State Senator Tony Avella (D-Bayside), Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein (D-Bayside), Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D,WF-Fresh Meadows), City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Chelsea), and Council Member Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) commended the New York City Council for restoring funding to M.S. 158’s Beacon program in Bayside. Residents, community leaders, and local officials advocated on behalf of the school and students earlier this year. The New York City Council announced last week a timely budget for the 2014 Fiscal Year, including full funding for the M.S. 158 Beacon program.
Senator Avella stated, “I am glad that I was able to work with my colleagues and the community to save this much needed program. Beacon Programs are an invaluable resource for students and parents. By providing after school and summer school activities, Beacon Programs give hardworking parents, many of whom have no other options, the ability to keep their children in a safe, educational, and dependable environment. I am pleased that the City Council, at the urging of the entire community, was able to restore funding to this vital program.”
“I was proud to work with Assemblywoman Nily Rozic and Senator Tony Avella to ensure that funds were restored to the Beacon program at MS 158, which is the only Beacon serving Community Board 11. These cuts would have been detrimental to the safety and well-being of the children in my district,” said Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein. “I would like to thank City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Councilman Mark Weprin for their leadership in allocating funds to this vitally important program for the families of Northeast Queens.”
Assemblywoman Rozic said, “Our Beacon program provides vital academic services and extracurricular programming crucial to the working families of Eastern Queens. Along with local leaders and my colleagues in government, we fought to ensure that our community was not short-changed. Together we will work to continue these invaluable services that every family deserves and make sure that our student’s education is always a priority.”
“I am proud my Council colleagues and I were able to secure funding to preserve M.S. 158’s Beacon program,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “Our after-school programs are vital community resources, and now, Bayside’s children will be able to continue to utilize these valuable services. I thank Assemblyman Braunstein, Assemblywoman Rozic and Council Member Weprin for taking a strong stand on this issue.”
Council Member Mark Weprin stated, “This year, the City Council has once again saved the Beacon program at MS 158Q, an after school program that helps working parents by providing a place where students are safe and can engage in learning opportunities after the school day ends.”
Students who participate in the M.S. 158 Beacon program receive assistance with their
homework and participate in extracurricular activities. This year the City Council maintained funding for all 66 City-funded Beacon programs throughout the City. Seven Beacon programs were threatened with closure.