PTO Funded Programs

It’s the kids and the teachers that make BSI special! But it’s the programs we fund through the PTO that help enrich their experience throughout their years at BSI. Want to hear about some of the programs your dollars fund?

CHESS (All Grades): Ms. Olga pushes into K-5 classes once a week and works with each class for an entire period. She starts with a mini-lesson and then proceeds to partner work where students get to practice their newly learned skill. At lunch, there is a Chess club for middle-schoolers.

AMERICAN DEBATE LEAGUE (6th to 8th Grades) – BSI’s American Debate League Club runs after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Last year, our school made a strong showing at the American Debate Championship. For more information, contact Brian Aguilar.

Together in Dance works with our fifth graders to develop a musical performance integrated with their humanities curriculum. Students work with a musical director and choreographer to develop skills in theater, choreography, singing, and play writing. Broadway musicals are used as source material for student learning, and to inspire a lyric-writing component of the work. 

TEACHING ASSISTANTS: TAs help reduce the adult-to-student ratio to about 15:1. Extra help allows teachers to concentrate on differentiated instruction.

On the BioBus our youngest grades Students discover the excitement of hands-on science.

For their bridge unit, the Center for Architecture comes out to BSI to teach the second graders some design and architecture fundamentals.

MUSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION (6th to 8th Grades): PTO funds help pay for props and supplies for our annual musical production. Directed by Ms. Diane and Mr. Wagner and performed by our middle-schoolers, BSI’s sixth school musical was “Seussical.” 

In order to play Shakespeare’s deeply human characters, students must first understand them. By using Shakespeare’s text and purposeful theater games, our fourth graders explore the psychology behind complex characters. By working on roles from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, they learn about back-story, labelling, and perspective-taking. By doing so, they build greater compassion, empathy and emotional intelligence.

Science Supplies: The philosophy at BSI is inquiry-based learning. Science class is hands-on and experimental.

ART SUPPLIES: Grades K-8 make art with an array of art supplies funded by BSI families — amazing art that is curated by Ms. Nanna and displayed at the BSI Annual Art Show.


CAPOEIRA VIDA — Our third graders develop endurance, strength, motor skills, coordination, flexibility, reflexes and self-esteem. Capoeira’s partner movements encourage cooperation, respect, trust, and healthy interaction with peers and teachers and teach students to apply the rules and principals of Capoeira towards their lives and challenges they face as young people.

BEAM CENTER PROJECTS —Beam Center is a Brooklyn organization that helps young people build character and capability through hands-on creation and collaboration, with guidance from artists, designers, engineers and storytellers. Read about last year’s 4th grade visit to the BEAM Center to learn about imagery in protest art. Read about last year’s 6th grade skyscraper project.  View a slideshow below from last year’s first grade architecture and urban planning project. (Projects vary from year to year).

KIDS IN THE GAME – Recess coaches (All Grades). In addition to organizing fun and safe games at recess, Kids in the Game also provide the necessary chaperones to meet District 20 adult-student ratios to allow upper grades to go to Seth Low Park for lunch.

BROOKLYN CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC – Students engage in musical expression based on the Orff Approach to music and movement. Students learn to work together, sing, make rhythms with their bodies and play a variety of instruments. (Kindergarten through Grade 2)

SCHOOL LOOP – a communication management system that allows students and parents to track homework assignments, grades and progress reports posted by teachers (4th to 8th Grades)


More than 80% of our total fundraising dollars are from our Direct Appeal campaign. PLEASE DONATE NOW.

Please keep in mind that while the PTO helps fund enrichments, the PTO does not administer the programs. Finally, please consider the list above as a guide only. The needs of the school may change. If you have specific questions about grade-specific enrichments this year, please reach out to the school administration.

If you would like to know specifics of the PTO budget, it is regularly reviewed at the monthly BSI PTO meetings or you can contact the PTO Executive Board or the Treasurer directly. For more information about how the NYC Department of Education funds schools, go here. And see what a basic education looks like compared to an education enriched by generous support from parents like you. Learn about additional ways to help raise money for our school.