Christ Church After School & Summer Camp
Past Events

On Friday March 22nd our children participated in our annual multicultural Festival.  They worked hard on their dances and musical numbers from various countries and peformed for their parents and famlies.  They did an incredible job.  
The children who attend the Christ Church After School and Creative Youth Center performed songs and dances from 10 different countries.

Bay Ridge's kids are multi-cultured

Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2013 12:15 pm

Ridgeites went around the world without leaving the neighborhood on Friday, March 22, when the Christ Church After School & Creative Youth Center hosted its annual Multicultural Festival.

All told, the children from the after school program performed dances and songs from 10 different countries, including an Australian song, a traditional African dance and even some American folk music.

The event was directed by Victoria Hofmo, who runs the program. She explained, “It's a great event and way to share the wonderful cultural richness of our After School family and our hometown, Bay Ridge.”

There was food available after the performance, with each family asked to provide a dish typical of their culture.

“It's really great,” said one mother as her seven-year-old son ran up to her after the performance. “This after school program teaches them so much, it's incredible. They go on trips, they learn and play, and they do amazing things like this. I'm so thankful for this program!”

One of the coordinators, Crystal, remarked how impressed she was with the dedication of the children. “They work so hard on this, and it means a lot to them,” she said. “It's great to see them so excited and to see them do so well in the end.”

© 2013 Home Reporter News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

In February some of the children in our program participated in Bay Ridge's first annual Embrace Winter Festival.  During the Festival they danced the Norwegian airplane dance at Nordic Deli, the hukula at Salty dog, and sang love songs at Vesivio's restuaurant.  We thank all participants for their hard work

Embrace Winter Festival does just that

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Posted: Monday, February 18, 2013 5:41 pm | Updated: 5:43 pm, Mon Feb 18, 2013.

Kids of all ages braved chilly temperatures on Saturday, February 16 for the Embrace Winter Festival, taking place at participating venues along Third Avenue between Bay Ridge Avenue and Bay Ridge Parkway.

Originally scheduled for February 9, the festival had to be postponed one week due to a winter storm.

“It’s going well; everyone seems to be having fun,” said Victoria Hofmo, president of the Bay Ridge Arts and Cultural Alliance (BRACA), which organized the festival. “There are different age groups enjoying themselves. It also gave us an opportunity to check out the new places, like the Butcher Bar, which is not officially open yet.”

Each participating venue had seasonal blue and white balloons outside. At the Butcher Bar, paintings by local artist Michelle Farkouh were for sale. Singers from Regina Opera performed some arias at Vesuvio’s Restaurant and kids got to take a stab at “ice fishing” at Cosentino’s Fish Market.

Carla Danielson came to the festival with her daughter, Sofia, who attends the Christ Church After School Program.

“It’s nice. I wouldn’t have come in and seen this new restaurant if we had not been walking around,” she said, referring to La Lune, where the children gave an impromptu performance of “That’s Amore.”

Esther Tonessen was also having a good time. “At Salty Dog, they had good Hawaiian dancing,” she said. “It’s very good.”

Even Councilmember Vincent Gentile came out to celebrate. He was having a late lunch at La Lune.

“This is great. It’s an opportunity to see stores that participate. You not only get to see the stores but the art and skills of people in Bay Ridge, whether it’s children or adults,” he said. “I started at Circles. I went ice fishing. It was fun.”

Michael Cosentino owns Cosentino’s Fish Market, which has been in his family since 1920. He had a makeshift ice fishing game in his shop.

“I thought it would be a good thing for shoppers on the avenue with their families,” he said of his decision to participate. “We did have a few kids in here.”

Participating patrons included: Circles, The Storefront, Nordic Deli, Scandinavian East Coast Museum, Christ Church After School, Cosentino’s, Anapoli, Yellow Hook Grille, Remy’s Lounge, Vesuvio’s, King Falafel, Bay Ridge Historical Society, Butcher Bar and Salty Dog.

© 2013 Home Reporter News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Santa Lucia 2012

Feast fun — boys and girls learn Nordic culture through Saint Lucy’s Day procession

The answer is Saint Lucy — or Santa Lucia, as she’s known in sunnier climates — whose feast day was celebrated at the Christ Church After School Program on Dec. 13.


“It’s really beautiful, because we have a great space here, a building from 1910,” said program director Victoria Hofmo, known for her work with the Scandinavian East Coast Museum.


Other girls dressed as Saint Lucy’s angelic attendants, wearing white clothes and silver crowns and sashes. The young men became “star boys” wearing peaked bakers hats.

The children sang the Italian standard “Santa Lucia” with Swedish lyrics, “Silent Night,” and “Tomte’s Song” — named for the gnome-like trickster of Nordic mythology — for an audience of 40-plus friends and family members. Afterward, the kids made Santa Lucia ornaments, Santa Claus clothespins, and Krumkake cookies.

Hofmo said the event was an important way of preserving the neighborhood’s Scandinavian heritage — especially since only a few of the kids in the program are of Nordic ancestry.

“The idea is for them to learn the culture, that they might not be exposed to otherwise,” said Hofmo.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at




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