Archives:

Select:

Inspiring celebrations of afterschool during Lights On 2022

READ FULL STORY

Inspiring celebrations of afterschool during Lights On 2022

In Alaska, students balanced spiders on webs they created with marshmallows and toothpicks, and enjoyed Polynesian dance. In California, they conducted “Will It Float?” exercises. In Florida, they created elephant toothpaste from dish soap, hydrogen peroxide and yeast; in Indiana, celebrated Hispanic heritage; in Maryland, studied financial literacy; and in Michigan, held a Supreme Chef challenge. In Montana, students introduced the community to their goats, chickens, and hedgehog. In New York State, students made calm-down jars and took a challenge to improve their health.

All that, along with student performances, academic contests, hikes, food drives, debates, open houses, and much more took place at afterschool programs across the country today for Lights On Afterschool. The 23rd annual Lights On Afterschool included events at schools, 4-Hs, Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCAs, parks, museums, community centers, and other places. It kicked off with a celebration in Oakland, California last week.

“Thousands of local programs are showcasing the skills students hone and talents they develop at their afterschool programs,” said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant. “The Afterschool Alliance organizes Lights On Afterschool to celebrate the many ways these programs help students succeed in school and in life, and to underscore the need to invest in afterschool programs, which keep kids safe, inspire them to learn, and give working parents peace of mind. But too many children and families are missing out. There aren’t nearly enough afterschool programs, and many are facing major challenges. We urgently need greater investments in afterschool, so all students will be able to benefit from the academic and well-being supports these programs provide.”

The New York City skyline shined for afterschool tonight when the Empire State Building lit up in yellow and blue. New afterschool billboards with the tag, Freedom to Explore, ran in 25 markets nationwide thanks to Clear Channel Outdoor, as well as on jumbo screens in Times Square. Other landmarks lit up for afterschool this week included Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida; the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana; South Street Station in Boston, Massachusetts; the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation in Flint, Michigan; the Ocracoke Island Lighthouse in North Carolina; City Hall in Charleston, South Carolina; the Korean Veterans Memorial Bridge in Nashville, Tennessee; and the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge in Washington, D.C.

In D.C., NASA hosted a virtual event, plus several in-person gatherings, featuring a pre-recorded interaction with actress Keke Palmer of Disney’s Lightyear posing questions from afterschool students around the country to International Space Station astronaut Jessica Watkins. The event was a collaboration between NASA, the Afterschool Alliance, and STEM Next Opportunity Fund’s Million Girls Moonshot.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona shared a message during Think Together’s virtual Lights On Afterschool celebration.

To spark excitement about energy careers, the authors of Everyday Superheroes: Women in Energy Careers donated books to afterschool programs for Lights On Afterschool. Energy Superheroes and trailblazers signed donated books and built mini wind turbines with students at afterschool programs in Oklahoma City, Boston, Chattanooga, and Houston this week. Other Lights On Afterschool events today, this week, and next:

Kenai, Alaska: Shanette Wik, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula. On October 29th, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula will celebrate Lights On Afterschool with a Trunk or Treat carnival, including a cake walk, face painting, pumpkin golf, tombstone toss, a photo booth, captain hook ring toss, and more. There will be a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) station where kids make their own ice cream, sensory bottles, and catapults.

Hallandale Beach, Florida: Afterschool Ambassador Nicole Carter, City of Hallandale Beach-Hepburn Center. The City of Hallandale Beach is hosting a week-long Lights On Afterschool celebration with Lights On Afterschool lightbulbs decorating the breezeway at city hall. Yesterday, the city commissioner issued a proclamation in support of Lights On Afterschool. Today, the City is hosting a Lights On Afterschool Rally with music, games, food, a STEAM (science, technology, arts, engineering and math) demonstration, and a social and emotional wellness session by Mentally Fit.

Alliance, Nebraska: Mara Andersen, ARC AfterSchool. ARC AfterSchool and UNL Extension office are hosting a Lights On Afterschool open house and family STEM night. Students and their families are participating in a Mars Landing challenge where they will work in teams to guide their rover to Mars before time runs out. There is an escape room where families work together to solve clues, as well as arts and crafts activities.

Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico: Rhonda Fowler, Holloman School Age Center, rhonda.fowler@us.af.mil The Holloman School Age Center is celebrating Lights On Afterschool with an open house. This year’s theme is “Around the World and their Cultures.” Visitors are touring the program and learning about the programs and services offered. Rooms at the center will focus on a specific country and include activities pertaining to that culture. Parents will work on “make and take” crafts with their children.

A list of local Lights On Afterschool events is here. To find other events in your area, see this map.

Inspiring celebrations of afterschool during Lights On 2022

In Alaska, students balanced spiders on webs they created with marshmallows and toothpicks, and enjoyed Polynesian dance. In California, they conducted “Will It Float?” exercises. In Florida, they created elephant toothpaste from dish soap, hydrogen peroxide and yeast; in Indiana,...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      10/21/22

Time to celebrate! Today is Lights On Afterschool!

Today’s the 23rd annual Lights On Afterschool! Students are speaking with NASA astronauts and STEM Energy Superheroes, building wind turbines, running speak-out stations, putting on performances, and so much more at more than 5,000 events nationwide. In all, more than 1 million people will...

BY: Ursula Helminski      10/20/22

Guest blog: A fun-tastic partnership begins!

By Nora Minichino, founder and president of Farrell Public Relations. Page Turner Adventures and the Afterschool Alliance, leading champions of children’s education, have partnered together to spotlight the need for more afterschool programs for kids. Kicking off this fun-tastic...

BY: Guest Blogger      10/17/22

Easy Lights On Afterschool event ideas!

The 2022 celebration of Lights On Afterschool is next week! Registration is still open, and we’ve got a few easy ways to celebrate.   Let us know you are taking part in Lights On Afterschool by October 20 and you’ll be entered to win a free registration to the 2023 Beyond...

BY: Tierra Easter      10/14/22

Join the Lightbulb Challenge!

Lights On Afterschool is in just two weeks! If you’re looking for a fun, easy way to celebrate, take part in the Lightbulb Challenge! All you need to do is gather and take a photo. Let us know you are taking part in Lights On Afterschool by October 13 and you’ll be...

BY: Tierra Easter      10/07/22

Uplift youth voices during Lights On Afterschool!

We are just three weeks away from Lights On Afterschool! Here is your weekly to do list: Distribute a media alert telling reporters about your event. Facing uncertainty about an element of your event? Review our case studies for expert advice from afterschool...

BY: Tierra Easter      09/30/22

5 ways to share your students' entrepreneurial mindsets during Lights On

By Scott Mann, VentureLab, Jessie Jones and Kelly Biggar of Young Entrepreneur Institute (YEI), and Liz Nusken, Ohio Afterschool Network (OAN). Photo courtesy of Youth Panel on Entrepreneurship Education. Afterschool programs play a vital role in helping young people explore and develop...

BY: Guest Blogger      09/26/22

Light up your community during Lights On Afterschool!

Just four weeks until the 23rd annual Lights On Afterschool! Lights On Afterschool showcases the important role afterschool programs play in supporting students, families, and communities. Shining a light on afterschool programs helps build awareness of the critical need for more...

BY: Tierra Easter      09/23/22

Showcase your students' leadership skills!

We’re only five weeks away from Lights On Afterschool 2022! Here's this week's checklist: Call to confirm any VIP guests to make sure they're still able to attend your event. Arrange transportation and other logistics for dignitaries and guest...

BY: Tierra Easter      09/16/22

Shine a light on health and well-being during Lights On Afterschool

Lights On Afterschool is the perfect opportunity to focus on whole-child development. According to a Pew Research Center survey, 59 percent of parents are more worried about their child’s emotional well-being today than they were before the pandemic. Parents recognize that...

BY: Tierra Easter      09/09/22

Inspiring celebrations of afterschool during Lights On 2022

In Alaska, students balanced spiders on webs they created with marshmallows and toothpicks, and enjoyed Polynesian dance. In California, they conducted “Will It Float?” exercises. In Florida, they created elephant toothpaste from dish soap, hydrogen peroxide and yeast; in Indiana,...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      10/21/22

Light up your community during Lights On Afterschool!

