AFTER-SCHOOL FUNDING

We’re headed Upstate to Sharon Springs, New York, where children will have after school programming for the first time in a decade.

Aired on June 18, 2018.

TRANSCRIPT

> I'M MATT RYAN, MANAGING EDITOR AND HOST OF 'NEW YORK NOW.'

LAST YEAR GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCED $35 MILLION IN FUNDING WAS AVAILABLE FOR SCHOOL DISTRICTS FOR AN INITIATIVE CALLED THE EMPIRE STATE AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM.

IT WAS SPECIFICALLY TARGETED FOR SCHOOLS LOCATED IN COUNTIES WITH A CHILD POVERTY RATE OVER 30%. WE WENT OUT TO ONE OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS IN YEAR ONE OF THE PROGRAM.

THE MOHAWK VALLEY IS A BEAUTIFUL PART OF THE STATE THAT, LIKE MANY UPSTATE AREAS, HAS STRUGGLED OVER THE PAST FEW DECADES.

ONCE PROSPEROUS PLACES SHOWS CLEAR SIGNS OF DECLINE.

ABANDONED BUILDINGS, A FORMER GAS STATION ON THE FOUR CORNERS NOW UP FOR SALE AND A GAZEBO THAT'S SEEN BETTER DAYS.

THE CUOMO ADMINISTRATION DEEMED THE SCHOOL DISTRICT HERE QUALIFIED FOR THE EMPIRE STATE AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM.

THEY APPLIED IN JULY, WERE ACCEPTED IN SEPTEMBER AND FIVE WEEKS LATER, THEY BEGAN.

THE RESPONSE FROM THE COMMUNITY WAS A POSITIVE ONE.

WE HAVE ENOUGH ROOM FOR 75 STUDENTS.

I AM BOOKED AT 76.

SO BASED ON OUR NEED, I'D SAY ALL THAT HAVE WANTED IT HAVE GOTTEN IT.

THE DISTRICT RUNS THE PROGRAM FROM 3 TO 5 FOR CHILDREN IN K THROUGH 8.

KIDS ARE VERY EXCITED TO COME BECAUSE IT'S VERY NEW AND EXCITING.

EVERY DAY THAT THEY DO COME HERE, EACH KID IS PROVIDED WITH A FREE SNACK.

Reporter: THE REST OF THE DAY CONSISTENTS OF TIME FOR THE KIDS TO JUST BE KIDS.

HAVING FUN INSIDE THE GYM OR OUTSIDE ON THE PLAYGROUND.

AND CLASSTIME WHEN A CERTIFIED TEACHER CONDUCTS A S.T.E.M.-RELATED ACTIVITY.

KIDS HAVE HAD CLASSES ON CODING, AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE AND AN INTRODUCTION TO KARATE.

A LOT OF DEVELOPMENT HAS HAPPENED.

KIDS HAVE GOTTEN MUCH BETTER WITH THEIR HOMEWORK.

THE KIDS HAVE HAD SO MUCH FUN.

WE WENT FROM 42 KIDS STARTING OCTOBER 12th TO 76.

AND LIKE I SAID, WE'RE CAPPED OUT AT 75.

BUT WE HAVE HAD A LOT OF KIDS SIGN UP, AS WELL AS WORD OF MOUTH TO OTHER STUDENTS LETTING THEM KNOW HOW MUCH FUN THEY HAVE HERE AT AFTER SCHOOL AND THE PARENTS REALLY HAVE SEEN A DIFFERENCE IN THEIR CHILDREN.

PRINCIPAL PATTERSON GREEN SAYS IN A RURAL TOWN WHERE A LOT OF MOMS AND DADS BOTH HAVE TO WORK, IT GIVES THEM PEACE OF MIND TO GO ALONG WITH HAVING BETTER ROUNDED STUDENTS.

THE PARENTS HAVE BEEN VERY HAPPY THEIR KIDS HAVE A SAFE PLACE TO BE AFTER SCHOOL.

