Mayor’s Proposed Budget cuts threaten programs of two East End community centers

04/04/2009 2:09 PM by

The Mayor’s proposed budget cuts funding by 50% to two vital community centers that serve the East End, the Neighborhood Resource Center (NRC) in Fulton and the East District Family Resource Center on Jefferson Avenue. The majority of other non-profits in the budget, however, will see cuts averaging only 8%.

For the NRC, this poses a $15,000 shortfall to its Montessori Preschool program. The Preschool provides a high quality experience for Fulton area children that parents can afford due to a sliding scale fees structure funded in part by the City.

In addition to a typical curriculum, the children learn valuable social skills and empathy for one another. NRC Montessori Preschool students graduate with language, reasoning, social, and motor skills needed to succeed. In September, the NRC Montessori Preschool sent its first graduate to kindergarten at Chimborazo Elementary School. The child scored a 96 on her PALS Reading Test. The next highest grade in the class was a 68.

Since 2005, nearly 3,000 youth and adults have used NRC resources. In addition to the preschool, the NRC offers art and academic-based after-school programs, adult education and job support services, and will soon offer nutrition, job training, and cooking classes in its whole foods kitchen/cafe. A library, Internet access, a recording studio, organic garden, and commercial kitchen support these programs.

Supporting quality preschool education is the best investment we can make. Contact council representatives and ask for fairness in funding. The NRC and the EDFRC seek the same 8% cut as other worthy non-profits.

In the 7th District, contact Betty Squire via email or at (804)646-5429.

Article authored by Bridgette Huff.



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