Students Participate in Lights On Afterschool Celebrations Across Pennsylvania
HARRISBURG, Pa. —Although 193,888 youth in Pennsylvania participate in afterschool programs that provide academic, social, physical and social emotional support, there are another 775,553 children waiting for access to an afterschool program. Organized by the Afterschool Alliance, Oct. 28 is the 22nd annual Lights On Afterschool national rally for more afterschool resources, with many events focused on science, music and dance, sports and fitness, academics, community service, social and emotional wellness, and more. Events, both in-person and virtual, organized by schools, 4-Hs, Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCAs, parks, museums, community centers and others, will be held in communities across Pennsylvania and around the country.
More than 80 Lights On Afterschool events are scheduled across Pennsylvania, including:
- Casa Guadalupe Center ” Glow with Us,” Allentown: During a student showcase, students will read passages that were written by them on how they feel unrepresented and undervalued in matters that affect them. Students and parents will be part of a glow party at the end of the showcase with refreshments and an art exhibition.
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia, Philadelphia: Students will show how germs travel and how to avoid/keep germs away as much as possible.
- Harvest Festival and Quilt Making – Students as Afterschool Advocates (Grade 6-12), Pittsburgh: Lights On Afterschool light bulbs will decorate the center, and the event will include a showcase of student work. The youth giving tours of the afterschool facility and speaking on the importance of afterschool programs will serve as ambassadors for the evening. Participants will make a quilt with lightbulb designs, which will later be donated to charity.
A complete list of Pennsylvania celebrations is available at www.afterschoolalliance.org/loaFindEvent.cfm
The Pennsylvania State Afterschool/Youth Development Network (PSAYDN) celebrates Lights On Afterschool to underscore the need to invest in afterschool programs, which provide help with homework; skilled mentors; art, dance and music; healthy snacks and meals; computer programming; opportunities to think critically, collaborate and communicate with peers and adults; job and college readiness; sports and fitness activities; robotics; and opportunities for hands-on, team-based learning.
Governor Tom Wolf proclaimed Oct. 28 as Lights On Afterschool Day in recognition of the important role of afterschool programs in Pennsylvania. In his proclamation, Governor Wolf encourages the expansion of innovative programs and activities to ensure that the lights stay on and the doors stay open for all children after school.
During the pandemic, programs have stepped up to provide virtual educational activities, deliver meals and enrichment kits, help families bridge the digital divide, check in with children to ensure their social and emotional needs are being met, connect families to social services, care for the children of essential workers and first responders, and much more.
Launched in October 2000, Lights On Afterschool is the only nationwide event celebrating afterschool programs. The effort has become a hallmark of the afterschool movement and annually sees more than one million Americans participate at more than 8,000 events nationwide.
For more information about Pennsylvania’s afterschool network, please visit www.PSAYDN.org.