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Where were we during Lights On Afterschool 2017?

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Where were we during Lights On Afterschool 2017?

At the Afterschool Alliance, we spend a substantial part of our year focusing on Lights On Afterschool; when it finally happens, we’re running to keep up! We couldn’t wait to head out of the office (and sometimes out of the state) to explore the amazing programs and events that opened their doors to celebrate on October 26.

In our own words, here’s a small selection of where we were, what we saw, and who we met during this year’s Lights On Afterschool.

Andrews Air Force Base loves afterschool

"I had the pleasure of celebrating Lights On Afterschool with Matrice Brooks and the rest of the Youth Program staff on Andrews Air Force Base," said Shaun Gray, production and office manager. "As parents entered to pick up their kids, local youth programs were set up in the main area to offer sign-ups for sporting, art, and reading programs. McGruff the Crime Dog made an appearance but the highlight of the day was Sparky, a remote-controlled dog in a firetruck that sprays water."

Glowing bright in Tuscon, AZ

"We visited KIDCO, an afterschool program from the Tucson Parks and Rec department that serves 800 students during the school year and 1,200 students during the summer," wrote Andrea Szegedy-Maszak, our field outreach coordinator. "Their event was held in the beautiful Reid Park in Tucson, with an hour of lawn games before each KIDCO site performed a dance routine with a "decades" theme. More than 200 people attended the event, which kicked off with a group countdown until everyone cracked a glowstick and cheered for Lights On Afterschool!"

Afterschool in the city

Arielle Kahn, our new special assistant to the executive director, went with a big team to Southeast D.C. "Jodi, Leah, Maria, Dan, and I went to the AfterSchool All-Stars Lights On event at Hart Middle School. The kids seemed to love their afterschool programs and were excited to showcase what they had been working on. There were multiple dance performances, a drum line, a fashion show, and a spoken word performance. My personal favorite was a presentation of a quilt they spray painted for breast cancer awareness month. Some of the students sang “halo” while their teacher explained how he wanted to change the narrative around spray painting. Jodi and Dr. Lyles from the Department of Education both spoke at the event. This was my first time visiting an afterschool program in D.C. and I left feeling so inspired and proud."

Bully-free fun in Alexandria, VA

"Mike and I celebrated Lights On with the City of Alexandria Parks and Rec. afterschool program," our VP of Policy, Erik Peterson, reported. "They have eight sites – all doing events today. At Mt. Vernon Rec Center about 175 student in grade K-5 from neighboring Mt. Vernon Community School (59 percent free/reduced lunch) participate in the afterschool program daily. All of their Lights On events this week are being held in conjunction with the Bully Free Starts With Me campaign launched by the Mayor of Alexandria. Students played bully-free bingo, did role-playing, and had an interactive discussion on bullying. The staff were amazing and the kids were super engaged."

Mayor visits and Halloween treats in MD

Charlotte Steinecke, the communications manager, headed up the red line to visit a Lights On event. "Takoma Park’s Afternoon Addition hosted a wonderful celebration! Tiny Chefs came in to help elementary and middle schoolers make dirt cup cakes (gummy worms galore) and the mayor of Takoma Park, Kate Stewart, came to meet with the kids. Takoma Park City TV filmed the event and caught a couple of interviews with attendees and participants to talk a little bit about the event while the kids worked on their desserts. This was Afternoon Addition’s first Lights On Afterschool and it sounds like they loved it! The coordinator is already looking forward to participating next year."

Landmarks aglow across the country for Lights On Afterschool 2018

Lights On Afterschool 2018 was marked by communities flipping the light switches of gyms, clubhouses, classrooms, and parks across America in an effort to provide a safe, supportive learning environment for children. Similarly, recognizable landmarks coast to coast recognized the valuable...

BY: Faith Savaiano      11/08/18

The biggest and brightest Lights On Afterschool yet

We celebrated by coding, dancing, cooking, drawing, reading, making music, sharing. We had book giveaways. Canned food drives. Hackerspaces and maker faires. Puzzle pieces that, together, form over-sized lightbulbs that fill gymnasium floors. Inflatable planetariums for students to explore....

BY: Ursula Helminski      10/26/18

America must turn the Lights On Afterschool, so youth and families can thrive

This article was originally posted on the MomsRising blog on October 24, 2018. In Newark, New Jersey, the afterschool program is teaming with the Audubon Society to use infrared cameras to study how animals move overnight, and students are creating their own comic book heroes. In San Benito,...

