Press Releases

Congressman Don Young Leads Colleagues on Bipartisan Push to Protect Afterschool Programs Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

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Washington, March 23, 2020 | comments

Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young, Co-Chair of the House Afterschool Caucus, and Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI-01) led a bipartisan group of 48 House colleagues on a letter to House Leadership asking for an immediate increase of $500 million for 21st Century Community Learning Centers, which provide necessary relief to families affected by the growing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Countless families rely on afterschool programs to take care of Alaska’s young people, particularly through the nutritious snacks and meals they provide” said Congressman Young. “The COVID-19 outbreak is having devastating impacts on afterschool programs across the country, and it is critical that they receive the funding necessary to support children during this difficult time for our nation. As Co-Chair of the House Afterschool Caucus, I am calling on House Leadership to provide an additional $500 million to support the 21st Century Community Learning Centers. We must get it done for the sake of our children and our country’s future.”

Currently, more than 2 million children and families rely on 21st Century Community Learning Centers for afterschool and summer learning programming. With schools across the country closing, many students are unable to obtain services provided by out-of-school programs, including academic assistance, a safe place to be when their parents are working, and access to a hot meal or healthy snack.

“As Congress moves forward on a new recovery package to assist those affected by the coronavirus pandemic, we ask that you assist families affected by the closing of schools and afterschool programs,” the bipartisan group of members wrote. “Given the constraints placed on families, and youth serving organizations, we ask that you provide an additional $500 million for the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers program.”

A digital version of the letter can be accessed by clicking here.

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