Release: Hundreds of Children from At-Risk Summer Programs Bring Camp to City Hall
For Immediate Release: Tuesday, April 12th
Hundreds of Children from At-Risk Summer Programs Bring Camp to City Hall
City Touts Report Showing High Approval for After-School Programs, Yet Prepares to Cut Summer Programming Component for 31,000 Children Citywide
Districts Set to Lose the Most Summer Programs Have High Rates of Child Poverty
National Champion Chess Team Among Many Programs To Face Cuts
New York, NY—Armed with music, step routines, chess games and poetry, hundreds of NYC children took to City Hall Wednesday to rally for the City to restore funding to their summer programs. The planned cuts would eliminate slots for 31,000 middle school students citywide, despite the fact that these programs help to close the achievement gap, prevent summer learning loss, and keep children safe while parents work.
The rally comes just one day after the City released a report showing high approval for after-school programs—programs the Mayor credits as “…growing tomorrow’s leaders, keeping kids safe and busy while parents are at work, building their confidence, and closing in on the achievement gap in communities across our city.” But while the City touts the after-school findings of the report, many of these programs are the same ones being cut this summer.
In addition to the various performers, parents, councilmembers and advocates in attendance, members of the chess team from University Settlement Beacon at East Side Community School played chess on the City Hall steps to demonstrate that without their program, they would not have had the opportunity to become national champions. If the funding is not restored, they will be unable to take more members this year.
“It’s appalling that the Administration would pat themselves on the back for after-school programs, and cut thousands of summer programs all in the same breath,” said Gregory Brender of Campaign for Children. “Summer programs provide similar benefits to our children as after-school programs, since they allow for students to catch up, or get ahead before the start of a new year. The need for a safe, enriching place to go where children can thrive does not end when the school year is over. We are now in the 11th hour—these children, parents and providers can’t afford to wait a day longer.”
A recent report from the Campaign for Children and Citizen’s Committee for Children revealed that the poorest children in New York City – those who need summer learning the most – would bear the brunt of these cuts.
ABOUT CAMPAIGN FOR CHILDREN:
The Campaign for Children is a coalition of 150 early childhood education and after-school advocacy and provider organizations, including Citizens’ Committee for Children, The Children’s Aid Society, United Neighborhood Houses NY, Good Shepherd Services, Neighborhood Family Services Coalition, the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, Children’s Defense Fund-NY, Day Care Council of New York, UJA-Federation of New York, and YMCA of Greater New York. The Campaign’s successful advocacy saved child care and after-school programs for more than 47,000 children by securing more than $120 million of one-year City Council discretionary funds for two consecutive years, which then were successfully baselined.