”If You Don’t Ask You Don’t Get” .. To Teen Program Activists RE Funds
A Bronx neighborhood has done an end run around a city agency to get an after-school program for its teens, after years without one.
John Fratta, district manager for Community Board 11, has been complaining for months about the lack of after-school programs for local teens.
But the Department of Youth and Community Development responded that since no one in the district had applied for funding when they should have years ago, local kids were out of luck.
So Fratta, politicians and community leaders got creative.
The Mosholu Montefiore Community Center went grant hunting and secured $100,000 from the Boys and Girls Club, hopefully to be matched by the city Housing Authority for a program in the Eastchester Gardens Community Room this year.
“I know deep in my heart you are not going to get the bad kids off the street no matter how you try,” Fratta said.
“But we’re going to get those marginal kids that might become bad kids if they don’t have something to do.”
He said several other teen programs outside of the city youth agency are in the works, including one at an unused gym at Jacobi Medical Center that might become a community center.
Leaders are looking for funding for a Police Athletic League program.