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Mount Vernon Council Wants Schools Open As Havens

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – The Mount Vernon City Council is asking the City School District to open up the schools on evenings and weekends and to leverage arts and media programs to students.

Council member Richard Thomas said the purpose of opening the schools on weekends and evenings is to provide places for children to go that are safe and where they can engage in productive activities.

Feedback the city received at the Doles Community Center in August at a "Sound Off" event also showed an interest for more technological programs. The City Council is asking the school district to team with the city to reinstate Operation SNUG , a program targeting gun violence which the city currently does not have.

"Transformative change will not happen overnight," Thomas said. "However, through strategic collaboration between the city and school district we have a tremendous opportunity to create a tangible future of academic enrichment and economic fulfillment."

Superintendent of Schools Judith Johnson said that getting parents involved in the schools and keeping the schools safe are two of the district's goals. Johnson said the city and the school district are currently working together with discussions that include the Police Department to make sure both the schools and the police are aware of potential rumblings in the community.

Thomas is planning to hold a second Sound Off with representatives of the school district attending this time.

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