2007-06-08 / Community

DYCD Hosts Youth Town Meeting

On Thursday, May 31,, the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development hosted a Youth Town Hall meeting at the Goldie Maple Academy in Arverne. Thirteen youth speakers between the ages of 10 and 18 delivered powerful testimony about their experiences.

The purpose of the meeting was to provide Rockaway youth who are participating in the Out-of-School Time (OST) program with an opportunity to discuss their lives and develop ideas for improving life on the Peninsula.

After the young people made their presentations, a number of concerned adults - including Felix Martinez from the Queens District Attorney's Office; PS/MS 43 Parent-Teacher Association President John Mathews, Jr.; and MS 333 Parent Coordinator Keisha Guilford - pledged to assist local young people and community-based organizations in their efforts to make the Rockaways an even better place to grow up.

Youth also received information on initiatives such as OST, which currently serves approximately 1,500 Rockaway youth in 12 programs located throughout the Peninsula. The current Rockaway OST programs are operated by the New York Junior Tennis League; Federation Employment Guidance Services (FEGS); Safe Space; Bnos Bias Yaakov; Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation; Madison Square Boys & Girls Club; National Hebrew Day Schools and Rockaway Artists Alliance, Inc. Activities include basketball, tennis, visual and performing arts, dance and educational activities.

Future meetings will be held to highlight the safety, recreational and educational resources available to the community. If you want to be a part of these meetings, please call OST Deputy Director Maria Alvarado at 212/676-0448.

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