On June 30, nearly 2000 kids will lose the safe, welcoming place they go to every day after school.
COMPASS, the after-school program started by Bloomberg, was never meant to be a permanent part of the city’s programming. But the city may have underestimated how important these programs would become to the kids they serve.
Providing individualized tutoring and homework help, plus a full slate of enrichment activities to help students find their talents and develop social emotional skills, these programs were desperately needed community resources in underserved neighborhoods, and a waitlist quickly formed. But unless the revised budget, scheduled to be released tomorrow, provides funding for the programs, they will be cut.
The 17 locations serve 1900 students citywide. Two locations–PS 96 in South Ozone Park and PS 273 in Richmond Hill–are a part of The Child Center’s youth development programs, and students here have been mounting a campaign to save the programs. They’ve written letters, painted posters, held rallies, marched on Queens Borough Hall, and shared videos and images online.
“It is very scary not knowing what lies next for us,” said Shantryce Hare, the director at the COMPASS program at PS 96 in South Ozone Park. Continue reading