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Friday, May 29, 2015

GREAT NEWS - Roosevelt Island Youth Program Summer Camp Funds RestoredFor 170 Kids - Thanks To Community Support And Council Member BenKallos Says RIYP Director

Reported last Friday:

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....

Today, Mr. De Fino reports:
The Roosevelt Island Youth Program is ecstatic that Summer Funds will be restored and that we will be able to offer a full range of services this summer. We are thankful for the overwhelming community support of letters, emails and phone calls to the Mayor, Council Speaker and our local Councilman Ben Kallos.

Council Member Ben Kallos commitment to restoring these funds was incredible and all residents of Roosevelt Island should thank him because without his quick response and leadership on this issue we and 70 other programs would not be celebrating today.
Council Member Kallos adds:
All New York City families deserve access to fulfilling summer programming and I am proud to have fought to restore funds for our Roosevelt Island youth. When the funds were initially cut, I wrote a letter to DYCD and the Mayor demanding that they be restored and rallied at City Hall for their return. Whenever summer programming is threatened, I will fight alongside our families.

I am proud to have helped ensure that students will have a place to learn and play this summer.
Here's text of 5/21 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.

Ben Kallos
Council Member
More on the restoration of Youth Summer programming funds from article in today's NY Times.


CheshireKitty said...

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Frank Alo said...

Its time to stop the people who do not live on Roosevelt island signing up their kids also the fact that these famies have lots of money they can afford to sent their kids to a pay summer camp progam, the summer camp on Roosevelt island should be for kids living on the island who cannot afford to pay, this is not the case, its not fair to let these kids coming from familles who can well afford to pay, and then the kids on Roosevelt island from low income are lefe out what should be done is frist sign up the kids on the island these people living off the island who have the, money should sent their kids to a pay camp too many people from off the island who can afford to pay for camp have signed up, filling up the spaces blocking the low income kids lefe out this is not fair

YetAnotherRIer said...

How many non-RI families sign up their kids for the Beacon program? It's mostly kids that already go to PS 217 and maybe just a few from LIC or Astoria but really not that many that it would cause a problem.

The Beacon program is not RI specific and can be found pretty much all over the city, i.e. bringing your child over to RI for a free camp is pretty stupid.

Frank Alo said...

Its the kids who are going to 217 living in queens belonging to well to do familles that are going to the camp they are ,taking up slops that should be going to kids living on Roosevelt island w

Frank Alo said...

Well you think its stupid ,but its being done ,these people from off the island who can well to pay for their kids to go to camp are blocking out the kids from the island ,these people need to pay

Frank Alo said...

It is a problem thats why kallos went out and got more money so these 170 kids can go if only one kid from a low income family gets blocked from going and a kid from a well to do family gets in, thats a problem

YetAnotherRIer said...

What's your source of this information? My kids attended last summer and the program was not overrun by off-the-island kids.

But then, even if it were, Beacon is open for every kid, no matter where they live and how much money a family makes. The cut in funding for our program was stupid and it is fixed.