FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 12, 2006
NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
CELEBRATES ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF
OUT-OF-SCHOOL TIME INITIATIVE
America’s Largest Afterschool System Joins National “Lights On Afterschool” Campaign
Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development Dennis M. Walcott and Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner (DYCD) Jeanne B. Mullgrav today were joined by Barrett Foa, star of the Broadway show “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” at Boys and Girls Harbor in East Harlem to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Out of School Time (OST) initiative. OST is a three-year, $200 million initiative that features a mix of academic, recreational and cultural activities that are offered after school, during holidays and in the summer. The event also celebrated Lights On Afterschool, a national public awareness initiative aimed at promoting the importance of quality after school programs that support children’s growth and learning. Today’s one-year anniversary celebration included musical performances by students from Boys and Girls Harbor and Mr. Foa. Deputy Mayor Walcott and Commissioner Mullgrav were also joined by Katherine Flack, Director of the Junior Education Program at Boys and Girls Harbor.
"Youth learning and development happens both in and out of the classroom," said Deputy Mayor Walcott. "OST programs keep young people active and engaged in a way that complements the education they receive during the day and helps build character and nurture creativity. After school programs are critical to ensuring that our youth have as many opportunities as possible to succeed and grow - in and out of school and later on in life as adults.”
“In its first year, OST has exceeded expectations. I am thrilled to report that our commitment to reform, growth, and accountability has benefited young people in 139 unique zip codes,” said Commissioner Mullgrav. “As we continue to expand the system, our focus will remain on meeting the unique needs of every community, especially those that have traditionally been underserved.”
OST consists of more than 550 programs, all of which are offered to students at no cost. The programs are operated by approximately 200 community organizations that are located in schools, community centers, settlement houses, religious centers, cultural organizations, libraries, public housing and parks facilities. More than 65,000 elementary, middle and high school students will participate in OST this year, making it the nation’s largest municipally funded out-of-school initiative.
Boys and Girls Harbor also participates in the Cultural After School Adventures Initiative. This groundbreaking partnership between DYCD, the Department of Cultural Affairs, and the New York City Council provides crucial support to nonprofit cultural organizations committed to incorporating art into the lives of our young people. In Fiscal Year 2006, contracts were awarded to 101 organizations.
The commemoration of OST’s anniversary coincided with Lights On Afterschool, a nationwide celebration launched in 2000 that calls attention to the importance of after school programs to America’s children, families and communities. The campaign is a project of the Afterschool Alliance, a non profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all children have access to quality, affordable after school programs by 2010. As part of the day’s anniversary celebrations, OST programs throughout the five boroughs hosted Lights On Afterschool events.
New Yorkers can find out more about OST and other youth programs in their neighborhood at www.nyc.gov/dycd, or by calling the City’s 311 information line.
Contacts: Ryan Dodge 212.442.5979