GETTING SOME HELP ON THEIR HOMEWORK WHEN THEY NEED IT AND HAVING A SAFE PLACE, AN ACTIVE PLACE TO BE RATHER THAN AT HOME FROM FRONT OF THE TV.

THE RURAL PROGRAMS, THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THEY'VE SEEN MONEY THAT IS TARGETED DIRECTLY TO THEM.

THEY PREVIOUSLY EITHER MISS OUT ON THESE OTHER RFPs, REQUESTS FOR PROPOSALS BECAUSE THEY MAY NOT HAVE A FULL-TIME GRANT WRITER TO APPLY FOR THEM.

WHILE THE PROGRAM HAS RECEIVED GOOD REVIEWS FROM THE ADMINISTRATORS AND PARENTS THERE IS CONCERN ABOUT THE FUTURE OF OTHER FORMS OF AFTERSCHOOL FUNDING IN THIS YEAR'S BUDGET PROPOSAL.

CHRIS OF THE NETWORK FOR YOUTH SUCCESS NOTES THE EMPIRE STATE SCHOOL PLAN HAS AN ADDITIONAL 10 MILLION PROPOSED IN THIS YEAR'S BUDGET, BUT FUNDING FOR LONGTIME EXISTING ONES WAS REDUCED.

FOR THE ADVANTAGE AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM, WE'RE SEEING A POTENTIAL BUDGET CUT.

THIS IS AN ADDITIONAL PROGRAM THAT'S BEEN AROUND SINCE 1999.

AND IT'S FACING A CUT OF ANOTHER $2.5 MILLION.

POTENTIALLY $5 MILLION OVER WHAT THAT LEVEL WAS TWO YEARS AGO.

THAT'S AROUND 3600 STUDENTS ACROSS THE STATE.

A LOT OF THOSE STUDENTS ARE NOT IN AREAS THAT ARE SERVED BY EMPIRE STATE AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS CURRENTLY.

THIS NEXT ROUND, ASSUMING $10 MILLION MAKES ITS WAY IN WILL BE ELIGIBLE TO THE COMMUNITY PARTNERS TO APPLY FOR.

IT STILL SEEMS VERY HIGHLY TARGETED.

THERE'S STILL THE PREVIOUS REQUIREMENTS AROUND THE CHILD POVERTY RATE AND AREAS THAT HAVE HIGH STUDENT HOMELESSNESS RATES.

WE'RE STILL FIGURING OUT WHAT THAT MEANS.

WILL THAT OPEN UP TO A LOT MORE?

MOST LIKELY NOT.

WILL IT OPEN TO SOME MORE OF THE ADVANTAGE PROGRAMS?

FOR NOW, THEY ARE HOPING IN THE NEXT MONTH THE GOVERNOR AND THE LEGISLATURE CAN CLOSE THAT $2.5 MILLION CUT FOR THE ADVANTAGE AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM.

IN SHARON SPRINGS, THEIR GRANT RUNS FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS.

AND ADMINISTRATORS AND PARENTS ARE HAPPY FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A DECADE THEIR KIDS NOW HAVE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY AND LEARN FOR A FEW MORE HOURS A DAY.

KEEPS THE MIND STIMULATED.

KEEPS THEM GOING AND THINKING.

HELPS THEM RECOGNIZE THE VALUE OF ACADEMICS AS A GOAL AND DIRECTS THEM FOR THE FUTURE.

AGAIN, RATHER THAN JUST GOING HOME AND SITTING IN FRONT OF THE TV OR COMPUTER OR VIDEO GAMES.

IN NEW YORK CITY, 18 SCHOOL DISTRICTS HAVE TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF THIS PROGRAM, INCLUDING SIX IN THE BRONX AND 12 IN BROOKLYN.

FOR 'METROFOCUS,' I'M MATT RYAN.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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