Thousands of working parents across the five boroughs were able to breathe a sigh of relief after finding that the city budget for Fiscal Year 2011, adopted by the New York City Council last Monday, restored nearly all the funding for 33 after-school programs (half of them in Queens) that had been proposed for elimination in the Mayor’s Executive budget.
One of these programs, Sunnyside Community Services’ after-school program at P.S. 150, was one of those slated to die. But the school’s principal, leadership team, faculty, and parents came together with the staff to advocate for the program, and our councilman, Jimmy Van Bramer, responded to them by working tirelessly with other council members to get this funding restored.
I want to express my immense gratitude to Councilman Van Bramer, and to the other leaders and members of the City Council who made it a priority to protect families who depend on the after-school programs. Thanks especially to Speaker Christine Quinn, Finance Chair Domenic Recchia, Queens Delegation Chair Leroy Comrie, and all the members of the Council’s Queens Delegation.
As a result of the Council’s leadership, thousands of children in this city will benefit from the social, educational and health benefits that after-school programs provide, and their parents can go to work knowing that the children are in a safe, nurturing environment.
Although so many other cuts in the city budget are going to be very painful for participants in our programs, we must be glad of this and every success that benefits our community, and grateful to those elected and appointed officials with the will and determination to protect the services and programs on which so many in our City depend.
Sunnyside Community Services