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NYC defends chaotic launch of schoolchildren’s summer program

City Hall tried to downplay a chaotic start to New York City’s ambitious summer school program, The Post reported this week, as Mayor Eric Adams and senior officials launched an expanded Summer Rising on Friday.

“I feel great about the work that’s been done and how efficiently it’s going,” said School Chancellor David Banks of PS 188/The Island School in Alphabet City. “I was at a school not far from here yesterday and the program is just going so well and so smoothly.

“You know, we’re going to have stumbling blocks along the way. We have 110,000 students across New York who are part of this very large program,” added Banks — a record number of participants.

Earlier this week, administrators were kept in the dark about key components of Summer Rising until less than 48 hours before the program began for the season related to layoffs, digital curriculum and support for children with disabilities, The Post reported.

Reports circulated Tuesday morning about families being turned away from their assigned locations, missing work or needing last-minute childcare, and parents still fighting for spots on the coveted, academic and enriching program.

Mayor Eric Adams
Mayor Eric Adams speaks to the press about the Summer Rising program as PS/MS 188 Friday morning.
William Farrington for the NY Post
Mayor Adams talks to people
Families were reportedly turned away from their assigned sites.
William Farrington for the NY Post

Keith Howard, the new commissioner for the Department for Youth and Community Development, said one of the program’s 139 providers told him this week that “students have reported the best start to summer ever”.

To introduce the program, Adams said that over the summer, students fell back on academics and socializing, losing access to nutritious school meals and free childcare.

“I was glad the former mayor got through the first round of the Summer Rising program,” Hizzoner said of former mayor and current congressional candidate Bill de Blasio. “We’re taking that now and expanding it, and we’re going to keep improving it.”

A child gives a thumbs up
This kid gives everyone a thumbs up as the summer school program begins in New York City.
Michael Appleton/Mayor’s Photo Office
Student participating in Summer Rising program entering PS/MS 188
Students participating in the Summer Rising Program enter PS/MS 188.
William Farrington for the NY Post

The two youngest city bosses got into trouble last week over the latter’s signature universal pre-K program, which the mayor dubbed a “pet project.”

Adams also continued to use summer programs for youth to curb violence during the Big Apple’s hottest months.

“The noise of violence really deprived the room of oxygen,” the mayor said. “We’re going to deal with the violence issue — but while we’re doing that, we’re going to lay a real foundation for raising healthy children.”

Kids and family eat at PS 188 in Alphabet City.
Kids and family eat at PS 188 in Alphabet City.
Michael Appleton/Mayor’s Photo Office

Summer Rising is prioritizing children who most urgently need to be enrolled, including students in temporary housing or foster care or with disabilities, officials said.

“We consciously use our resources to go after the children who are often ignored and denied,” Adams said. “That is our mission – because the child who is ignored today is a child who will harm themselves or others in the future.”

https://nypost.com/2022/07/08/nyc-defends-chaotic-rollout-of-summer-program-for-school-kids/ NYC defends chaotic launch of schoolchildren’s summer program

JACLYN DIAZ

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