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8200 events made this one of the biggest Lights On Afterschool celebrations ever

By Rachel Clark

Students celebrated Lights On Afterschool in Philadelphia, Pa.; New Albany, Miss.; and Honolulu, Hawaii.

On October 22, a million Americans rallied at almost 8,200 Lights On Afterschool events around the world to illuminate the impact of afterschool programs, which keep 10.2 million kids safe and learning after the school bell rings each day.

Among the Lights On Afterschool events that happened worldwide:

  1. In Anchorage, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) program at Alaska Native Cultural Charter School celebrated heritage, science, and more. At one event, the Yuraq dance group performed an Alaska Native song and dance, while the Alaska Museum of Science and Nature provided exciting science activities for kids.
  2. Youth Corps of America students in Tucson got active with two professional Ultimate Fighting Championship athletes who led a tour of their boxing/mixed martial arts gym, gave boxing and martial arts demos, and offered a chance for kids to play games and win prizes.
  3. After-School All-Stars of Los Angeles partnered with the Mazda Foundation to bring professional race-car drivers Neil Alberico and Dani Ferrarato to speak to 150 middle schoolers about their personal career paths and the importance of youth safety.
  1. Students at America SCORES Denver scored some autographs and soccer lessons from Colorado Rapids player Dillon Powers, then took on the grown-ups in a parents and staff vs. students soccer game.
  2. In Honolulu, the Hawaii Afterschool Alliance, After-School All-Stars Hawaii, Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii, Kamaiina Kids, Moiliili Community Center, PALS, R.E.A.C.H., YMCA of Honolulu, and 21st CCLC to throw a supersized celebration, including a rally at the State Capitol with First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige, Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui, award-winning Hawaiian comedian Augie T., and hundreds of attendees.
  3. The whole Augusta, Maine, community kept the Lights On with a community-wide Comic Con-style celebration. Hundreds of kids and their families, many in costume, took part in literacy-based activities and went home with free books and comics.
  4. Calhoun (Mo.) High School’s 21st CCLC program, Calhoun’s early childhood program, and Parents as Teachers joined together to illuminate the benefits of afterschool with an enormous bonfire. Students also had a chance to interact with animals at a petting zoo and take part in fun carnival games.
  5. The Police Athletic League of New York City, Campaign for Children, and Beacons Unite held a joint press conference on the steps of New York City Hall with City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Council Members Julissa Ferreras and Jumaane D. Williams to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Beacons in New York City.
  6. Further downtown, After-School All-Stars of New York City gathered hundreds of students, families, and community members to make the 68-story trek to the top of Four World Trade Center as part of the All-Star Climb 4 Kids challenge. After conquering the climb, teams celebrated at the top of the building with a party DJ’d by Hot 97’s Peter Rosenberg and a view of the Empire State Building lit in yellow for Lights On Afterschool.
  7. Afterschool programs from across Cuyahoga County, Ohio, gathered at the Great Lakes Science Center for an action-packed celebration that included an “Invention Convention” STEM competition for the next generation of innovators to showcase their ideas.

Did you host an exciting event? We want to hear from you! Share your photos with with your program’s name and location in the subject line.

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