Lights On Afterschool was launched in October 2000 with celebrations in 1,200 communities nationwide. Today, more than 8,000 Lights On Afterschool rallies are held annually, attracting about a million individuals and media coverage nationwide. Lights On Afterschool is America’s only national rally for afterschool programs, which keep children safe, inspire them to learn, and give working parents peace of mind that their children are safe, supervised, and learning after the school day ends. Afterschool programs, which support students’ academic achievement and well-being, are especially important right now.
Prime Time helped to host Lights On Afterschool celebrations in three out-of-school time programs in Palm Beach County on October 20, 2022. Each program is a participant of the Palm Beach County Quality Improvement System.
Palm Beach Public Afterschool Program offered different learning stations that will included social and emotional learning and STEAM topics. Activities included yoga, musical activities, planting, team boat building/racing and more!
Grassy Waters Afterschool Program planned an ice cream social and dj for families to celebrate while dancing and playing limbo.
Forest Hill Elementary Afterschool Program hosted a soccer game including parents and youth.
We asked each program’s afterschool director why Lights On Afterschool is important to them, and this is what they had to say:
Prime Time encourages all out-of-school time programs to join in the nationwide celebration to bring awareness to invest in afterschool and summer programs, which provide fun, hands-on learning opportunities and offerings that can include homework help; healthy snacks and meals; computer programming; robotics; art, dance and music; opportunities to think critically, collaborate, and communicate with peers and adults; job and college readiness; sports and fitness activities; mentors; and more.
What Afterschool means to me…@Pahokee_MSHS @DirectorKHowell @ExtLrngSDPBC @afterschool4all pic.twitter.com/Yzm6Bnl7YSOctober 24, 2022
Students at Lake Worth Middle Afterschool Program enjoying the Lights On Afterschool Challenge! Thank you Cristelina Milan…Great Job!@DirectorKHowell, @ExtLrngSDPBC, @pbcsd, @LWMSWarriors, @afterschool4all pic.twitter.com/P8IVMq6HI6October 21, 2022
CMMS Lights On for our Afterschool students! We love our MSAS Challengers! @CMMSPrincipal @MiddleSchoolAf1 @pbcsd pic.twitter.com/qgQK0wWENwOctober 20, 2022
Some 24.7 million U.S. children not in an afterschool program would be enrolled, if a program were available to them, according to a survey of 1,500 parents commissioned by the Afterschool Alliance and conducted by Edge Research in May and June of 2022. That is the highest number ever recorded.
Unmet demand for afterschool programs is significantly higher among Latino and Black children (at 60% and 54% respectively) than among children overall (49%). Cost is the top barrier to enroll, cited by 57% of parents as a reason for not enrolling their child. Ninety percent of parents rate the quality of the program
their child attends as excellent (51%) or very good (39%).
The American Rescue Plan provided historic resources to expand access to out-of-school time programs. In July, the U.S. Department of Education launched the Engage Every Student Initiative, a bold, historic call to action to use funds from the American Rescue Plan, as well as state and local funds, to ensure
access to high-quality out-of-school time programs for every child. The Afterschool Alliance is one of five coordinating organizations in this historic new public/private partnership.
Lights On Afterschool is a project of the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that all children have access to quality, affordable afterschool programs. Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has served as Chair of Lights On Afterschool since 2001.