For three years, George Leung, director of youth services at Immigrant Social Services on Henry Street, has been in partnership with Dance to Unite at PS 2 and PS 42. “Ninety-eight percent of the kids at our schools are Asian,” Leung says. “They’re first generation and, especially at PS 2, mostly mainlanders. Their main focus is on academic success, and parents are hesitant to have kids participate in afterschool programs if it interferes with homework.”

Leung has to do a fair amount of outreach to get parental consent, including having notices translated. “It’s hard to get the parents to make that culture shift toward enrichment programs,” he says. “But especially with the first- and second-graders at PS 42, who have less difficult homework, this is a free dance program and parents want more of that.”

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