Enrollment in Middle School Afterschool Hits 121 Percent as City Awards 49 New Programs at Non-Public Schools and Community Centers

January 14, 2015

$8 million investment in programs for grades 6-8 nearly triples amount of existing non-public school seats and increases number of programs by 233 percent

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) Commissioner Bill Chong announced today that enrollment has reached 121 percent for the more than 75,000 City-funded after-school seats currently available to middle school students. Additionally, 49 new SONYC (School’s Out New York City) programs have been awarded to add more than 2,500 seats and nearly triple the number of existing seats at non-public schools and community centers beginning March 1. These sites build on the 271 new SONYC programs launched in September 2014, the largest expansion of afterschool for sixth to eighth graders in the City’s history.

“Today marks a significant step forward on our path toward after-school expansion for more middle school students across New York City,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “With thousands of new seats added for our City’s youth at diverse non-public schools and community centers citywide, more of our parents and families can rest assured their children have positive alternatives during a key period of their lives. Every middle schooler in New York City deserves access to a safe and engaging environment after the school bell rings.”

“The addition of 49 new SONYC programs at our City’s non-public schools and community centers will bring more opportunities to more students in more neighborhoods,” said DYCD Commissioner Bill Chong. “These high-quality providers represent some of the many faces and faiths in New York City, and will offer positive programming that is educational, engaging and fun, so that young people can make the transition from early adolescence to becoming responsible young adults.”

Among the 18 school-based programs:

  • Eight are operated by nonprofits in Catholic schools in all five boroughs
  • Five are in Brooklyn-based yeshivas
  • Three are hosted by Islamic schools in Queens and Staten Island
  • Two remaining programs are at Greek Orthodox and Seventh Day Adventist schools in Queens

Among the 31 center-based programs:

  • Sunnyside Community Services will operate a program for 50 special needs youth at the Samaritan Village DHS family shelter in Elmhurst, Queens
  • The New York Tibetan Service Center will provide services in Astoria
  • The Liberian community on the North Shore of Staten Island will be served by African Refuge
  • The City Parks Foundation will operate programs at three centers located in City parks

“After-school programs are vitally important and provide a link between the school day and what students do after school,” said Council Education Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm. “Students’ learning is reinforced in these after-school programs. They also provide desperately needed support for parents. In my district, Sunnyside Community Services will provide services to 50 special needs students living in the Boulevard Family Center. I thank Mayor de Blasio and New York City Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Bill Chong for expanding these services.”

“I am so pleased that SONYC will be bringing more after-school programming to middle school students than ever before. This unprecedented commitment of resources to children at such a crucial stage of their life will improve their academic performance and strengthen their confidence, increasing the likelihood that they will experience sustained success and happiness in an educational environment. Equally as important, SONYC will soon be available to a more diverse body of youth than in the past, thanks to the City’s efforts to ensure that the programming benefits children of all racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds. I commend Mayor de Blasio and DYCD Commissioner Chong for their strong and unwavering commitment to the youth of New York City and their desire to see as many children as possible receiving high-quality after-school programming that is entertaining and encourages learning,” said Council Member Mathieu Eugene, Chair, Youth Services Committee.

“Providing enriching opportunities after school is one of the best ways we can help youth develop into responsible and successful adults. I’m delighted to see these new SONYC programs added around the city, including in three of our City parks, providing thousands of families with access to high quality, educational activities after the school day ends,” said Council Member Mark Levine, Chair of the Parks Committee.

“After school programs can be an essential tool for parents raising middle school aged children. Keeping them occupied and in an educationally stimulating environment can offer a vital alternative for impressionable youths. I am grateful to Mayor de Blasio for expanding this important program to make it available to more children all over the city, particularly many of our diverse non-public school students,” said Council Member Chaim Deutsch, Chair, Subcommittee on Non-Public Schools.

“Adding SONYC programs at 49 of our City’s diverse non-public schools and community centers not only provides a larger portion of our youth access to a safe environment after school, but also an extension of their education through extracurricular activities like sports, art and community service,” said Senator Gustavo Rivera. “Expanding SONYC programs across our City is a win for our youth, their parents, and the communities across New York. I thank Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Chong for working to provide our adolescents with the resources they need to succeed.”

