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Project BOOST

(Building Options and Opportunities for Students) is CEI’s signature enrichment program which helps students gain the skills and talents necessary for long term growth and success. The Project BOOST model provides academic support, social and emotional skills support, cultural enrichment and community engagement. Project BOOST provides character- building experiences, nurturing individual aspirations and communicating the possibilities for unlimited success, regardless of background. Academic support includes interactive, hands-on STEAM instruction, coding and robotics, academic goal setting, and college visits. The program includes customized museum learning experiences aligned with curriculum through partnerships with institutions such as the Bronx Zoo and the New York Hall of Science. In addition, Project BOOST provides social emotional support and teaches social skills. Ongoing guidance includes age-appropriate activities focused on personal goal setting, team-building, character education, and employment skills. BOOST is designed to serve the school and community’s needs and can be integrated into the school day, after school and even includes activities on nights and weekends. The experiences that students gain in these programs are often life-altering for them. Among the aspects of the programs that students remark on are the unique experiences that they feel are otherwise beyond their reach, the value of gaining one-on-one mentoring and guidance, a sense of increased self-esteem, gaining positive values, and a recognition of the importance of academic commitment and achievement.


Benchmarks is a comprehensive student arts residency program that inspires young people to tackle major social issues and become engaged citizens. Students create large-scale, meaningful artwork on benches for public display, to effect social change. BENCHMARKS serves 600 NYC public school students in grades 5-9 in disadvantaged communities citywide. Students receive a robust visual arts curriculum that addresses contemporary social challenges selected by students. Issues such as racism, gender inequality, drug abuse, homelessness, and religious intolerance are addressed through research and facilitated discussion. The project culminates in a visit to a guest artist’s studio and in the creation and public display of issue-based works of art on benches in parks in all 5 boroughs.

In this current climate, young people need a public platform to express themselves on current social issues in constructive, creative and powerful ways to join the conversation and effect social change.


Early Stages

Early Stages is an exciting and innovative CEI program in NYC that provides under-resourced schools and their students exposure to NYC’s performing arts. Students attend Broadway, Off-Broadway, dance and music performances for free. For most public schools, Early Stages provides their only arts programming.

Early Stages is more than just a trip to the theater. We introduce students to a new part of NYC, take them to renowned performing arts venues, such as Broadway theaters, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, and provide opportunities for students to reflect about their own lives through workshops, discussions and writing.

Since 2013, over 35,000 students from more than 80 schools from all five boroughs have attended theater, dance and music performances.

Randomized experiments show that attending live theater has an impact on how students see themselves and others.  Students randomly assigned to watch a movie did not experience changes in tolerance, stronger command of the plot and vocabulary and social awareness. There are significant educational benefits from attending live theater.

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CEI Esports is a comprehensive program designed to give students a complete overview of the Esports ecosystem and provide the critical communication, collaboration and problem solving skills students need to thrive in school and in life. Esports engages students in innovative ways while improving school culture, building character and promoting career and college readiness.

Social and Emotional Learning

Character building is an important component of this program. Students practice social and emotional skills such and understanding and managing emotions, setting and achieving positive goals, feeling and showing empathy for others, building resilience and establishing and maintaining positive relationships while engaging in competitive activities.


Students build a strong community of participants who demonstrate leadership, accountability and commitment. Integral to this program are scrimmages, strategy development and problem solving skills. Gaming provides an excellent platform to see value in learning through failure and developing resistance to perceived setbacks.

College and Career Readiness

Students learn both technical and career readiness skills; marketing and business techniques through exposure to the process of designing a culminating tournament. Students learn about broadcasting through commentating of the game play and what to follow on the screen, interviewing and speaking on camera and clipping videos for social media.

CEI Robotics  

Robots are cool! Students engage in active, hands-on-learning as they design, build and test their creations. At the same time, they learn computer science concepts in algorithms, abstractions, communication, programming and prototyping.

Though workshops, coaching, modeling and project-based learning curriculum development, CEI STEAM educators work with teachers and school leaders to develop a robust robotics program. We create age specific programs to ensure all students learn computer science and are skilled using 21st century technology. We provide training and mentoring on robotics, computer science and coding as well as advanced robotics which gives students the opportunity to create individualized robotic creations.