Welcome to Christodora!
Nature, Learning, Leadership
Many urban youth lack opportunities to learn about the environment and experience the natural world first-hand. A New York City child may go to the playground or learn about “nature” in museums or on television. It can be difficult to find a single patch of green, let alone the grandeur of the wilderness and the clarity and direction it gives to our lives. At Christodora, we believe an escape from the concrete is not just a privilege—it’s a transformative experience that allows youth to better understand the natural world and shape their role within it.
Transforming Lives through Environmental Education
Christodora’s goal is to build leadership skills and academic success through an awareness and understanding of the natural environment:
- in public school classrooms, where our Environmental Educators teach a customized 7-week environmental science curriculum
- in weekend urban ecology and community service programs, especially at the New York Botanical Garden
- at our 85-acre Manice Education Center in a remote corner of the Berkshire Mountains
- and with distinguished partner institutions providing opportunities for advanced study and wilderness programs
Serving NYC Youth Since 1897
Christodora has helped high-need communities across New York City for over a hundred years. Founded in 1897 as pioneering nonsectarian settlement house, Christodora’s modest beginnings are credited for launching the career of social reformer Harry L. Hopkins, adviser to Franklin D. Roosevelt and architect of the New Deal programs, hosting George Gershwin’s first public concert in 1914 and helping countless Americans adjust to life in a new country. The Christodora House gave hope and direction to thousands of low income New Yorkers by empowering them to help themselves and their neighbors. Today, we build on this tradition to serve 3,000 motivated NYC students each year.
What we do
- Wilderness and leadership camp for 6th-12th graders in the Berkshire Mountains
- 3-day School Field Trips to Manice Education Center
- High School Independent Research Programs at Great Mountain Forest
- Environmental Education in NYC Public Schools
- After-School Club
- Environmental Studies Scholarships
- Making a Difference in Students’ Lives