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Lights On Afterschool now has Instagram filters

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Lights On Afterschool now has Instagram filters

By Brent Cummings, Walla Walla Public Schools 21st CCLC Program Director

Thanks to the incredible work and imagination of William Hammond, our 21st CCLC Site Coordinator at Garrison Middle School, and his students in Walla Walla, Washington, we are proud to announce that Lights On Afterschool celebrants will now be able to put the “lights on” with our very own Instagram filters…for the very first time!

In February, students at our 21st CCLC site at Garrison originally approached William with the idea to create their own Instagram filters that could be used during Lights On Afterschool season. Right as they had found the software, started to learn how to code and program with it, and were about to create the special filters for our field, COVID hit the state of Washington. As with many plans that were interrupted this year, unfortunately so was this one, and our students did not get the chance to create their own filters.

It has undoubtedly been a tough year for our students and community. Even now as we continue to pivot and rebuild what our sites look like in a virtual setting, we have lost touch with some of those students who were involved in this exciting project.

But we didn’t want to give up. William and I believed that we needed something inspiring and uplifting for our field - now more than ever – and wanted to see the project to fruition. After weeks of hard work spearheaded by William, we just received notice last week that Instagram has approved our 3 Lights On Afterschool themed filters – and now everyone can use them on their own phones!

There are two ways to get the Instagram filters on your phone (make sure your Instagram app is up to date):

  1. Open this blog post on your phone and click any of the links below and they’ll automatically open in Instagram:
    1. LOA Bubbles
    2. LOA Sunglasses
    3. LOA Lightbulb
  2. Open Instagram on your phone and open the camera in the very top left of your screen. You should immediately see an effect reel at the bottom of your screen. Scroll through to the end until you see “browse effects.” Click on it and search for the name of one of our 3 Lights On Afterschool Filters.

But these don’t just need to live on Instagram. You can also take a screenshot and/or video with your filter on and share it on Twitter and Facebook encouraging others to put the Lights On Afterschool.

I could not be more proud of the work William has done to make this possible! These are even better than we envisioned, and I can see this growing into such a cool opportunity (even program) for afterschool students and programs around the country for years to come. The software William used is free and easy to learn and teach to students interested in a hands-on Computer Science learning opportunity.

We can’t wait to see the creative ways afterschool staff & students use these filters – and eventually make their own! Happy Lights On!

If you have questions about how to use the Instagram filters on your phone, please contact Chandler Hall at chall@afterschoolalliance.org.

If you have questions about building your own Instagram filters or how to use this software at your program, please contact William Hammond at whammond@wwps.org.

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