Mayoral candidate and City Comptroller Scott Stringer is proposing the city make day camps and other recreational activities free this summer through federal stimulus money that’s expected to flow here in the coming weeks.
Stringer, who announced the proposal as part one of his “Summer in the City” plan Monday afternoon, is also calling for the city to expand its summer youth employment program and launch a volunteer Tutoring Corps to help kids who’ve struggled academically during the pandemic.
“This pandemic has taken a real toll on so many of our young people, especially those who didn’t have the tools for remote learning or easy access to green space,” Stringer said Monday. “We have a chance to bring fun back for our kids — but we need a plan to make it happen. To ensure a full recovery for our children and deliver some relief to working families, our city must mobilize the resources from President Biden’s American Rescue Act for a real comeback summer.”
Stringer is proposing the city amend already existing contracts with community-based groups to reverse proposed cuts to summer programs. He wants those groups, which boast staffs trained in trauma-informed care, to help get kids outdoors and provide them with the help many of them need after months of remote and blended, in-person learning.
He’s calling on Mayor de Blasio to re-open Parks Department recreation centers that were transformed into COVID testing and vaccination sites and use them as summer camps. Funding for that agency, which saw cutbacks due to COVID-induced revenue shortfalls, should be restored by Mayor de Blasio’s administration, he added.
He also called on the city to proactively approach city business leaders to create summer jobs and internships and added that the city should open up more of its summer job opportunities to CUNY students who’ll graduate soon.
The NYC Tutoring Corps proposal, which Stringer already floated as part of his education plan, would connect city school kids with college students and high school seniors for tutoring sessions, either in-person or online.
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