“Investing in the lives of our youth will provide an invaluable return that benefits all of society. These new programs will offer opportunities that are educational, entertaining and provide a safe haven for our youth during a critical point in their development. I congratulate Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Bill Chong for their historic expansion of after-school programs for our City’s youth,” said Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson.

“Our middle schools serve as great a need as our pre-K, and the expanded after-school programs have been a large part of their wonderful success. They are so successful and so very necessary that they are operating at 120 percent capacity! We clearly need to find the resources for our after-school programs, so our children can continue their development,” said Senator Velmanette Montgomery.

“I applaud the additional funding to School's Out New York City. The early success of the program shows how badly needed after school programs were. By involving more non-public schools and community centers, the City is able to better serve the diverse population of school children in all neighborhoods of New York City,” said Assemblyman Karim Camara.

“We are honored and very excited to be a recipient of the SONYC award. This will be a tremendous boost in our efforts to better serve the children of this community,” said David Jones, Board Chair, African Refuge Inc. of Staten Island.

“The SONYC program will fundamentally change the way we provide opportunities to empower and educate our youth. With this investment, we will be able to enhance our free, safe and enriching space where kids in the Arab-American community thrive academically as well as socially,” said Lena Alhusseini, Executive Director, Arab-American Family Support Center in Brooklyn.

“Thanks to SONYC funding, the students have the opportunity to receive additional positive supports through organized activities. In addition, parents are ensured that their children are supervised in a safe haven while they’re at work,” said Renard Cardona, Director, ASPIRA OF NY, Inc., which will oversee a Catholic school-based program in the Bronx.

“We are very honored and excited to bring new after-school programming into the community which will help bolster grades, raise self-esteem and provide social and cultural outlets to young adolescents. This will impact them immensely and will open up a new dimension of educational support and social interaction,” said Louise Welz, CEO, Council of Jewish Organizations of Flatbush, Inc. in Brooklyn.

“What an amazing opportunity. The discovery meetings we had with the principals and other stakeholders showed how sound programming fits in anyplace. Kudos to the Mayor’s Office and DYCD for seeing that all youth deserve quality after-school opportunities,” said Dennis Carter, Executive Director, Directions for Our Youth, Inc., providing Catholic school-based programming in the Bronx and Manhattan.

“DIVAS for Social Justice is elated to offer SONYC programming in Laurelton, Queens, because there are not enough youth opportunities in the community. There will be an emphasis on providing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) activities, while engaging youth about social issues in the community,” said Clarisa James, Executive Director, DIVAS for Social Justice, Inc.

“We are excited to get this funding and know it will be used well because there are so many children in our community who cannot afford such an after-school program and need guidance because they are often left alone. Now, we can provide them with a fun and educational way to spend their time. This grant for us was like being in a desert and finally getting a drink of water. We are very grateful,” said Tsering Diki, Executive Director of New York Tibetan Service Center, Inc. in Queens.

“RHI is excited to be able to expand its middle school program to serve more youth in a deeper way. SONYC funding will allow us to double our impact in Red Hook through high-quality programming and supports, and to target a particularly crucial and often under-served age group,” said Jade Elias, Acting Executive Director, Red Hook Initiative in Brooklyn.

“We are very grateful to be providing two new SONYC programs, because each of these new programs fills a gap in services for our community. This addition to our programming means that in Sunnyside, we will be able to provide continuous services to students from pre-school through college, and in Elmhurst, we will be able to provide much-needed support to youth living in the Boulevard Family Residence,” said Judy Zangwill, Executive Director, Sunnyside Community Services in Queens.

The unprecedented $145 million (FY15) investment in expanding afterschool for middle schoolers is part of the de Blasio administration’s plan to transform public education in New York City, including Pre-K for All, the creation of new community schools, and a historic contract with New York City’s teachers. SONYC will reduce inequality across all communities and provide sixth, seventh and eighth graders with safe, high-quality learning and recreational opportunities during an especially challenging time in their lives.

