Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
On October 30th, DCAYA organized 100 young people, parents, concerned residents and youth advocates from across the city to rally on the steps of the Wilson Building on Tuesday. The purpose of the rally was to urge Mayor Adrian Fenty to invest $6 million of the city’s $100 million surplus to preserve summer youth programs in 2008.
Without additional funds, dozens of summer programs that help thousands of youth build skills, increase academic achievement and develop healthy behaviors will be eliminated or dramatically cut. Since 2006, funding from the city to the DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation’s summer programming has been cut by more than half, from $6 million in FY 2006 to $2.5 million in FY 2008, leaving summer programs in real danger.
Each year, the city awards funds to the DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation, which then makes grants to community-based organizations (CBOs) that operate summer arts, academic enrichment and recreational programs throughout the city. In 2007, CYITC made grants to more than 100 organizations, reaching more than 10,000 children and youth.
These programs help young people fight the learning loss that occurs during the summer months and, by keeping youth active and providing healthy meals, the programs also help to take on obesity. In 2006, for example, 29,000 children ate nutritional breakfast and lunch through the CYITC-backed programs.
These programs work to actively engage young people in learning, with interesting activities offered such as playwriting workshops, a NASA astronomy program, and field trips to the Frederick Douglass National Historical Site and the National Museum of History. Of course, the programs are careful to balance the fun factor as well, taking participants to Nationals games and on nature excursions.