Hundreds of children rallied outside City Hall Thursday to urge Mayor Michael Bloomberg not to go through with cuts to after-school programs.
The mayor's preliminary budget for the upcoming fiscal year includes more than $130 million in cuts to the city's after-school and early education systems.
Advocates say those cuts would eliminate programs for more than 47,000 children, mostly from low-income families who rely on the services.
"I just love it because it gives me happiness to go there every day and learn a new thing," said Tyrone Woodson, a student.
"It keeps our kids off the street. It helps working parents, working families," said Nadja Sailesman, program manager with the New York City Mission Society. "A day like today, kids would be home or families wouldn't know where to have their kids. But instead, they're here with us. They're in a safe space where we provide service all day long. So it's a much-needed service for the community that we work in."
The cuts were originally proposed for the current budget, but the funding was kept through a one-year restoration.