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NYC to expand year-round youth jobs, school safety program | #schoolsaftey

Mayor Adams’ plans to prevent gun violence in New York City will expand year-round youth jobs and his signature school safety initiative, he announced with Gov. Hochul on Monday.

It’s an issue increasingly at the schoolhouse door. The number of children under 18 who have been shot at has doubled since 2019, the largest increase of any age group, city data show. Shooters that age nearly doubled over that period.

“This is what Chancellor Banks has been talking about over and over again — that if we don’t start really being more proactive, we are going to be in a constant perpetual cycle of being reactive,” said Adams at a press conference at City Hall.

“And that is not what this administration is about. We’re an upstream mindset so that we could prevent people from falling in the river that we don’t have to pull out of the river downstream,” he added.

Two hundred schools will take part in Project Pivot next year, which brings community-based organizations from violence interrupters to financial literacy programs into local schools — a 45% increase in school participation since the initiative was first announced.

Up to 10,000 students are expected to participate in the program through the expansion, with a total cost of $15 million, officials said.

Schools are picked for Project Pivot based on safety and academic data that show students are more likely to have lost touch with school or need support. Examples include discipline and suspension data, or attendance rates.

Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Education Chancellor David Banks announce Project Pivot outside the Tweed Courthouse in Manhattan, on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022.

Adams’ plans focus on a handful of neighborhoods where gun violence in concentrated. Roughly 45% of students in Ocean Hill and Brownsville are chronically absent from school, and 41% of children in Morrisania and Claremont — two of six priority precincts.

For thousands of students in those target areas, the city received $24 million from the state to extend paid internships beyond the summer, Hochul said. Funds were included in the most recent state budget.

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“Young people don’t just need a healthy diversion and adult supervision in the summer months,” said Hochul. “They need help and engagement throughout the year.”

New York Governor Kathy Hochul speaks from the podium during Mayor Adams New York City Gun Violence Prevention Task Force released of “A Blueprint for Community Safety,” at the City Hall Rotunda Monday July, 31, 2023.

The city is also launching a program that lets young people design 36 community-improvement projects in their neighborhoods. Another $6.6 million advanced training program for school-aged youth who are unemployed will grow by 400 slots to reach a total of 1,700 people.

The city’s youth unemployment rate of 18% is more than double that of the United States as a whole — 8%, city data show. Before the pandemic, one in ten young people were unemployed.

Adams is also eyeing school buildings to stay open for community use outside regular school hours. The administration did not say how many sites will be included.

“We’re allocating funding to keep our schools open longer,” Adams said, “for safer spaces for our children.”

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