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Mayors from across upstate collaborate to improve afterschool, summer programs

Ashley Hirtzel

Mayor's and local leaders from across upstate New York came together for the first time for an afterschool and summer program summit in Buffalo Monday. The event allowed leaders to highlight best practices and explore the most effective ways in which cities can support, build, and sustain high-quality afterschool and summer programs.

Mayor Byron Brown hosted the event and was joined by the Mayor’s of Rochester, Albany and Yonkers. Brown says the city hopes to learn new ways to refine and improve programs and incorporate strategies that work across the state in order to improve academic achievement and graduation rates.

“We say it often that our youth are our future. I think what this summit is about is putting those words into action. I know that in all of our cities we have focused pretty aggressively on our youth and anything that we could do in partnership certainly will improve and enhance all of our collective efforts,” said Brown.

Mayor of Rochester Lovely Warren says she was excited to learn about opportunities for cities across the state to collaborate.

“In the city of Rochester we have many, many challenges when it comes to our youth, but we are starting now to really put forth the effort in not only afterschool programming, but summer programming. So, I’m excited to be here to join the other Mayor’s, because we all recognize that our children are not just our future, but they’re our right now. We have to make the investment in them today so that they can be everything that they need to be for us tomorrow,” said Warren.

Warren says you only get one chance to educate a child so it must be a top priority to get it right the first time. The summit was put together with help from the New York State Cradle to Career Alliance at the State University of New York and the New York State Afterschool Network (NYSAN).