Hundreds Brave Torrential Rains to Fight Planned Cuts to Downtown After-School Programs

Daniel L. Squadron

May 25, 2011

The Broadsheet Daily

Budding Comedians, Artists, and Athletes to Be Sidelined as Latch-Key Kids

By Dianne Renzulli

May 19, 2011

On Wednesday afternoon, a packed auditorium at P.S. 89/I.S. 289 cheered for politicians, Manhattan Youth organizers and students who rallied the crowd against City and State funding cuts that would eliminate after-school programs at I.S. 289 and P.S. 150 in 2012.

Bob Townley, executive director of Manhattan Youth, told the crowd that he intends to keep the after-school programs open because "when the fires burned just two blocks from this school, and that guy couldn't break us ten years ago," he said, in a reference to the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 and Osama Bin Laden, "then there's no way the Bloomberg administration is going to shut down this community now."

Principal Ellen Foote of I.S. 289 said, "I can't imagine a school without the after-school programs. The building would flat line. There would be no laughter from the comedy club, no cheers on the soccer field or in the gym, no whirr from the robots of the robotic club." She added that "if you want to talk about making our kids competitive in the world, we need to talk about the importance of the things they learn in after-school. Children learn about team work, communications skills and being mentored by talented counselors that leave them feeling confident and challenged."

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