Principal Mandana Beckman, PTA President Erin Olavesen, members of the school staff and administration welcomed Council member Ben Kallos, Assembly member Rebecca Seawright, Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation's President Susan Rosenthal and a representative from Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney's office to celebrate The Child Center of NY's first day as Roosevelt Island's new Beacon provider.
Kallos thanked principal Beckman for being "an incredible role model," and for "making sure you got as many resources as you could for the kids here on Roosevelt Island."
"This is a very special day and I'm honored to be here," said Seawright. "As a member of the Assembly's Education committee, and a mother of two children who attended public school on the Upper East Side, I know how important it is to have after school programming."
The City's Beacon programs, which are run by the Department of Youth and Community Development, provide free afterschool services as well as community enrichment programs. The Child Center of NY was awarded the contract for the Roosevelt Island Beacon program in August. Some have protested the fact that the program's previous provider, the Roosevelt Island Youth Program, which operated the Island's Beacon for more than two decades, was prevented from applying for the contract this year when the school's principal refused to sign a partnership agreement with the group.
The Child Center of NY vice president of youth development, Nicholas Ferreira, described the community's welcome as "spirited."
"I know the Island is ready for some great services for kids – some fun, engaging, safe services – and that's why we're here," he told the crowd.
The Child Center of NY Vice President of Youth Development Nicholas Ferreira, and Senior Vice President, External Affairs and Community Engagement Deep Gosh are pictured on the far left, and right respectively. The group is standing in front of the school's new mural, painted this summer by PS/IS 217's art teacher Ms. Follansbee.
A mix of first graders and fourth graders joined Council member Ben Kallos and Assembly member Rebecca Seawright at the celebration.