On Wednesday, March 23, many of our after-school program staff and participants turned out for a rally on the steps of City Hall to call on the city to restore funding to summer camp programs this year.
The current budget cuts funding that provides for free summer camp for 31,000 middle school students - many of whom live in communities with greater needs and lower incomes. This is the second year in a row where we and our partner organizations have had to fight for funding to keep this critical resource alive.
One shining star of the day's rally was 13-year-old Kayla Charles, one of our very own Beacon participants; she took to the podium and spoke to the whole crowd, sharing some of her thoughts on the importance of free summer camp. "If I didn't have Beacon, I might have been in jail right now. I might have been on the streets," she said. "I'm going to fight for these kids so they don't have to go through the things the rest of my family had to go through. They deserve better. It's not something that we want, it's something that we need."
You can read more about the rally in some press pieces that came out in the aftermath:
- MetroUS: Parents, officials call for funding to be restored for summer programs for thousands of students
- DNAinfo: 31,000 City Kids to Lose Summer Camp Seats Due to Budget Cuts, Pols Say
- NY1: Advocates, City Council Members Push Back Against Mayor's Plans to Cut Funding for Summer Programs for Students