Patrick Boyle, executive director of the Gateway program, said he gets calls constantly from Elmont parents asking if the program will return. The only thing Boyle can tell them is that their children can be put on a waiting list for the after-school program at Gotham Avenue School. Gotham Avenue still has such a program thanks to a state grant. It currently has 100 students enrolled, and hundreds more waiting for an open seat. “The waiting list for that program is through the roof,” Boyle said.
Parents in Elmont also have the option of signing their children up for SCOPE, a program chartered by the New York State Board of Regents that provides after-school activities across Long Island. The program costs $283 per month per child, which many parents in Elmont cannot afford, Boyle said.
As a result, he added, many parents have no choice but to wait and hope that funding is restored so that Gateway can get back to work. “Who knows what the long-term affects are going to be” if funding isn’t restored, Boyle said. With no word from the county on whether it will be, he said, he and other directors are waiting along with them.