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Friday, August 18, 2017

Last Day Of Roosevelt Island Youth Program Beacon Summer Day Camp And Affiliation With PS/IS 217 - RIYP Executive Director Says School Principal Reckless And Reprehensible In Disregard Of Roosevelt Island Community

Today was the last day of the Roosevelt Island Youth Program (RIYP) Beacon Summer Day Camp. This afternoon, campers played basketball outside the Youth Center building

and the RIYP issued this statement today:
Last Beacon Day

Today at 6PM the Roosevelt Island Youth Program Inc. ended an era: the program will no longer be affiliated with Public School 217 after 40 years of collaboration.

Beacon programs were designed to establish services for youth and adults in schools in low- income communities. This Agency with the help of then NYC Council Member Gifford Miller and NYC Deputy Mayor Ninfa Segarra secured the Beacon funding for the Island after 5 tough years of negotiating with the Mayor's office and the Department of Youth & Community Development.

After 22 years of RIYP operating the Beacon at PS/IS 217, the school principal Mandana Beckman decided with her handpicked off-island PTA members to prevent the Youth Program from even applying for the funding to operate the Roosevelt Island Beacon program, ensuring the awarding of the grant to an off-island entity.

The RIYP Executive Director Charles DeFino has called Mrs. Beckman's actions "reckless and reprehensible, exhibiting a total disregard for the community.  This action is typical Beckman. The community has dealt with her incompetence for over a decade, but we will continue our commitment to the youth and families of Roosevelt Island”.

The new RIYP after-school program information will be introduced to our island families next week.
As previously reported, the NYC Department of Youth & Community Development named the Queens based Child Center of New York as the new operator of Roosevelt Island Beacon After School Program at PS/IS 217.

UPDATE 8/19 - Frank Farance shares these photos from the last day of 2017 RIYP Beacon Summer Camp.