In addition to the center and non-public school sites, SONYC and other City-funded programs are located in 562 public schools (including 60 in District 75). Enhancements include programs being open five days per week for 36 weeks during the school year, and a higher price per participant to cover the additional hours and enable providers to hire and retain qualified staff and provide high quality programming.

LIST OF 49 NEW SONYC PROGRAMS

Center-Based Programs - Bronx

BronxWorks, Inc. (Carolyn McLaughlin Community Center)

Phipps Community Development Corp. (Crotona Park West Community Center)

Police Athletic League, Inc. (PAL New South Bronx Center)

Police Athletic League, Inc. (PAL Webster Center)

SCAN-New York Volunteer Parent-Aides Association, Inc. (Mullaly Recreation Center)

Center-Based Programs - Brooklyn

Arab-American Family Support Center (AAFSC Brooklyn Center)

Brooklyn Bureau of Community Services (New Church International)

City Parks Foundation (Herbert Von King Cultural Arts Center)

City Parks Foundation (Red Hook Recreation Center)

Friends of Crown Heights Educational Centers Inc. (1491 Bedford Avenue)

Hebrew Educational Society (9502 Seaview Avenue)

Madison Square Boys Girls Club (Navy Yard Clubhouse)

Madison Square Boys Girls Club (Thomas S. Murphy Clubhouse)

Red Hook Initiative (767 Hicks Street)

Research Foundation of the City University of New York (Brooklyn College Art Lab)

Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, Inc. (Ridgewood Bushwick Youth Center)

Urban Strategies, Inc. (Final Form Fitness)

Center-Based Programs - Manhattan

Hudson Guild, Inc. (Hudson Guild Elliott Center)

Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood (415 East 93rd Street)

The Children’s Aid Society (East Harlem Center)

The Lower Eastside Girls Club (LESGC Center for Community)

University Settlement Society of New York, Inc. (Houston Street Center)

Center-Based Programs - Queens

Central Queens YM & YWHA, Inc. (67-09 108th Street)

Goodwill Industries of Greater NY NNJ, Inc. (Family Learning Center)

NY Tibetan Service Center, Inc. (30-81 Steinway Street)

Police Athletic League, Inc. (PAL Edwin Byrne Center)

Sunnyside Community Services, Inc. (43-31 39th Street)

Sunnyside Community Services, Inc. (Boulevard Family Center)

YMCA of Greater New York (Jamaica Y)

Center-Based Programs - Staten Island

African Refuge Inc. (AR, Inc. Youth Center)

City Parks Foundation (Faber Park Field House)

School-Based Programs - Bronx

ASPIRA of New York, Inc. (New Covenant School)

Directions For Our Youth, Inc. (St. Ignatius School)

School-Based Programs - Brooklyn

Be’er Hagolah Institutes (671 Louisiana Avenue)

Council of Jewish Organizations of Flatbush, Inc. (Bais Yaakov of Boro Park)

Council of Jewish Organizations of Flatbush, Inc. (Masores Bais Yaakov)

Play Study Win, Inc. (St Catherine of Genoa/St Therese of Lisieux Catholic Academy)

Yeshiva Kehilath Yakov (206 Wilson Street)

Yeshiva Kehilath Yakov (Bnos Yaakov)

School-Based Programs - Manhattan

Apex for Youth, Inc. (Corpus Christi School)

Directions For Our Youth, Inc. (St. Aloysius School)

Grand Street Settlement, Inc. (St. Brigid School)

Play Study Win, Inc. (Manhattan Christian Academy)

School-Based Programs - Queens

Council Of Peoples Organization, Inc. (Razi School)

DIVAS for Social Justice, Inc. (Linden Seventh Day Adventist School)

Greater Ridgewood Youth Council, Inc. (Saint Adalbert School)

HANAC, Inc. (Saint Demetrios, Greek -American Day School)

Play Study Win, Inc. (Al-Ishan Academy)

School-Based Programs - Staten Island

Brienza’s Educare (Miraj Islamic School)

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