This year, the city had proposed to close the MS. 158 Beacon Program – a free after-school program that serves nearly 400 elementary and middle school children in the Queens community – to cut costs in the city budget.
Assemblymember David I. Weprin wrote a letter to Mayor Bloomberg denouncing the proposed closure of this and other Beacon programs throughout New York City.
“Beacon programs provide vital services for children and their families,” wrote Assemblymember Weprin, “Cuts to these programs will have detrimental effects on the children and families that rely on them for a safe and supportive place to go after school. As a parent in my district wrote to me “There is no option for me to leave work at regular dismissal to pick up my children and deliver them to another program…As a single mother, I rely on these city resources to provide a safe place for my children to go.”
The Beacon program at MS 158 provides students with homework help, computer lessons, as well as art, music, and dance activities. The program is hosts a program for High School students, an evening adult basketball league, and provides meeting space for a Girl Scout group and the Bayside Anglers Club.
Assemblyman David I. Weprin also joined parents, educators, students and community members outside MS 158 to demand that funds be restored to the MS 158 Beacon Program.