170 Kids May Have No Free Roosevelt Island Youth Program/Beacon Summer Camp - Ask Mayor de Blasio to Restore Summer Camp Funds Says RIYP Director And NYC Council Member Kallos
170 applicants may be turned away from promised spots in the free Roosevelt Island Youth Program (RIYP) Beacon Summer Camp due to a withdrawal of funding by the NYC Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD) reports RIYP Executive Director Charlie De Fino.
According to Mr. DeFino:
For the last month, DYCD has been pressing us to register as many students as possible for our Summer Camp, and were promised an additional reconciliation funds for it. In accordance, the Roosevelt Island Youth Program / Beacon conducted an aggressive campaign and registered 194 youth, with an additional 50 placed on a waiting list based on the allocated grant. In addition, our staff worked hard to create a detailed work scope curriculum (we call Around Your World in 7 Weeks).
However, last week DYCD sent us a distressing message alerting us that the promised budget will not be available to us. We are now forced to turn down over 170 applicants, even after they were promised a place to go this summer.
As you are well aware, all Private Summer Camps stopped accepting registrations months ago, and the parents of our self-contained community are left without any viable solution. The RIYP is the only available source for a Summer Camp, especially when our community is struggling to offer our youths a safe haven, away from street trouble and crime.
Mr De Fino asks all concerned Roosevelt Island residents to write to NYC Mayor deBlasio, NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and NYC Council Member Ben Kallos to save the RIYP Beacon Summer Program for these 170 kids.
Click here to help keep 170 Kids in the RIYP Beacon Summer Camp.
During last evening's Roosevelt Island Town Hall with our elected representatives, NYC Council Member Ben Kallos
expressed his support for restoring funding to the RIYP Beacon Summer Camp.
More information on the DYCD summer program cuts available at the excellent NYC educational news web site Chalkbeat.
UPDATE 4/26 - Here's text of 4/21 letter sent by Mr. Kallos to Mayor de Blasio and DYCD Commissioner Bill Chong in support of restoring RIYP Summer Camp funding.
RE: Roosevelt Island Youth Program Beacon
Dear Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Chong,
Many residents of Roosevelt Island have contacted my office to express concerns over the defunding of the Roosevelt Island Beacon summer programs. On behalf of this community, I ask that you reinstate the Reconciliation Funds so that many more youth can attend these invaluable programs.
Roosevelt Island Beacon summer programming has been essential to so many families on Roosevelt Island, especially those who cannot afford camps. According to the Roosevelt Island Youth Program, they were notified by the Department of Youth and Community Development officially that they would receive Reconciliation Funds this summer. On May 8, they received an email stating that the money would be redirected to schools with bigger challenges. The Youth Program registered 194 youth with an additional 50 on the waiting list based on the original allocation. With the new allocation, they inform me that they would only be able accept 70 students. Therefore, they would have to turn away 174 children interested in enrolling, including 124 students who had already been accepted.
Restoring funding to the Roosevelt Island Beacon summer programs would be in line with your commitment to support afterschool and summer programs for students from all backgrounds.
If the program had to shrink, it would be a heartbreaking turn of events for the community. Parents rely on these programs to provide engagement and opportunity when they cannot afford traditional summer programming. I implore you to restore these funds, and look forward to working with you to resolve the issue for the constituents of Roosevelt Island.