Hundreds Rally in the Bronx to Save After-School and Child Care Programs

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By: Keyla Espinal

On May 8th hundreds of children, advocates and Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) in the Bronx rallied on the steps of the Bronx Supreme Court on 161st Street and Grand Concourse to say NO to the Mayor’s budget cuts. The Campaign for Children and it’s supporting organizations, including The Children’s Aid Society, gathered students to show the importance of after-school and child care programs, especially in the Bronx. Representatives from the offices of Council Member Annabel Palma and Assembly Member Vanessa Gibson, both of whom represent sections of the Bronx, echoed the participants devastation and the importance of restoring these cuts.

Students had signs expressing the importance of their programs which also included other creative representation such as: songs and dance, t-shirts with symbolic pictures, and one group of students had Band-Aids on their faces to represent how “budget cuts hurt.” The Children’s Aid Society was well represented by students from CS 61 who chanted “save after-school" and "CAS is the best.”

This will be the fifth straight year the Mayor has cut child care and after-school programs, reducing services by two-thirds, which will leave 90,000 children without these essential programs come September. This year alone, the combined effects of the new cuts and changes to the early childhood and after-school systems will eliminate an additional 15,900 child care slots and slash after-school services for 31,800 children. These programs are proven to prepare children for school, support them while in school and help low-income, working parents keep their jobs. The Campaign for Children, as well as the other advocates and children at the rally, all vowed to continue to fight these cuts through June 30th, when the final City budget is due to be passed.

Please visit the Children's Aid Take Action Page to learn how you can tell Mayor Bloomberg and elected officials to put children first!