Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Let's Hear It For the Parents!

Monday's CYITC Budget Hearing was a long one, but the youth advocates showed up in force to support the "Trust" and the vital programs it supports on behalf of children and youth in the District. This following post is a copy of testimony given by Linay Foreman, a parent of participants at Kid Power DC, one of the after-school programs that CYITC funding helps keep its doors open.

Good afternoon.  My name is Linay Foreman.  Before I begin, I would like to thank Committee Chairman Graham, and all others in attendance whose passion for the youth of the district brought them to this hearing.

Over the past 3 years, my two daughters and I have had the pleasure of working with Kid Power, Inc, one of the many afterschool programs funded by the TRUST that works tirelessly to provide valuable programming to the youth of DC.  My daughters have found a place where they can express themselves and not be afraid to show how intelligent they are.  My oldest daughter has been particularly involved in one of Kid Power’s programs known as CookieTime.  This program works to instill an entrepreneurial and giving spirit in the youth that it serves by allowing kids to not only perfect their skills in the kitchen, but also become benefactors to charities not just in DC, but worldwide.  Already a deeply caring individual, my daughter has found an outlet and a forum for developing her natural abilities.  She has a network of friends in this program that she knows have her back and nurture her creativity.

As a parent, Kid Power has provided me the peace of mind to know that when school is over, my children have a safe place to do their homework and do something positive for the community.  Over the years, they’ve come home with stories of gardening and yoga, participated in organic gardening markets, and gone on numerous fieldtrips focused on broadening their horizons.  Is Kid Power a safety net for my youth so that I can be sure they are surrounded in positivity after school?  Absolutely.  However, the programs that my daughters have participated in have been far more than a safety net.

In a few years, my daughters will be either in college, or in the case of my youngest, well on her way.  I realize that this proposed budget cut will not have the effect on my daughters that it will on the youngest youth in DC.  However, as a parent and a responsible member of society and of the District of Columbia, I ask you to please look elsewhere for sources of funding before considering cutting funding from the TRUST. Our children are our strength.  PLEASE, preserve funding that builds on this universal truth.

Thank you.

Linay Foreman
Kid Power Parent

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