It’s that time of year again! Every October, we celebrate Lights On Afterschool to raise awareness of the crucial contributions that after-school programs make to our schools and communities. This year, the national date of the Lights On celebration is Thursday, October 22.
While Lights On is a great time for us to shine a spotlight on all of the wonderful things happening in AYS programs here, it is also a time for us to reflect on the work that remains to be done.
According to the 2014 report of America After 3PM, 11.3 million children in the United States aren’t participating in adult-led after-school activities between 3 and 6 p.m. on weekdays. These children are missing out on the opportunity to participate in art and music classes, science experiments, field trips, and all the other activities that take place in after-school programs across the country. As school systems trim their budgets, after-school programs are filling in the gaps, but students who don’t attend after-school programs can’t participate in these opportunities.
At AYS, we strive to include as many students as possible in activities developed by our staff, as well as our many enrichment partners. We are proud of the accomplishments of each of our program sites and excited to be part of a future where more and more students will be able to take advantage of all that after-school programming has to offer.
We will be reporting back on our own Lights On celebrations soon so stay tuned for more information!