors, actors, or technicians. All participants will meet virtually on January 9, contribute in person to the production of the one-act plays on January 22, and receive digital copies of the complete collection of plays after the event. No previous experience is required.

Learn more and register for The 24(ish) Hour Plays on Irondale’s webpage.

Fourth Annual NYC Public School Film Festival

For middle and high school students (Grades 6–12)
Festival screening will take place May 20–21, 2022

Submissions Accepted Now Through March 25, 2022

For the fourth time, the DOE is partnering with the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) to host the annual NYC Public School Film Festival for NYC middle and high school students. As part of the festival, students are invited to create original films (5 minutes or lower) in any of the following categories: animation, short feature/narrative, documentary, experimental, and public service announcement/advocacy.

A panel of educators and media professionals will select approximately 20 films for recognition, and each film selected for the festival will receive a certificate of official selection. Selected films will be screened on May 20 —21, 2022.

To learn more, check out MOME’s New York City Public School Film Festival page.

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For more opportunities like these, keep an eye on our official Student Opportunities page, and subscribe to The Morning Bell below!

Have an opportunity available that you would like to share with City students? Consider submitting your info to us online.


Banner photo by NYC Junior Ambassadors. Used under Creative Commons license. Original can be found on the NYC Junior Ambassadors homepage.

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NYC Department of Education, 2019