Carbondale jobs and programs under the budget axe

By Arnold Wyrick - bio | email

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - City leaders in Carbondale must make some tough decisions on jobs and city funded programs.

The final vote on who will lose their jobs and which programs will have funding cut, will come on Tuesday night during the city council meeting.

Two programs that could lose their city funds are the Attucks Community Center and the I Can Read program at the Eurma C. Hayes Center.

More than 50 kids rely upon the two programs for help with school work and to learn how to read.

"This will determine if they are going to got to jail or if they are going to be successful in life," said Stephanie Chandler one of the teachers in the after school program.  "If the city leaders decided to cut these funds where are these kids going to go? There's nothing around here but this program for the kids."

The 'I Can Read' program was started back in 1998, and has helped hundreds of kids over the years from kindergarten through the 5th grade learn the fundamental skill of reading.

"That's why we decided to started in kindergarten because we knew that if we can get them at that age to want to read, then they got it made," said Margaret Nesbitt director of the 'I Can Read' program.

For more than a decade of kids learning to read, the program has relied upon donations from others to survive.  Now, Nesbitt says they're going to really need those donations to keep the program going, if the city leaders cut the program's budget.

"Anything we have to do to raise funds is how we survive. And I'm going to rely on those supports to continue because we must, we have no choice," Nesbitt said.

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