BY: Jodi Grant      10/25/18

Last-minute ideas for an amazing Lights On Afterschool

Lights On Afterschool is just seven days away! There's still time to plan an amazing event, or to add another dimension to your plans for October 25. Visit our Last-Minute Ideas page to find easy, fun ways to celebrate. Here are a few examples to spark your...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      10/18/18

5 tips to Lights On social media success

Lights On Afterschool is one of the best and brightest moments in the afterschool year. Show the world the positive impact your program has on the lives of kids by sharing your event on social media! With only two weeks left until October 25, there’s so much to do and so little time...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      10/11/18

Join us for the 2018 Lightbulb Challenge!

October is a busy month, and not everyone has a chance to attend a Lights On Afterschool event. That's why we've got a digital event to ensure that everyone who wants to celebrate afterschool programs gets a chance: the Lights On Afterschool Lightbulb...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      10/04/18

Ignite STEM learning for Lights On Afterschool

Afterschool programs are a natural space to provide engaging, hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning experiences. Because so many afterschool programs make STEM learning a priority – and so many programs want to offer STEM learning in the future –...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      09/27/18

Champion wellness with fitness professionals: 3 tips to get started

Photo courtesy of The American Council on Exercise and Alliance for a Healthier Generation By Daniel W. Hatcher, Director of Community Partnerships at Alliance for a Healthier Generation. This post was originally published by BOOST Collaborative on the BOOST Breakfast Club Blog on...

BY: Guest Blogger      09/20/18

Guest blog: Partner with your local library for Lights On Afterschool!

By Megan Burton, STEM and Learning Supervisor at the Kitsap Regional Library in Washington State. “It is a real collaboration,” said Nicole Rawlinson, Teen Services Librarian at the Sylvan Way branch of the Kitsap Regional Library describing her work with the local Boys and Girls...

BY: Guest Blogger      08/30/18

Afterschool shines for the 12th year in a row

It’s that time in August when students’ backpacks wait eagerly by the door for the first days they’ll be put back into use after a couple-months hiatus. While these days on the calendar excitedly mark the return of the back-to-school season, they’re also an indicator that...

BY: Faith Savaiano      08/23/18

Ignite STEM learning for Lights On Afterschool

Afterschool programs are a natural space to provide engaging, hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning experiences. Because so many afterschool programs make STEM learning a priority – and so many programs want to offer STEM learning in the future –...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      09/27/18

STEM partners helped ignite curiosity during Lights On 2017

Afterschool STEM learning was one of our top themes for this year’s Lights On Afterschool, and with good reason. Afterschool programs provide an ideal space to connect kids to exciting, hands-on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) experiences, helping them engage deeply with...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      11/21/17

Easy, last-minute ideas for an amazing Lights On Afterschool!

Lights On Afterschool is just seven days away! While many programs are wrapping up their plans, some will only start planning this week. Luckily, we’ve got something for everyone over at our Last-Minute Ideas page. Use these ideas as the foundation of your event, or add an extra...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      10/19/17

Celebrate afterschool STEM during Lights On

Whether it’s cooking up polymer-based jiggly jelly, writing computer code, or exploring urban ecology, we know that science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning thrives in afterschool! Afterschool STEM learning presents an incredible opportunity to help students learn, expose...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      10/05/17

Library partnerships help keep the Lights On Afterschool

All across America, afterschool programs love their libraries! According to a 2017 study of more than 350 afterschool programs, nearly three-quarters reported that they were working with their local public library in diverse ways, from literacy initiatives to book lending programs and STEM...

BY: Leah Silverberg      09/21/17

What's happening for Lights On 2017?

Lights On Afterschool is less than eight weeks away and lots of programs have started planning their events! From marches and rallies to scavenger hunts and STEM lessons, the possibilities for a successful event are endless. Looking for inspiration for your event? Check out the revamped Event...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      08/25/17

How to amplify youth voice, from 2 youth leaders

The past year has seen a wave of youth and student activists who have made their voices heard on a variety of topics and taken the national stage by storm. It’s clear that many children and youth have important things to say about issues they are passionate about, and youth development...

BY: Faith Savaiano      09/13/18

Easy, last-minute ideas for an amazing Lights On Afterschool!

Lights On Afterschool is just seven days away! While many programs are wrapping up their plans, some will only start planning this week. Luckily, we’ve got something for everyone over at our Last-Minute Ideas page. Use these ideas as the foundation of your event, or add an extra...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      10/19/17

Make the most of media at your Lights On Afterschool event

With Lights On Afterschool only two weeks away, many programs and coordinators are busy finalizing the creative and fun celebrations that will take place across the country. But while many afterschool providers are experts at planning engaging activities for large groups, all Lights On Afterschool...

