Syracuse, NY – On Friday, Senator Rachel May (SD-53) held a roundtable listening session at the Southwest Community Center on after school programs offered in the district. The panel consisted of leaders and administrators of local after school programs:
Deka Dencil, Boys and Girls Club
Phil Memmer, YMCA
Toni Brauchle, Cicero Canteen Center
Josiah R. Williams, Southwest Community Center
Youlanda Seegers, Peaceful Schools
Ahmeed Turner, Say Yes to Education
The conversation covered many topics, including success stories, funding challenges, the need for better collaboration between after school providers, and the need for a wider range of services in after school programs such as mental health services. Providers highlighted the need for more consistent funding from the state and advocated for a less restrictive method of dispensing funds to providers. Parents and providers both discussed how vital these programs are for our youth and the direct impact they have on a student’s health and well-being, such as providing a safe space to be in the evening, free hygiene products, access to food banks and clothing closets, as well as assistance signing up for food stamps and Medicaid.
Senator May plans to hold more roundtable discussions on topics of interest to the public.