Funding Supports the Creation of 150 Slots Through the Empire State After-School Program
Part of $35 Million Investment to Support High-Need School Districts Statewide
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced nearly $240,000 in Empire State After-School Program funding has been awarded to Friendship Central School District to create 150 after school slots. First announced in January as part of the Governor's 2017 State of the State, a total of $35 million in funding has been enacted in the FY 2018 Budget to provide districts across the state with these five-year grants.
"An investment in our children is an investment in the future of this great state," Governor Cuomo said. "These after-school programs will help ensure young New Yorkers in high-need school districts receive the guidance they need to become the next generation of leaders, laying the foundation for a stronger New York for all."
The Friendship after school program will target grandparents raising children and provide them with resources and support, and will heavily involve parents in program direction, activities, and determining special interest clubs for children. The program will also include a four-week summer program with STEM activities, field trips, college exploration trips, swimming and other recreational activities.
Research has shown that after-school programs are associated with lower school drop-out rates and a reduction in juvenile crime. School districts receiving funding are in communities with high rates of child poverty and many are in communities designated under the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative. Additional research has shown that children enrolled in high-quality after-school programs have better peer relations, emotional adjustment, conflict-resolution skills, and overall conduct in school, as well as higher scores on standardized tests in math, reading, and language arts. Quality after-school programs have also been found to have a $3 return on investment for every dollar spent.
Friendship Central School District:
Schools and Community Partners Receiving Funding:
- Friendship Central School/ASP Discovery Junction
- Literacy Western New York
The Governor first announced the availability of funds in May, which will support the creation or expansion of after-school programs in high-need school districts statewide. Administered by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, the Friendship Central School District will receive annual installments for the five-year grant period.
The Empire State After-School Program funding builds on Governor Cuomo's continued commitment to advance education across the state. This year alone, funding for education increased 4.1 percent in Western New York, delivering $2.3 billion to schools throughout the region. These investments have led to a growth in graduation rates across New York, including a 62 percent graduation rate in Western New York in 2017, up from 53 percent in 2014.
Funding for New York's Community Schools initiative also received an increase in funding this year, with an additional $50 million to support children and families across the state, and increased access to services including health care, elder care, nutrition education, job training and counseling.
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said, "After school programs are absolutely crucial for families with working parents. By providing kids with the support they need after the bell rings, New York State is ensuring a solid foundation for all of our children. I am proud to be part of an administration that continuously puts the interests of New York's families first."
State Office of Children and Family Services Acting Commissioner Sheila J. Poole said, "This funding will provide thousands more children in our state with a safe, supported and nurturing place to go after school, which gives parents peace of mind while providing students with an environment that will contribute to their academic and social success."
New York State Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa said, "A child's development doesn't stop when the school bell rings at the end of the day, and neither should our support of that learning. After-school programs, like those funded by these grants, are a critical piece of the effort to provide equitable learning to all of our children and offer families additional support they need to make sure students are prepared for successful futures."
State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said, "The research is clear. Strong afterschool programs provide a wide range of benefits for children, families and their communities. These programs can enhance academic performance, improve classroom behavior, reduce unhealthy and risky behaviors, encourage physical activity and good dietary habits, and provide a safe and supportive environment for the children of working parents. I applaud the Governor and the legislature for making these benefits available to so many children and families across the State."
Senator Carl L. Marcellino, Chair of the New York State Senate Education Committee, said, "We have seen time and time again the positive impact after school programs have on our students. By providing increased opportunities for learning in a safe environment, children our given the choice of pursuing constructive progress instead of destructive mistakes. Anytime we have the resources to add significant seats to these programs, we must. I commend Governor Cuomo for his dedication to these efforts and look forward to doing even more next year."
Assemblymember Cathy Nolan, Chair of the Assembly Education Committee, said, "I am very excited about the progress that we are making for students across our state. Educators, parents and stakeholders all agree that the hours immediately following the end of the school day are among the most difficult for working families who struggle to access resources for their children. This funding will not only provide peace of mind, it will ensure that there are safe and rewarding options within reach of the students and families who need it most. I want to thank our partners in government and all of the hardworking educators and advocates for their tireless efforts to promote success for New York's students."
Dr. Judy May, Friendship Superintendent, said, "This funding is critical to the development of our youngest New Yorkers and I am grateful that Governor Cuomo remains committed to supporting our children and the future generations of Friendship. By expanding these programs and bridging the gap for working families who may not be able to take care of their children after school, New York is establishing stronger, safer communities and a well-rounded workforce for the 21st century economy."
About the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative
The New York State Empire Poverty Reduction Initiative includes the cities with the highest concentration of poverty: Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Elmira, Jamestown, Oneonta, Oswego, Syracuse, Utica and Troy. ESPRI focuses on using existing resources more effectively and purposefully to end poverty, strengthen relationships between the business, public and nonprofit sectors in each community, and ensure greater coordination between state and local government to expand economic opportunity for all New Yorkers.