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Home>>World >> Americas
08:27, August 12, 2009

George Soros, New York State announce partnership to help children in New York

George Soros, chairman of Soros Fund Managemant and founder of the Open Society Institute, attends a Back-To-School New York program at P.S. 208 Elementary School in the Manhanttan neighborhood of Harlem in New York, the United States, August 11, 2009. (Xinhua/Gu Xinrong)

Billionaire investor George Soros and New York State Governor David Paterson on Tuesday announced a "Back To School New York" program to help children from low-income families in the state.

The program will provide 200 dollars per child to the families of the more than 850,000 children receiving public assistance or food stamps in New York State.

In the Manhattan neighborhood of Harlem, Soros gave a 35-million-U.S.-dollar gift to support low-income families across the state of New York purchasing supplies and clothing for the new school year.

"Even in the toughest of economic times, starting the school year right is key to a child's success," said Soros. "When I was a student after World War II, I had no money. I received financial help, and I remember how important that was to my education."

"Since then I have been very fortunate and am happy to have the opportunity today to help others. I hope these funds will relieve some of the financial burden on New York's families," added Soros.

Soros' donation will go to the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, which oversees programs for low-income families.

The State will receive an additional 140 million dollars in funding through the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families emergency contingency fund. This fund was established under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and is solely dedicated to covering benefits and services targeted to needy families.

"This first-of-its-kind partnership in New York is an example of how the public and private sectors can work together to foster a brighter future for the low-income families of our state," Governor Paterson said.

"These 200-dollar grants will provide these families with a financial boost so that they can better meet the educational needs of their children during these difficult economic times," he said.

As part of this effort to provide financial relief to families across the state, Payless Shoesource, Princeton Review, Staples, and Target are partnering with "Back to School New York" to help promote this unique one-time benefit.

Source: Xinhua

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