Proud to Partner with Building Bridges Through Music: PTC Raises $5,000
Promise the Children is proud to have recently donated $5,000 to Building Bridges Through Music in Lynn to support its after-school, summer school and SMART music programs.
Promise the Children (PTC) has benefitted from the generosity of Church congregations over many years. PTC is a nonprofit advocacy organization with a renewed focused on increasing access to subsidized child care and mental health services for children from birth to 3rd grade. Massachusetts lags behind many other states in the provision of child care.
In December of 2021, Promise the Children received a grant for staffing from a local charitable organization related to the Universalist church. This allowed us to donate $5,000 to an after-school child care organization in Lynn called Building Bridges Through Music (BBTM). BBTM offers after-school, out-of-school and a summer school program of activities and music. The obstacle was that there was no public transportation offered to drive children to this program from school, as many parents have no car, and/or cannot leave work.
BBTM is the perfect program for children who are recovering from the trauma and loneliness resulting from COVID. PTC pledged the first $5,000 for a van. The BBTM Executive Director raised an additional $20,000 and purchased a van to transport the children after school. BBTM is housed in a large building with classrooms attached to a church. There is an auditorium for concerts and play during the winter months. The family that operates the program is well known to my partner, Arnold Howe.
This is a very hard year on Moms and Dads – a bit easier with a salary of $75,000 annually. But all parents have COVID on their minds, and many families face mental health problems resulting from COVID and the long isolation from friends and school. This, coupled with a low-wage, is a heavy load to carry.
A living wage is at least two times as much as the current minimum wage, which is about $30,000 annually. So those earning less than $75,000 need a minimum of affordable housing, child care subsidy food stamps, health care insurance, free public transportation and more. As a result, many couples delay having children until they are in their late 30s and early 40s.
Full-time childcare for Massachusetts working parents costs about $25,000 annually and an average apartment costs about $14,400 annually – much higher than what can be afforded on minimum wage.
In 2020, UNICEF performed a study on the provision of services for children in 100 wealthy countries and found the United States toward the bottom. In addition, Massachusetts is very weak in its provision of child care, despite having some federally funded Early Head Start for children 3 to 5 years old.
Please contact your legislators regularly, even monthly, and ask for better support for U.S. families and their children. Some issues you might consider include child care, early education, free school meals for all children, funding adequate social workers and mental health consultants in elementary schools, mental health services for Pre-K children, affordable housing, adequate health care and so much more.