Last Tuesday’s CHCA meeting included a visit from Kicy Motley, Brooklyn Borough Director at Mayor DeBlasio’s office. Ms. Motley discussed DeBlasio’s highly publicized Universal Pre-K (UPK) program, which proposes full-day pre-school for more than 73,000 children in NYC. Think of it as the “5, 5, 5” plan: a 0.5% tax increase over 5 years on people earning over $500,000 a year would yield over $500 million in revenue to fund universal pre-K.
While it’s hard to avoid news or press regarding DeBlasio’s UPK plan, many people may not be aware that the plan includes a second important component: an after-school program for 120,000 NYC middle-schoolers. Having nothing to do after school can spell all kinds of trouble for kids, especially in the “tween” years. Giving middle-schoolers a place to go between 3PM and 6PM—with interesting academic, cultural and athletic activities—will keep them busy, engaged and off the streets.
Ms. Motley urges us to thank our state legislators for supporting NYC’s plan to fund UPK and expanded after-school programs. Call 866-591-9971 for the legislative hotline. Enter your zip code and you’ll be automatically connected to your legislator. Or visit www.upknyc.org for more info.
Written by Ayelet Prizant