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New York City’s Largest Afterschool & Summer Camp Provider Calls on City Council to Resist Cuts to Essential Programs

New York Edge Offers Alternatives to Traditional Summer Camp to Help Parents and Caregivers Return to Work 

In a letter to New York City Council members, New York Edge – the City’s largest provider of afterschool and summer programming – is urging the Council to resist funding cuts to summer programs proposed by Mayor Bill de Blasio. The organization also provided alternatives to traditional summer camps that would ensure students have access to enriching programs that will prepare them for the next school year, while helping caregivers as they prepare to return to work. 

We stand ready to serve our students and families this summer, and we need the continued support and funding of the City to make programs available this year in accordance with public health and safety rules.”

Rachael Gazdick, CEO of New York Edge

“After this extended period of virtual learning and social distancing, our city’s youth need and deserve enjoyable summer programming. And as we begin to reopen our economy, parents and caregivers will need safe, educational programs for their children,” said Rachael Gazdick, CEO of New York Edge, in the letter. “We stand ready to serve our students and families this summer, and we need the continued support and funding of the City to make programs available this year in accordance with public health and safety rules.”

Following school closures in March, the organization successfully moved its afterschool academic, arts, health and wellness, and college readiness programs online, and is positioned to provide virtual summer enrichment that promotes collaboration and empowerment while reinforcing academic progress.

New York Edge has been formulating a trauma-informed approach to summer camp that can be delivered online, or – if it becomes possible – in person with additional measures to support social distancing. The letter outlines the organization’s plans if it is possible for the public to gather in July or August, proposing running summer camps at the New York City schools that provide grab-and-go meals. New York Edge would create camps of 50 children and divide them into groups of five with one adult to each group, and would adhere to physical distancing by providing each child with their own individual learning pack.

“We completely grasp the financial challenges our city is facing today, but our economy simply will not be able to reopen if parents and caregivers do not have the peace of mind knowing their children are being taken care of. With the closures of New York City public pools, beaches and playgrounds, for tens of thousands of working families across the city, afterschool and summer camp programs would be the only options they have for their children,” added Gazdick. “This funding will not only serve our youth and their parents, it will also preserve the infrastructure of important nonprofit organizations like ours, which will be needed more than ever this fall.”

For more than 25 years, New York Edge has addressed the needs and goals of under-resourced schools through customized, curriculum-based afterschool programming. Today, the nonprofit provides more than 40,000 students in grades K-12 with rigorous, innovative programs designed to give them the edge needed to succeed.

About New York Edge

New York Edge, formerly known as the Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation (SASF), is a non-profit organization and the largest provider of afterschool programs in all five boroughs of New York City and the metropolitan region. With more than 40,000 students from over 300 programs in grades K-12, the organization provides under-resourced students with year-round programs to give them the edge needed to succeed. newyorkedge.org