Children and families on Long Island were let down by the state budget's lack of funding for statewide after-school programs ["De Blasio: Pre-K 'issue is resolved,' " News, April 2]. The governor's proposed $160 million for these programs could have enrolled an additional 100,000 students and facilitated their engagement and achievement in a safe, cost-effective way. It is a disappointing loss to our community that this funding was not included.
After-school programs can have a major impact. They can expand children's experiences and introduce them to different things, allowing them to be more engaged and have more choices in life. We build creativity through drama, poetry and film; healthy habits through active games and sports; and character and citizenship through team-building and community service.
After-school programs are needed in addition to the regular school day because we supplement academic experiences and support school-day learning. Many students and families on Long Island still need of high-quality, affordable programs after school, and were counting on the state to make a significant investment next year.
Wayne K. Redman, Hempstead
Editor's note: The writer is the executive director of the Hempstead Boys & Girls Club.