Brighter Day classes and groups at New City Kids are designed to interrupt the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) our students may be experiencing. ACEs are stressful, often traumatic events that directly harm a child or affect the environment in which they live.* They can include verbal, physical, or sexual abuse, physical and emotional neglect, mother treated violently, substance abuse, divorce, and incarceration of a family member.

*What are ACEs? https://www.safeguardingni.org/aces/what-are-aces​

Children who experience ACEs are 3x more likely to develop heart disease, lung cancer, diabetes and depression as adults, and are at increased risk for substance abuse and intimate partner violence.


Brighter Day is a powerful antidote. Using the foundations of Play and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, classes for younger students teach body safety and social-emotional skills, such as identifying feelings and how to ask for help. Groups for teens do the same and encourage healing and growth through peer-to-peer support, the use of voice, choice, and creative collaboration.​

By addressing the ACEs head on, Brighter Day creates a culture of mental and emotional health for our kids and teens. In the midst of their spiritual, leadership, academic and musical development, they are supported and equipped to manage a crisis or traumatic experience at home, school or their neighborhood. According to Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child, “This combination of supportive relationships, adaptive skill-building, and positive experiences is the foundation of resilience.”* And resilience is the platform of a future and a hope. A Brighter Day.

Brighter Day classes and groups are facilitated by licensed social workers on New City Kids staff, and meet throughout the year, across all sites.

*Resilience. https://bit.ly/3nf07pW