Educating the whole child at NBFA includes exercise

Afraid to not be seen as “cool,” seventh graders arriving at The Cardinal Sheehan Center around noon on a recent Tuesday acted like they didn’t want to immediately sprint out on the glistening wood basketball court. 


10-minutes later, after their sport of the day was chosenan air of childish exuberance and joy consumed the facility as ten students ran up and down the court in a game of hoops. 

Students from NBFA – unless faced with bad weather – spend time each day outside for recess at NBFA, but a couple of times a week their recreational opportunities are enhanced with a trip to the Sheehan Center.  


NBFA’s focus on the whole child includes the brain and body, and recreational time plays into that. 


“Physical education is viewed and implemented slightly different within the progressive education community. All progressive educators value attending to the whole child,” said Academic Dean Kathryn Habansky. “Growth of a child in all areas including, physical health is important in our school community.”   


NBFA has partnered with the Sheehan Center, who also provides after-school care for students, on these extra physical education courses since September 2018.  


The facility boasts the most recreational options and space of any other establishment in Bridgeport.  The Sheehan recreational options include: cooking, dancing, music, gaming, baseball, basketball, tennis, golfing, etc.   


Trained coordinators at the Sheehan lead the class through an organized activity ranging from basketball and dodgeball to simply running. 


We are grateful to our donors, such as the Bridgeport Rotary Club Foundation, who help support our after school partnerships through helping to fund the transportation for our students.


About New Beginnings Family Academy 

New Beginnings Family Academy (NBFA) is a tuition-free public charter school for students in grades Pre-K through 8th, located in Bridgeport, CT. Our mission is to provide students with a meaningful, high-quality education through experience-based learning that helps them develop essential social, emotional and critical-thinking skills. This gives all children the necessary foundation to achieve their full potential at every stage of life. To accomplish our goal of preparing students for life-long success, we work with experts from Bank Street College of Education to implement a progressive education model with emotionally responsive practice. This model attends to the whole child, not just academics, and focuses on developing collaborative, socially responsible leaders by organically weaving ethics and character-building into daily instruction in small-class settings.  Our student-focused approach brings out the best in each child by getting to know them individually, encouraging curiosity, and fostering their personal interests.  All NBFA students are selected through a blind lottery, and there is no admissions criteria.