NYC Cuts All Adult and Family Literacy Programs, RALLY TOMORROW

01.06.2011 § 1 Comment

The NYCAL Rally is Thursday, June 2nd
11:00-12:30 pm at City Hall

Bring banners and signs if you can, and remember that there will be undocumented immigrants and children participating in the rally, and that we are trying to foreground the participation of these communities and ensure their safety and comfort.
                      The City of New York made the decision to eliminate all Family Literacy programs funded by the Department of Youth and Community Services. This decision came suddenly, and although the final budget will not be ratified until June 30th, the city seems determined to end all funding to family literacy. This will affect not only my program, but all of the 20-odd programs that rely on the DYCD for their funding around the city. An example is Family Literacy program at PS 92 in EastElmhurst, Queens. The program provides English-language instruction to immigrant parents, arts and literacy instruction to their elementary-aged children, and whole-family arts and literacy instruction, as well as art therapy, educational case management, and other supplemental services.
                  This comes as a huge blow to the families who have come to rely on these programs. Considering that most of our participants are undocumented women of color and children, it seems like this decision is more of an act of political expediency on the city’s part rather than well-considered budget policy. As is the case with budget cuts and austerity measures occurring worldwide, the city seems to be targeting the populations that are already the most marginalized, and that are perceived as being the least likely to resist. This is also not just about one program. Important services are being cut everywhere. Adult literacy and homework help programs are being eliminated at the library immediately around the corner from the school that is losing the PS 92 program. Taken together, these cuts constitute an assault on working-class and immigrant families, as well as the mostly young, non-unionized educational and social service workers who staff these programs.
               Family Literacy programs in the city are holding a rally with the New York Coalition for Adult Literacy to resist cuts to Family Literacy, ESOL, GED and Adult Basic Literacy programs across the city. This rally is important not only in order to attempt to reverse these decisions before the budget is ratified, but to support program participants in claiming political power in the face of callous political decisions that assume the complacency of workers, students, immigrants, and women of color.

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