Just four weeks until the 23rd annual Lights On Afterschool! Lights On Afterschool showcases the important role afterschool programs play in supporting students, families, and communities. Shining a light on afterschool programs helps build awareness of the critical need for more...

BY: Tierra Easter      09/23/22

Planning tools for your Lights On Afterschool celebration

We’re nine weeks out from the 23rd celebration of Lights On Afterschool! If you’re in search of event ideas or unsure where to begin, we’ve got you covered. Read on to discover our top planning tools to help you organize your event! Register your Lights On event by September...

BY: Tierra Easter      08/19/22

Lights On Afterschool 2021 in images

That’s a wrap! The 22nd annual Lights On Afterschool celebrated the important role afterschool programs and staff play in the lives of youth and their communities. This year, we celebrated at more than 5,000 events nationwide, proclaimed Lights On Afterschool Day thanks to 42 governors, and...

BY: Maria Rizo      11/09/21

How the lights shined for afterschool in 2021

Creative. Resilient. Dedicated. Innovative. The afterschool field showed its true colors throughout this pandemic, and those traits were celebrated and shone bright this Lights On Afterschool. Here’s a recap of just some of the ways our field, and our nation, recognized the afterschool...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      11/01/21

Happy Lights On Afterschool 2021!

Happy Lights On Afterschool! Today is the big day, and the nation is lighting up landmarks, throwing celebrations, and coming together to shine a light on afterschool programs and staff. We want to say thank you to the afterschool field for celebrating 22 years of Lights On Afterschool and helping...

BY: Maria Rizo      10/28/21

Light up your community for Lights On Afterschool!

Lights On Afterschool is all about shining a light on afterschool programs, and the impact they have on students, parents, and communities. This year, why not shine a light—literally—on the work that your program is doing to forge bright futures and help youth recover? Lighting plans...

BY: Tierra Easter      10/04/21

It's here! Announcing the Lights On Afterschool 2021 poster

This year, the Afterschool Alliance commemorates 22 years of Lights On Afterschool with a poster that embodies the spirit of afterschool programs. The Lights On Afterschool 2021 poster focuses on all that afterschool programs do to help youth recover and forge successful futures. It was...

BY: Tierra Easter      08/20/21

What Lights On Afterschool 2020 revealed about the afterschool field

7 ways afterschool shined We’re tired. Challenged. Worried.  Our finances are strained, our staff face too many uncertainties. Yet our field continues to innovate, evolve, and serve kids, families, and communities. Why? Because people are counting on you, and you care for them...

BY: Jodi Grant      10/30/20

Planning tools for your Lights On Afterschool celebration

We’re nine weeks out from the 23rd celebration of Lights On Afterschool! If you’re in search of event ideas or unsure where to begin, we’ve got you covered. Read on to discover our top planning tools to help you organize your event! Register your Lights On event by September...

BY: Tierra Easter      08/19/22

Join us for virtual Lights On events: Celebrating youth voice

We are counting down the weeks until Lights On Afterschool, the nation’s largest rally for afterschool programs. In a typical year, 1 million people join together at more than 8,000 events nationwide to celebrate the impact and value of afterschool. This year, programs rose to the moment...

BY: Maria Rizo      10/07/21

Webinar recap: Celebrating afterschool programs and staff

Lights On Afterschool is five weeks away, and it has never been more important to celebrate the impact of afterschool programs. Nationwide, programs are gearing up for the 22nd Lights On Afterschool celebration. On September 9, the Afterschool Alliance’s Tiyana Glenn hosted “Lights On...

BY: Maria Rizo      09/20/21

What Lights On Afterschool 2020 revealed about the afterschool field

7 ways afterschool shined We’re tired. Challenged. Worried.  Our finances are strained, our staff face too many uncertainties. Yet our field continues to innovate, evolve, and serve kids, families, and communities. Why? Because people are counting on you, and you care for them...

