By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Eight Brooklyn afterschool programs will share in $10.9 million worth of grants being distributed to 68 afterschool programs across the state.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Friday that 68 participants in the Advantage After School Program (AASP) would receive the funds starting in September.
“By funding these afterschool programs, we are ensuring that children in communities across the State have access to learning opportunities and cultural exposure that will further their development for years to come,” the Governor said. “Afterschool programs play a major role in enriching the lives of children, and this funding to Advantage After School Programs is a wise investment for New York’s future."
Brooklyn grantees include CAMBA, Inc., two Good Shepherd Services sites, NIA Community Services Network, Police Athletic League, Inc., Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, Inc., SCO Family of Services, St. Nicks Alliance Corporation and The Salvation Army.
The grants range from roughly $115,000 to $220,000.
The programs provide three hours of programming directly after school, five days a week during the school year, for kids ages 5 to 17. The programs integrate school lessons with less formal learning experiences, and encourage the students and families to participate in designing the activities.
In April, the state Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) issued a Request for Proposals for the funds.
According to the New York State Afterschool Network (NYSAN), 281 applicants applied for the grants. “While we are very excited for the children who will have access to enrichment activities, mentoring, and academic support through these newly awarded programs, we are concerned about the tens of thousands of children who will lose programs or never have one offered to them because the funding available is insufficient to address more than a small fraction of the need,” said Nora Niedzielski-Eichner, Executive Director of NYSAN.
Overall, funding for New York’s three major afterschool funding streams remains 40 percent below pre-recession levels, according to NYSAN.
New York City will invest $341.4 million in its afterschool and summer youth programs this year, including $145 million to open 271 new middle school Out-of-School Time (OST) programs.
Studies show that children who participate in quality after school programs have higher school attendance and academic achievement, and are less likely to be involved in risky behaviors after school hours.
The list of all programs receiving grants can be found here.