Tag Archives: Boys and Girls Club of Metro Queens

Boys and Girls Club of Metro Queens rallies to restore funding


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angela Matua

Chants of “show us the money” reverberated throughout the gymnasium of the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Queens on Wednesday, as parents, children and staff called for more funding for after-school programs.

The Richmond Hill-based nonprofit organization, which offers free after-school tutoring, homework assistance and athletic and arts programs, serves children from 6 to 18. But the elementary school programs, which serve 200 students, have lost their funding.

The City Council cut $420,000 from after-school programs for the next fiscal year and if it is not restored, club Associate Executive Director David Kupecky said, parents will have to choose between putting food on the table and providing their children with a safe space to attend after school.

“The mayor’s initiative this year is ‘after school for all,'” Kupecky said. “He’s talking about middle school, he’s talking about pre-K and I think that right now, elementary school is being forgotten.”

A City Council representative said no cuts have been made but the club lost an RFP proposal through the Comprehensive After School System of New York City (COMPASS). The representative also said that they are looking to provide funding for the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Queens and other programs that have been affected by budget shortfalls.

The Boys and Girls Club will have to charge parents $300 per month for the 36-week after-school program and $800 for the seven-week summer program if the funding is not restored in the final budget.

Marcus Gonzalez, a 20-year-old Jamaica resident who works at the Boys and Girls Club and has been attending the programs since he was 5, said that the mentors he met helped him when he struggled through high school and eventually pushed him to strive for more. He will be graduating from LaGuardia Community College in 2016 with an associate degree in early childhood education.

THE COURIER/Photos by Angela Matua

“If it wasn’t for the free-of-charge summer and after-school programs here where I grew up, who knows where I would be,” Gonzalez said.

Chrissy Mercado, a Richmond Hill resident whose three children attend the Boys and Girls Club after school, said she is worried about the impact these cuts will have on working families.

“These cuts will hurt parents who do not have family in the area to assist with child care,” Mercado said. “If this funding for our programs are cut this will force parents to make potentially dangerous decisions of leaving their children with after-school providers who may not be licensed, a terrifying thought.”

Shawna Richardson, who was a Richmond Hill and Far Rockaway resident but now lives in Brooklyn said she commutes to Queens every day so that her 12-year-old daughter can experience the same services that her 21-year-old son did when they lived in Queens.

“There are so many initiatives that the city is trying to embark on to improve the academic and social well-being of our children, our community, of our city as a whole,” Richardson said. “My children, our children are examples of the success and benefits that this club has already provided. So my theory is, why fix something that’s not broken?”

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Queens Courier toy drive to help local Boys and Girls Club


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Boys and Girls Club of Metro Queens

Help bring joy to the youngest members of the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Queens this holiday season.

Once again, The Queens Courier will be collecting toys for its annual holiday gift drive. The Boys and Girls Club of Metro Queens is asking for donations of new toys for 83 girls and 83 boys between the ages of 5 and 10. The Courier will wrap and deliver the toys.

legocity girl

The organization’s elementary school program introduces children to a range of topics such as robotics, astronomy, video game development, visual arts and sport activities. They emphasize STEM enrichment and provide homework assistance and tutoring for young people. Also, cultural understanding is highlighted as children are led to explore various cultures through food, music and dance.

kds basketball 5 x 7

Donations can be dropped off at The Courier’s office, located at 38-15 Bell Blvd., or at Flushing Bank branches at 144-51 Northern Blvd., Flushing; 159-18 Northern Blvd., Flushing; 44-43 Kissena Blvd., Flushing; 136-41 Roosevelt Ave., Flushing; 188-08 Hollis Court, Auburndale; 61-54 Springfield Blvd., Bayside; 42-11 Bell Blvd., Bayside; 31-16 30th Ave., Astoria; and 107-11 Continental Ave., Forest Hills. Visit www.flushingbank.com for individual branch hours. Toys are also being accepted at Christie Salon & Co., in The Bay Terrace Shopping Center, 23-64 Bell Blvd., where anyone who drops off a toy will receive 15 percent off any nail service and all retail products.

Visit www.metroqueens.org for more information on the Boys and Girls Club.

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Boys & Girls Club dedicates center to Helen Marshall


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Katelyn Di Salvo

KATELYN DI SALVO

Helen Marshall’s 12 years as borough president were topped off on Friday when the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Queens dedicated a new learning center in her honor.

A ceremony was held to show off the Helen M. Marshall Learning Center, and attendees took a hard hat tour of the progress in the newly constructed clubhouse.

Boys & Girls Club Chairman-Emeritus Joseph Ferrara presented Marshall with a plaque that will hang in the new learning center. This is in recognition for all of Marshall’s support in the expansion of the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Queens, including donating $4.75 million to the capital campaign.

At the ceremony, Marshall reminisced over her times in the Bronx House as a child, and believes that investing in The Boys & Girls Club of Metro Queens is necessary for the children of the community.

“My experience in the Bronx House taught me to get along with others, and taught me wonderful things about life and happiness,” she said.

Carol Simon, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Queens, is excited about the new expansion, saying that they will be able to reach out to many more kids in the community.

The new learning center will include educational programs like homework help, tutoring, and the new iReady literacy and math programs.

“Basically, we’re enhancing the educational experience for young people,” Simon said. “We can’t just be a local gym and swim organization anymore, we need to work with the local schools and make sure our kids are doing better.”

 

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