Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Beacon After School Hours Program Saved - Appears To Be Off The Elimination List Says NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin

Roosevelt Island Beacon Kids Ask That The Program Not Be Closed

Reported February 10 on the:
...possibility that the Roosevelt Island After School Beacon Program for kids would be eliminated due to budget cuts:
I asked Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin if Roosevelt Island's Beacon After School Program will be cut. Ms. Lappin's office replied:
The mayor proposed shutting seven Beacon programs in July 2012, including the one on Roosevelt Island. Council Member Lappin is against eliminating the Roosevelt Island program, and will fight to keep it open during budget negotiations this year....
It appears for now that the Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Beacon After School program has been saved from elimination. Yesterday, I asked Roosevelt Island NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin:
I understand the the Roosevelt Island Beacon After School Program has been saved and is not on the list of programs that may be closed.

Is that true?...
Ms. Lappin's office responded today that she is:
... relieved that the Roosevelt Island Beacon Program appears to have been taken off the list for closures.
That's certainly good news. The Roosevelt Island After School Beacon Program can continue to offer much needed programs to the community such as  math and science mentoring, English as a second language, basketball and martial arts among others.

The seven Beacon Programs that may be eliminated are:
Borough         School               Provider                                                          

Bronx             IS 192               Phipps Community Development                     

Brooklyn        IS 259               Heart Share Human Services                             

Manhattan     PS 198                Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center 

Manhattan     MS 414              Hudson Guild                                                  

Queens         JHS 190              Queens Community House, Inc.                       

Queens         MS 158               Samuel Field Y                                                 

SI             Tottenville HS         Jewish Community Center of Staten Island
NY 1 has more on the possible elimination of some Beacon After School programs.

UPDATE 10:20 PM - Roosevelt Island resident Jonathan Kalkin adds:

Image of NYC Beacon Program Cut Hearings From Jonathan Kalkin
I testified to the New York City Council that the Beacon Youth program on Roosevelt Island was only blocks away from the new Cornell Technion campus and that this program would be a great opportunity for the university to work with the Beacon program on a number of potential projects.

I said they already had worked with the science community via STEM. I also stated that the potential mentorship opportunities between the university/technology/science communities were not only possible, but needed to fulfill the university/NYC goals to make New York City a tech center of the world. I then went on to explain how Steve Jobs and Bill Gates both had access when they were young to the technology and science community (Jobs with HP at age 12/Bill Gates in 8th grade had access to a GE mainframe computer). I said that entrepreneurs usually don't like to listen to authority and sometimes the brightest minds combined with the entrepreneurial spirit can either make a teenager successful if they have the right role models around them or that kind of personality can easily go down the wrong path if they don't. I pointed out that Roosevelt Island has a diverse population and that as a minority entrepreneur myself it was very important to me to have role models to look up to and that sometimes you need to see someone like you that is successful in order to believe you can do it yourself.

I'm sure that our Council Member Jessica Lappin, Roosevelt Island Youth Program Director Charlie Defino and many others worked day and night to make sure that the Beacon program stayed open and they should be thanked for their hard work. I think that years from now we will be using some breakthrough technology that some young man or woman on Roosevelt Island invented. I'm looking forward to it.


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