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M.A.X. Continues To Be An Xperience

Afterschool program caring for Manhasset students since 1985
Manhasset Afterschool Experience, or M.A.X., has been serving the childcare needs of Manhasset elementary school students since 1985. At that time, a group of parents recognized a gap in care between dismissal and when working parents were able to pick up their kids. With programs at both Shelter Rock and Munsey Park, M.A.X. fills that gap. M.A.X. is a New York State registered, not for profit corporation open to all children in the Manhasset School District. The program is held in the school building, so children transition seamlessly from the school day to aftercare.
According to their website, “We recognize that parents have difficult schedules, and we strive to support them the best we can. We recognize the importance of work, and the stress and demands that are placed on parents by it. We strive to make it easier on parents by giving them the knowledge that their children are in good hands.”
The session runs from dismissal to 6:30. The children are provided with two healthy snacks during their time at M.A.X. and food allergies are accommodated. There is also an emphasis on hygiene and homework help. This allows the children to get the assistance they need with their work from expert, focused staff.
“They come into the rooms they were assigned, they wash their hands, they have snack, they do their homework. They have assistance with the homework from the M.A.X. staff,” said Roni Jacobson, executive director of the program.
Jacobson has been with M.A.X. almost from the beginning. “They (the parent group) put an ad in the New York Times. I saw this ad and I said, ‘let me give it a try.’ I was teaching. I said, ‘if I don’t like it, I just won’t do it.’ I don’t know what I expected. But I like to try new things. and I still can’t leave.”
After the homework time there is usually an activity such as arts and crafts, cooking, outdoor play, and cooperative games. There is often open play time as well. Children need an environment that supports free expression and stimulates learning and creativity. M.A.X. also believes that children learn best from experiencing the world around them. They often have ice cream parties, movie days, play games and participate in sport activities.
The pandemic’s shift to work from home has had an impact on M.A.X.. Because many people are not going out to work, there is less demand for some of their services. There is also usually an early morning program, but this has been temporarily suspended due to low enrollment. If there is enough interest, Jacobson said they would like to begin running it again. The morning program is held at Munsey Park and opens at 7 a.m. The staff serves a light breakfast and keeps kids safe and busy until school begins.
The M.A.X. program is also active during school breaks. On federal holidays and vacation days, the hours are 7:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. There is a two-day minimum, but parents are able to take advantage of a flexible schedule.
There is also the Concierge M.A.X. program. In case of an emergency, parents can send their children to the program on an “as-needed“ basis. Once enrolled, they may elect to send the child to M.A.X. when needed for a per-diem fee. This helps cover gaps in childcare due to a regular babysitter’s illness or other last-minute changes.
And for summer, kids can enjoy a full day of age-appropriate camp activities with Club M.A.X. Kindergarten and first grade make up the Mini M.A.X. group, second grade is junior M.A.X. and third through sixth is the Senior M.A.X.. The camps feature activities like STEM, Snapology, yoga, and coding. “They kept these kids engaged. I mean, everybody loved it. We had Actor’s Garage. And that was once a week and they love that too. Then we did yoga. And STEM activities with Legos. And the kids love that,” Jacobson said. This year also featured an adventure week, with trips to Urban Air and the Long Island Aquarium. The kids even played outside on an inflatable waterslide.
Looking to the future, Jacobson would like to revive the morning program and bring more vendors to the afterschool session. She would like to expand the offerings to allow for more outside activities to mirror what she does in the summer. If there is interest, she tries to accommodate. “(I would like to) bring in whatever parents require. If they request something, and there’s enough requests, I’d like to say, ‘Sure, we can work on that.’”
M.A.X. was one of the first ten registered programs in Nassau County. It is recognized as an outstanding program by Nassau County, the NYS Assembly, the Town of North Hempstead, and the Cornell Cooperative Extension. M.A.X. is a model program in Nassau County and has assisted numerous communities in starting up their own after-school centers. M.A.X. is a member of the Nassau County Child Care Council and is licensed by the New York State Office of Children and Family Service.
For more information, or to enroll your child, visit or call (516)343-8840.

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