Don’t Cut Funding to Summer Programs for NYC Youth!
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We, the undersigned, call on Mayor de Blasio and the City Council of the City of New York to ensure that children and young people have the opportunity to be positively engaged in safe summer activities through the restoration of COMPASS, SONYC, Beacon and Cornerstone programming.
The defunding and dismantling of summer day camp and youth programs in NYC’s most at-risk communities directly impacts the safety and well-being of children and youth in communities with the highest prevalence of COVID-19 transmission. Without the provision of structured in-person or virtual activities for children and youth, the likelihood of unsupervised activity will increase significantly; and unsupervised youth activity will likely increase the transmission of the Coronavirus.
For over 20 years, Coalition for Hispanic Family Services (CHFS) summer programs have served eight communities throughout Brooklyn and Queens, providing safe, structured, creative programming for 2500 youth annually. Located in 13 schools and community centers (see below for a list of sites), our summer day camps, and evening and weekend youth programming have successfully engaged youth in constructive activities that foster their educational and socioemotional development while keeping them supervised and safe. As the warm temperatures of summer are quickly upon us, school year assignments wind down, and NYC gears up for a gradual return to business, parents will become increasingly stressed by the possibility that their children and youth will not have any safe community options for summer education, recreation and socialization. Their stress will be further exacerbated by the heightened possibility of increased Coronavirus exposure by unsupervised youth who are not following appropriate safety precautions. The families of CHFS and NYC’s children, youth, and parents need your commitment to fund summer programming.
CHFS and many other youth development organizations in NYC are prepared to respond effectively to summer youth programming needs no matter what the circumstance or stage of transition during the COVID-19 crisis.
If social distancing and stay-at-home measures are still in effect this summer, CHFS is prepared to offer virtual activities that expand upon those offered during our in-person programming. These include support for our young people online with opportunities for constructive socializing, arts and leadership activities, academic enrichment, and counseling. Over the past six weeks of stay-at-home measures, CHFS has had a very positive response to our virtual after school programming, and we would expand upon this approach for the summer months. If social distancing measures are relaxed or ended by the summer, parents will be expected to return to work but will have no childcare options available to them. Additionally, New York City’s most at-risk families need these programs for connections to community resources such as food banks, public health information, and wellness checks.
Lacking structure in their days, young people will struggle to observe social distancing measures and potentially delay public health recovery. Young children’s socioemotional development may be stunted without structure. Families coping with trauma and economic stressors need your help to keep their children healthily engaged. In short, a summer without youth programming would come at a steep cost to the city.
Funding for summer programming offered by COMPASS, SONYC, Beacon and Cornerstone through DYCD must be restored! These programs are indispensable to the City’s recovery from COVID-19 and NYC has always been most progressive when it comes to supporting children and families. Please give our kids the healthy, safe summer they deserve.
Coalition for Hispanic Family Services Programs
City Council District 21--Council Member Francisco Moya (email@example.com)
PS 92 Arts & Literacy Program--99-01 34th Avenue, corona, NY 11368
PS 127 Arts & Literacy Program--98-01 25th Ave, East Elmhurst, NY 11369
City Council District 25--Council Member Daniel Dromm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
IS 230 Arts & Literacy Program--73-10 34th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
PS 7 Arts & Literacy Program--80-55 Cornish Ave, Queens, NY 11373
City Council District 27--Council Member I. Daneek Miller (email@example.com)
The Emerson School Arts & Literacy Program --108-35 167th St, Jamaica, NY 11433
City Council District 29--Council Member Karen Koslowitz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
IS 227 Arts & Literacy Program--32-02 Junction Blvd. East Elmhurst, NY 11369
City Council District 33--Council Member Stephen Levin (email@example.com)
Juan Morel Campos Arts & Literacy Program--215 Heyward Street, Brooklyn, NY 11206
City Council District 34--Council Member Antonio Reynoso (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cooper Park Community Center Cornerstone Program--76 Kingsland Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Hope Gardens Community Center Cornerstone Program--422 Central Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11221
PS 123 Arts & Literacy Program--100 Irving Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11237
City Council District 37--Vacant (District37@council.nyc.gov)
Beacon Center for Arts & Leadership at IS 291--231 Palmetto St, Brooklyn, NY 11221
PS 116 Arts & Literacy Program--515 Knickerbocker Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11237
PS 377 Arts & Literacy Program--200 Woodbine Street, Brooklyn, NY 11221
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