Sunday, April 15, 2018

What's Going On At The Roosevelt Island Youth Center - RIOC Hosts Information Session On Current And Future Plans For Parents Yesterday, Watch Video Of What Happened

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) hosted a Youth Center informational session for parents yesterday, April 14, in the aftermath of last week's management upheaval at the Youth Center.

RIOC Chief Operating Officer Shelton Haynes and Director of Community Affairs Erica Spencer-EL presented RIOC's current and future plans for the Youth Center to concerned parents.

Ms Spencer-EL told the parents:

We're going to make it our priority to make sure that we have sufficient programming at the Youth Center....
She added:
  • current hours will stay the same for younger (2:45 - 6 PM) and older kids (6:30 - 8:30 PM) for now and may be reevaluated in the future. The music and SAT program will continue too,
  • there will be a RIOC Summer Youth Center program but hours are not set yet. Also, there are discussions to partner with the Beacon Program for a summer camp,
  • there will be an 8 Week summer Soccer Program beginning May 5 in partnership with Fordham and St John's University to provide clinics, workshops, drills and scrimmages for 6th - 12th graders,
  • formation of Parents Advisory Group to improve communication between RIOC and the Youth Center families.
Mr Haynes and Ms. Spencer-EL emphasized that RIOC does not want the Youth Center services to compete with services offered by the PS/IS 217 Beacon Program.

Here's video of the RIOC presentation (part 1)

followed by a question and answer session.

Part 2. What services will be offered to the older Roosevelt Island youth?

Part 3.
  • RIOC will run the Youth Center going forward with no plans to hire an outside group.
  • Decision to not allow younger and older kids to be in the Youth Center at same time was made for safety reasons though when asked,, no answer was given for specific examples of past safety problems. That decision may be reevaluated in the future.
  • Parents expressed dissatisfaction with the services offered by current PS/IS 217 Beacon Center operator.

Part 4.
  • A Parent asked for a return to the clubhouse feel at the Youth Center with a choice of activities for kids rather than being "warehoused" in a cafeteria setting as they are at the PS/IS 217 Beacon Program.
  • Mr Haynes and Ms.Spencer-EL asked for continued feedback with the community to provide the best possible Youth Center services for Roosevelt Island youth.

RIOC is looking for a dialogue with Roosevelt Island parents and kids to best utilize the Youth Center. Let RIOC know what you think?