Protests over after-school program cuts

June 9, 2010 2:28:18 PM PDT
Local parents and educators are protesting, angry over budget cuts hitting education. Specifically they say after-school programs which help students, are on the chopping block.

This is the latest protest over budget cuts to programs that benefit children.

Those who run after school programs say losing them would be a huge blow for the students they serve.

"All studies show that quality after school programs help them learn, make them better citizens and makes sure that in the most dangerous hours, the hours of 3 to 6, the young people have a safe place to go," says Program Administrator Susan Stamler.

Cary Feliciano runs the after school program at School of the Future, where kids stand to lose everything from homework help, to martial arts, to basketball and drumming class, and the choir, which also does musical productions.

"The hours of 3 to 6, the most crimes committed by young people are committed between those hours," said Feliciano.

A lot of students don't want to see the program go away either. "Some of the stuff we do in rehearsal is not just rehearsal. We help each other with homework when we're not onstage, and when we're not doing art," said Kati Abdul.

School of the Future is one of 150 sites, across the five boroughs, with after school programs run by the not-for-profit called Out of School Time. Eyewitness News is told the loss of city funding would shut them all down.

"The kids are not thought of first. You know, it's not about them and that's should be about. The priority should be about the students and their needs," said Jackie Ince.