Korean Parents Protest Funding Cuts to After-School Programs
Proposed city cuts that would eliminate nearly 200 after-school programs have angered parents citywide, as we have noted. In the Korean community, several programs for low-income children are on the chopping block, News Kann reported in the excerpt translated below.
The Korean American Family Service Center has operated a program called the Hodori after-school program since 2005, funded by the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development with about $170,000 annually, but from last year gradually the funding was decreased to $150,000.
Jungsook Grace Yoon, the executive director of KAFSC said, “for 15 years, we have run a free after-school program for low-income families called the Hodori After-school Program, but when the budget is cut off, we cannot help but shut down.”
The Hodori after-school program offers sessions such as helping students do homework and etiquette lessons from 3 to 6 p.m. from Monday to Friday at Junior High School 189 Daniel Carter Beard in Flushing.
Currently, 66 elementary students are attending the class free of charge.
Another organization, the YWCA of Queens, which offers career training and preparation for the GED test for those who drop out of high school, is also in trouble and may shut down, because the organization did not receive financial aid from DYCD from July of last year. Originally they got an annual payment of $300,000 from DYCD.
Meanwhile, other associations such as the Korean-American Association of Greater New York, the Korean-American Association of Queens and Korean Community Services of New York held a rally protesting the budget on May 8.
At the rally, Parents and organizers demanded continued financial support from DYCD, Korea Times reported.
At the rally, Mi-Ok Moon, the president of parent association in Hodori program, blamed the city’s policy, saying that “most of the immigrant families are a low-income group, and both parents work. Without after-school programs the parents will have to quit their jobs to take care of their kids.”
Another parent demanded the financial aid for immigrant families, saying “immigrant parents usually have limited English proficiency, so we cannot support our kids to help them study well.”