November 16, 2017
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces $2.5 Million Awarded to Expand After-School Programs in Western New York

Governor Cuomo Announces $2.5 Million Awarded to Expand After-School Programs in Western New York

Funding Supports the Creation of 1,609 New Slots Through the Empire State After-School Program - An Increase of 50 Percent

Part of $35 Million Investment to Support High-Need School Districts Statewide

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $2.5 million in Empire State After-School Program funding has been awarded to four high-need school districts in Western New York. This funding will support the addition of 1,609 new slots, bringing the total number to 4,844 - a 50 percent increase over last year. 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 2017-2018 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 state," Governor Cuomo said. "These after-school programs will help ensure young New Yorkers in high-need school districts receive the guidance they need, while helping bring positive change to these communities and laying the foundation for a stronger New York for all."

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.

The following districts have been awarded funding in Western New York:

School District

Children Served

Funding Amount

Buffalo City School District



Dunkirk City School District



Friendship Central School District



Niagara Falls City School District






Buffalo City School District:

Schools and Community Partners Receiving Funding:

  • Hillery Park Academy #27
  • Bilingual Center #33
  • North Park Academy #66
  • Houghton Academy #69
  • Lorraine Elementary School #72
  • Hamlin Park Elementary School #74
  • Dr. Lydia T. Wright School of Excellence #89
  • Waterfront School #95
  • Child & Adolescent Treatment Services
  • Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Services Center of WNY
  • The Belle Center

Dunkirk City School District:

Schools and Community Partners Receiving Funding:

  • School 3
  • School 4
  • School 5
  • School 7
  • Dunkirk Middle
  • Jamestown Community College
  • Boys & Girls Club
  • Erie 2 BOCES
  • Chautauqua Opportunities
  • Buffalo Zoo
  • Botanical Gardens
  • SUNY Fredonia

Friendship Central School District:

Schools and Community Partners Receiving Funding:

  • Friendship Central School/ASP Discovery Junction
  • Community
  • Literacy Western New York

Niagara Falls City School District:

Schools and Community Partners Receiving Funding:

  • Cataract
  • 79th Street
  • G.J. Mann
  • Maple Avenue
  • Boys & Girls Club of Niagara Falls
  • Community Mission
  • Niagara University
  • Youth Services, Inc.
  • Parent Network of Western New York

"An investment in our children is an investment in the future of this state."

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

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 four Western New York school districts 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.

Governor Cuomo Makes an Announcement at Hamlin Park Claude & Ouida Clapp Academy

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," Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. "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. Kriner Cash, Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent, said, "I applaud Governor Cuomo for investing in after school programming in the Buffalo Public Schools. This critical funding will provide much needed support to help all students pursue their dreams. From pre-K to college, we are fortunate to have a governor who appreciates the critical role of high quality public education for the long-term growth of the Buffalo and WNY economy."

Mark Laurrie, Niagara Falls Superintendent, said, "Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York has made unprecedented improvements to our state's education system, yet there still seemed to be students who fell through the cracks. With this funding, after school programs will receive the boost they need to meets the unique needs of the students in our district, helping to ensure the future success of youngsters across the state."

Dr. James Tracy, Dunkirk Superintendent, said, "Our students pass through school halls each day and it is our duty to ensure they are receiving the best education possible to ensure their success. Thanks to Governor Cuomo, our school district now has access to critical resources to keep every student's momentum going strong through after school programs designed to meet the needs of each school. I look forward to witnessing the continued growth and success of every student in our community."

Dr. Judy May, Friendship Superintendent, said, "We are very pleased to be a recipient of the Governor's After-school grant. This investment will open doors for many students at Friendship Central School."

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.

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