Want to keep the kids busy in the afternoons once they go back to school? We panned the after school rivers to find you NYC’s golden options, where kids will learn skills beyond reading, writing and arithmetic – think skateboarding, computer programming or nature exploration – and have a lot of fun all at the same time. Not to mention, after school programs improve students self-esteem, leadership skills and even test scores. Here are nine of the best to sign up for before classes start.

For Your Future Tony Hawk

At New York Skateboard Academy, lessons reach beyond board skills to teach young skaters about the potential for creativity and self-expression and for re-imagining the use of one's surroundings. In each 2-hour session, skaters are broken up by skill level into small groups for lessons that are followed by a supervised free skate. Kids attend 1-5 times per week and teachers even pick up students from area schools.

What: New York Skate Academy

Where: Homage, 615 Degraw St., Gowanus

When: Sept. 8-Nov. 10, any week day, 3:30 p.m.-6 p.m.

Cost: $440 for 10-week session

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Have you enrolled your kid in an after school class for fall? Tell us all about it.

–Anna Knoebel