BY: Faith Savaiano      10/12/17

Congratulations to Angela Mamun, winner of the 2017 Lights On Afterschool poster contest

Angela Mamun is a Renaissance woman–or at least she’s learning to be. And she’s found the right afterschool program to help her grow her talents. “I think to be a good student you have to be good in everything, or at least know how to do everything,” said the 11th...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      07/25/17

These twin sisters celebrated Lights On Afterschool 2016 by becoming math champions

One might not think that basketball can help kids gain critical math skills. But for twin sisters Patricia and Angela Rodas, that’s exactly the case. The Rodas sisters have become rather like local celebrities in the San Francisco Bay Area through their success in NBA Math Hoops, a...

BY: Robert Abare      11/18/16

Guest blog: Partner with your local library for Lights On Afterschool!

By Megan Burton, STEM and Learning Supervisor at the Kitsap Regional Library in Washington State. “It is a real collaboration,” said Nicole Rawlinson, Teen Services Librarian at the Sylvan Way branch of the Kitsap Regional Library describing her work with the local Boys and Girls...

BY: Guest Blogger      08/30/18

America's #HealthiestSchools: 3 ways to team up for Lights On Afterschool

By Daniel W. Hatcher, MPH, director of Community Partnerships at Alliance for a Healthier Generation. The 2017 America’s #HealthiestSchools campaign is grounded in the shared belief that every child deserves a healthy school. Afterschool leaders are essential partners for healthy...

BY: Guest Blogger      09/28/17

Afterschool & Law Enforcement: Using Lights On Afterschool to collaborate in new ways

The Afterschool Alliance is pleased to present this post as part of the Afterschool & Law Enforcement blog series. For more information on the ways afterschool programs are partnering with local police, check out our previous blogs on building relationships and...

BY: Elizabeth Tish      12/09/16

These twin sisters celebrated Lights On Afterschool 2016 by becoming math champions

One might not think that basketball can help kids gain critical math skills. But for twin sisters Patricia and Angela Rodas, that’s exactly the case. The Rodas sisters have become rather like local celebrities in the San Francisco Bay Area through their success in NBA Math Hoops, a...

BY: Robert Abare      11/18/16

Champion wellness with fitness professionals: 3 tips to get started

Photo courtesy of The American Council on Exercise and Alliance for a Healthier Generation By Daniel W. Hatcher, Director of Community Partnerships at Alliance for a Healthier Generation. This post was originally published by BOOST Collaborative on the BOOST Breakfast Club Blog on...

BY: Guest Blogger      09/20/18

Health & Wellness partners got communities active & moving during Lights On 2017

This year we were blown away with the number of Lights On Afterschool 2017 events that celebrated our official Health & Wellness theme through creative, educational activities that got kids active and learning about healthy habits. These events were great examples of everyday work that...

BY: Faith Savaiano      11/30/17

Easy, last-minute ideas for an amazing Lights On Afterschool!

Lights On Afterschool is just seven days away! While many programs are wrapping up their plans, some will only start planning this week. Luckily, we’ve got something for everyone over at our Last-Minute Ideas page. Use these ideas as the foundation of your event, or add an extra...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      10/19/17

America's #HealthiestSchools: 3 ways to team up for Lights On Afterschool

By Daniel W. Hatcher, MPH, director of Community Partnerships at Alliance for a Healthier Generation. The 2017 America’s #HealthiestSchools campaign is grounded in the shared belief that every child deserves a healthy school. Afterschool leaders are essential partners for healthy...

BY: Guest Blogger      09/28/17

Landmarks aglow across the country for Lights On Afterschool 2018

Lights On Afterschool 2018 was marked by communities flipping the light switches of gyms, clubhouses, classrooms, and parks across America in an effort to provide a safe, supportive learning environment for children. Similarly, recognizable landmarks coast to coast recognized the valuable...

BY: Faith Savaiano      11/08/18

The biggest and brightest Lights On Afterschool yet

We celebrated by coding, dancing, cooking, drawing, reading, making music, sharing. We had book giveaways. Canned food drives. Hackerspaces and maker faires. Puzzle pieces that, together, form over-sized lightbulbs that fill gymnasium floors. Inflatable planetariums for students to explore....

BY: Ursula Helminski      10/26/18

Afterschool shines for the 12th year in a row

It’s that time in August when students’ backpacks wait eagerly by the door for the first days they’ll be put back into use after a couple-months hiatus. While these days on the calendar excitedly mark the return of the back-to-school season, they’re also an indicator that...

BY: Faith Savaiano      08/23/18

The Empire State Building will shine for Lights On Afterschool!

Lights On Afterschool wouldn't be such a powerful rally for afterschool if we didn't have amazing partners to help us celebrate! From the programs that host events and the individuals that attend them and to the organizations that participate by elevating the message on social media,...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      07/31/17