Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and City Council Member Mathieu Eugene, yesterday, joined parents and advocates from the Campaign for Children at Borough Hall to rally for strong and stable after-school programs for all children.
The rally came as contracts for 17 after-school programs, including 6 in Brooklyn, end on June 30 – meaning the loss of after-school programs for 1,882 children, including 539 children in Brooklyn, unless $5.9 million more for after-school programs is not allocated in the budget.
“After-school programs are foundational to the holistic development and wellness of our children. They advance our students’ academic achievement and establish a healthy space for them to learn and grow outside of the classroom. After-school enrichment needs to be viewed as part of the overall education of a child, and the cutting of any such services needs to be met with the same level of concern and urgency. I stand with Campaign for Children in asking for the restoration of the six after-school programs, supporting over 500 of Brooklyn’s children, that are at risk in this budget,” said Adams.
“Last year, my colleagues and I in the City Council worked long and tirelessly with Mayor de Blasio and youth advocates to successfully expand both pre-kindergarten and after-school programs. These programs have consistently proven to enhance the academic performance of our children and establish a solid educational foundation that benefits them throughout the course of their lives. As the Chair of the Youth Services Committee, I urge the administration to provide the funds necessary to ensure that our early childhood and after-school programs are strong and restored to full capacity,” said Eugene.
“Teachers in the after-school program help us with homework we don’t understand. There is no one at home that knows English that can help me with the homework,” said Yu Lian L., a participant at the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association After School Program t P.S. 69.
“The City has taken significant steps toward improving outcomes for children in the last year, and it is crucial that we continue this progress. That’s why we’re urging the Mayor and the City Council to keep these 17 after-school programs from closing in communities that need them most, and to take immediate action to stabilize and strengthen the early childhood education and after-school systems,” said Jennifer March, Executive Director of Citizens’ Committee for Children and member of the Campaign for Children.