BY: Jodi Grant      10/30/20

Announcing the winner of the 2022 Lights On Afterschool poster contest

The time has come to reveal the official Lights On Afterschool 2022 ! Afterschool Alliance is thrilled to announce the winner of the 2022 Lights On Afterschool poster contest: LEAP afterschool program at PS100x in the Bronx, New York! The winning artwork will be printed on 50,000 posters and sent...

BY: Maria Rizo      07/01/22

Calling all afterschool artists! Design the Lights On poster and win $500!

The Lights On Afterschool poster contest is officially open, and this year we’re changing our theme to reflect how youth see themselves and their futures because of their afterschool program!  We’ve been through a lot over the past few years. Afterschool programs have...

BY: Shaun Gray      03/01/22

Join us for virtual Lights On events: Celebrating youth voice

We are counting down the weeks until Lights On Afterschool, the nation’s largest rally for afterschool programs. In a typical year, 1 million people join together at more than 8,000 events nationwide to celebrate the impact and value of afterschool. This year, programs rose to the moment...

BY: Maria Rizo      10/07/21

It's here! Announcing the Lights On Afterschool 2021 poster

This year, the Afterschool Alliance commemorates 22 years of Lights On Afterschool with a poster that embodies the spirit of afterschool programs. The Lights On Afterschool 2021 poster focuses on all that afterschool programs do to help youth recover and forge successful futures. It was...

BY: Tierra Easter      08/20/21

5 ways to share your students' entrepreneurial mindsets during Lights On

By Scott Mann, VentureLab, Jessie Jones and Kelly Biggar of Young Entrepreneur Institute (YEI), and Liz Nusken, Ohio Afterschool Network (OAN). Photo courtesy of Youth Panel on Entrepreneurship Education. Afterschool programs play a vital role in helping young people explore and develop...

BY: Guest Blogger      09/26/22

Energy Superheroes to celebrate Lights On Afterschool!

We’re thrilled to share that Energy Superheroes and Trailblazers are joining in the nation’s celebration of afterschool programs, Lights On Afterschool! Energy Superheroes and Trailblazers are real-life women with superpowers and careers that are leading the energy transition. Many of...

BY: Shaun Gray      09/06/22

Planning tools for your Lights On Afterschool celebration

We’re nine weeks out from the 23rd celebration of Lights On Afterschool! If you’re in search of event ideas or unsure where to begin, we’ve got you covered. Read on to discover our top planning tools to help you organize your event! Register your Lights On event by September...

BY: Tierra Easter      08/19/22

4-H partners with Lights On Afterschool to ignite STEM learning

Lights On Afterschool is a great opportunity to showcase your program, and an especially fun time to build excitement about science, technology, engineering, and technology (STEM) learning!   Afterschool and summer learning programs are a great spaces to showcase engaging, hands-on STEM...

BY: Tierra Easter      08/26/21

Planning tools for your Lights On Afterschool celebration

We’re nine weeks out from the 23rd celebration of Lights On Afterschool! If you’re in search of event ideas or unsure where to begin, we’ve got you covered. Read on to discover our top planning tools to help you organize your event! Register your Lights On event by September...

BY: Tierra Easter      08/19/22

Lights On Afterschool: Forging futures

As we head into the 22nd year of Lights On Afterschool, the nation’s celebration of afterschool programs, I have mixed feelings. Should we be celebrating? After all, this isn’t the school year we hoped to have. Many of our programs, youth, and families are in crisis. But, I am an...

BY: Jodi Grant      10/26/21

Meeting the moment: How afterschool programs kept the lights on through the COVID crisis

By Mark Cowsert, Associate Director of Policy and Partnerships for the Missouri AfterSchool Network. This article was originally published on Kids Win Missouri on October 21, 2020. The blog is reposted with the author's permission.   Mid-March, 2020 seemed like any other late winter,...

BY: Guest Blogger      11/05/20

What Lights On Afterschool 2020 revealed about the afterschool field

7 ways afterschool shined We’re tired. Challenged. Worried.  Our finances are strained, our staff face too many uncertainties. Yet our field continues to innovate, evolve, and serve kids, families, and communities. Why? Because people are counting on you, and you care for them...

BY: Jodi Grant      10/30/20