Do your children attend an after school program? Lots of parents rely on these programs as a safe, educationally enriching (and free!) place for their kids to hang out until their workdays end. The Daily News is reporting that come next fall 27,000 elementary and middle school students in New York City will see their after school program disappear after the city closes approximately 200 programs. These free after school programs, which 55,000 elementary and middle-school children presently rely on, provide tutoring, recreational activities and a hot meal.
Half of the most vulnerable programs are in Queens, according to the Daily News. One program, The Beacon, is at risk of being cut. It serves nearly 1,000 children and adults at its sites at Intermediate School 109 in Queens Village and Junior High School 190, in Forest Hills. Closures means that working parents will have to either scramble to find affordable childcare or quit their jobs.
We can expect to hear which programs will be terminated in the Spring according to the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD). If your child is, or will be, enrolled in an after school program and you want to know what you can do to protect the program from closure, advocates are urging people to call the Mayor’s office. To familiarize yourself with Queens after school programs, check out these past Queens Mamas articles:
By Christine Gibson