De Blasio and City Council begin universal after-school push

Stephon Johnson | 1/23/2020, 7:09 p.m.
Kids need a place to be productive once school hours are over. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and ...
Bill deBlasio

“New York has seen tremendous reductions in juvenile crime,” stated Kelly Sturgis, executive director of the New York State Network for Youth Success. “We must maintain after-school programs to ensure that students have a safe, supervised place to go when school is over but many parents are not yet home from work.”

The Bronx-based Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation already has a couple of after-school programs it runs in the same vein that the city wants for everyone else. This includes the Afterschool Enrichment Program at PS/MS 2018, which serves more than 450 K-8 students, focusing on English language arts, STEM project-based learning activities and arts enrichment programs. It also includes the Highbridge Green School MS ExTRA Extended School Day Initiative that provides academic and arts enrichment activities similar to WHEDco’s afterschool program at PS/MS 218.

Davon Russell, president of WHEDco, praised the Council’s push for more after-school programs.

“We see the transformational power of quality after-school programs in the lives of the hundreds of South Bronx students we serve every day, after the final bell, in our school-based programs,” stated Russell. “The incredible initiatives that take place during these post-school hours give students the opportunity to tap into their creativity, discover new interests, create meaningful connections with their peers and mentors, and explore their full potential through opportunities that they would otherwise not have been able to access.”