Gov. Andrew Cuomo today announced $10.9 million in new grants for 68 Advantage After School Programs across the state, including $115,104 for our very own CAMBA – a nonprofit based at 1720 Church Avenue that helps tens of thousands of people across Brooklyn.
The governor noted that the programs awarded the grants help reduce the burden on parents and guardians who work in the evenings and have been proven to boost academic achievement, help children build relationships with peers, and increase school attendance.
By funding these after school programs, we are ensuring that children in communities across the state have access to learning opportunities and cultural exposure that will further their development for years to come. Our administration is focused on providing exceptional learning environments to students, from pre-K through college, and supporting exercises that are proven to enhance their learning experience is the right thing to do. After school programs play a major role in enriching the lives of children, and this funding to Advantage After School Programs is a wise investment for New York’s future.
CAMBA’s after-school programs offer a wide variety of activities, including dinner, homework help, cultural and enrichment activities, arts, recreation, conflict resolution, clubs, athletics, and more.
The goal of our programs is to engage youth in learning activities that build upon, but are different from, school-day studies. A mentor-teacher from the school day staff provides continuity between after-school and school-day learning. Student programming is also built on the principle of choice. We develop an array of clubs to allow students to choose those activities that best match their areas of interest. We also engage parents through family nights, club showcases, and referrals to other needed services.
CAMBA was one of six Brooklyn groups to be awarded money from the governor’s office, with the others being Good Shepherd Services, NIA Community Services Network, SCO Family of Services, St. Nick’s Alliance Corporation, and the Salvation Army.
Cuomo stressed that the after school programs that landed the grants have helped “provide New York’s children with educational, interesting and fun activities to fill the vital three-hour gap directly after school.
“A growing body of research shows that children who participate in quality after school programs have higher school attendance and academic achievement, and are less likely to be involved in risky behaviors after school,” Cuomo’s release goes on to say. “Additionally, studies have found that children who attend quality after school programs have better relationships with their peers, fewer behavioral and emotional problems, better grades and fewer absences from school than their peers who are unsupervised after school.”
In addition to its after school program, CAMBA also works with hundreds of young people in the city’s summer youth employment program. Earlier this month, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Councilman Mathieu Eugene, and numerous community advocates kicked off the first day of the expanded summer youth employment program, which aims to make a dent in unemployment and bring much-needed services to communities across the city.