Your feature story and photo “Beacon blues/Community rallies for Beacon” (April 26, Northeast Queens edition) really does not get to the heart of the matter. As a former volunteer teaching yoga to elders of the communities at three Beacon sites in Northeast Queens, let me speak on behalf of MS 158 and the extended programs that they offer.
Your quote from Martenia Miller, director of the MS 158 Beacon program, in which she says it’s “a love program,” and that “we’re all about family,” is not mere words. It reflects her personal dedication to the community that she holds dear, like she does by setting a personal example to those entering those portals to seek a part-time home away from home.
Ask her in a personal interview how she came to volunteer at that school site, and how she built a relationship as a mother to so many impressionable preteen and teenaged girls, or how she influences young men seeking to play in competitive sports and, indeed, learning morality.
“Marty,” as she prefers to be recognized, is like a knight, providing a Beacon of light for those seeking a local community center second to none throughout the Borough of Queens, in spite of what His Lordship Mayor Bloomberg decrees. He really knows little about our people.
It’s just another example of government not knowing, not providing for the taxpayers’ needs. It’s time for Beacons to shine their light and continue to provide the protection for those coming home to their harbors. It’s time to run His Lordship Mayor Bloomberg out of town.
Thanks to the Samuel Field Y and its extensions that provide the Beacon programs to local communities throughout Northeast and Central Queens.