City provides last-minute funds for I.S. 89 after school

In danger of shutting down its after school program at I.S. 89 due to not being funded for this coming school year, Manhattan Youth can let out a big sigh of relief. Earlier this week the organization received word that it will be given a grant, which will subsidize the after school program for the next three years.

This year the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development released a $60 million request for proposal for after school programs. For the past three and a half years, Manhattan Youth’s after school program had been funded by The After School Corporation. However, once youth services announced its R.F.P., the non-profit corporation no longer had to fully support after school programs and all of these programs were now applying for the same pot of money.

Manhattan Youth did not think it had much of a chance for its proposal to be approved because the R.F.P. targeted at risk zip codes in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Harlem.

“I was very nervous and really, honestly, pretty sad and depressed that all the hard work was going to end,” said Theseus Roche, program director at Manhattan Youth.

Despite its Tribeca location, Manhattan Youth will receive $65,520 during its first year from youth services, $50,000 from T.A.S.C., and is planning to raise between $20,000-30,000 in donations. In Sept. 2006 the amount from the city will increase to $117,000 in order to fit the $195,000 budget Manhattan Youth had written into its original proposal. However, because the proposal was approved as if the after school program would be in its first year of development this Sept., with fewer kids and programs than it has currently, the coming school year will be somewhat of a struggle in budgeting since it will not be receiving as much money as it needs, Roche said.

Although the money may be tight this year, the Manhattan Youth is grateful for the quick decision the city made, beating its deadline of July 1st.

“Its very responsible of them. They clearly worked hard to put this together and we’re thrilled,” Roche said.

The grant will also move Manhattan Youth closer to its goal of expanding to a 30,000 sq. ft. community center at the Site 5C lot in Jan. 2007.

— Lauren Dzura

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