GREAT NEWS - Roosevelt Island Youth Program Summer Camp Funds RestoredFor 170 Kids - Thanks To Community Support And Council Member BenKallos Says RIYP Director
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 Kallos adds:
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.
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.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.
I am proud to have helped ensure that students will have a place to learn and play this summer.
RE: Roosevelt Island Youth Program BeaconMore on the restoration of Youth Summer programming funds from article in today's NY Times.
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.