How important are after-school programs? According to, very important as they can help students build confidence, offer a safe place for children between school hours and when their parents are home from work, and also help students academically.

Think about it, the students can get studying done, maybe work ahead, or just get caught up in school work. Most after-school programs are run by either school districts or non-profit organizations, and they all have a structured, safe environment. Some even offer nutritional choices for the students.

Knowing all of this and also knowing that some struggling school districts can't afford to run programs like this, makes Governor Cuomo's announcement today all the more promising. $35 million in funding will be made available for high-need school districts throughout the state, with seven of them located within the Mid-Hudson Valley.

These districts are East Ramapo School District, Fallsburg Central School District, Kiryas Joel Village Union Free School District, Monticello Central School District, Newburgh City School District, Poughkeepsie City School District, and Yonkers City School District.

All districts eligible for the program could receive grants for $1,600 per student for five years. There are, of course, specific goals which would need to be measured in order to continue to receive the funding, but it's a great start.

For more information, or to request a proposal, click here.

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