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Every student deserves an after-school and summer program

CCC and the Campaign for Children have released the second PSA in our “In Their Own Voices” series. The new video, Every NYC Student Deserves an After-school and Summer Program, highlights the importance of summer and after-school programs in the lives of New York City children and calls attention to the critical need to expand access to these programs for all of our city’s public school students.

“If we allow more students to actually flourish and develop their personal and intellectual skills,” said Lovell, a 12th grader and South Bronx resident, “I think this is going to allow them to better remain focused in school let alone go to and pursue college.”

After-school and summer programs provide a place for young New Yorkers to enhance their skills, interests and leadership, while also providing a safe and enriching place for young people while their parents work.

Summer programs in particular are key to avoiding the summer learning loss that plagues students in July and August. An overwhelming 85% of teachers spend two weeks reteaching skills students have already learned when they come back to class in the fall.

In addition to the cultural, arts, and academic enrichment these programs provide, they are also crucial tools for working parents to help meet their children’s needs. As the video makes clear, 91 percent of parents surveyed rely on these programs to go to work or school, and 20 percent would be forced to quit their jobs to care for their children if they lost access to summer programming. Additionally, nearly two-thirds of parents rely on summer programming for healthy meals for their children.

Despite the importance of these programs, the City’s Preliminary Budget fails to fund summer programs for over 34,000 New York City middle school students.

You can help right this injustice by contacting your City lawmakers and urging them to prioritize funding for summer programs in the budget. You can also learn more about this PSA on the Campaign for Children website, as well as the one previously released on salary disparities in the early childhood education workforce.

Together, we can ensure that all our city’s students have access to the resources they need to succeed in school and beyond.

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