Staten Island Community Fights for Their Beacon Program

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By: Keyla Espinal

On Wednesday April 4th, The Children’s Aid Society and other members of Campaign for Children joined Staten Island parents, students, advocates and Elected Officials to fight against the closure of the Tottenville High School Beacon program and the devastating cuts proposed by the Mayor’s preliminary budget.

The rally was also joined by members from the Community Education Council and their very own councilmember, Vincent Ignizio. Councilmember Ignizio acknowledged that these cuts would be devastating and vouched that he and two other Staten Island council members would work on trying to save these important programs. The agenda was filled with students and advocates alike talking about the positive impact beacon and after-school programs have on them and their families.

Diane Colon, the single mom of 5th grader Ami-Lani who attends the after-school program at The Children’s Aid Society Goodhue Center, reiterated the importance of after-school programs. “In her after-school program, my daughter gets opportunities that I couldn’t afford to give her otherwise – academic support, creative arts, music, and other activities that help her get better grades and enjoy going to school.” Diane’s sentiment is shared by the parents and care-givers of the 47,000 children that will be left without needed services like child care and after-school programs if cut in the Mayor’s proposed budget.

Similar to this rally, the Campaign for Children will be hosting Borough-wide rallies to highlight the specific impacts these cuts would have on those communities.

Next up, on April 17th, there will be a rally at City Hall in which all participating organizations of Campaign for Children, students, parents and advocates will gather from all around the New York City to have their voices heard by city officials. Visit our Take Action page learn more on what you can do and to get more information.