A project of the Afterschool Alliance

Sample Media Alert

Use our sample media alerts (also known as media/news advisories) to inform reporters about your upcoming Lights On Afterschool event, and convince them that it's a genuine news story worthy of coverage.

Media alerts are one-page announcements of an upcoming event, intended for journalists, not the public. Their purpose is to convince reporters that this event is a genuine news story worthy of coverage. Send your alert to all journalists in your media market who might be interested in covering your event, and don't forget wire services (like Associated Press), which frequently produce "daybooks" of newsworthy events. Find some inspiration from this media alert from a past Lights On Afterschool event.

Some tips about media alerts:

Sample Text

Contact: [your program/rally contact]
[daytime phone number]
[evening phone number]

8,000 Rallies Nationwide Aim to Make Afterschool Programs Available to All [Your program name] to Hold Lights On Afterschool Rally October [XX]

The [your program name] afterschool program will sponsor a Lights On Afterschool rally on [date and time of event]. The rally will be one of more than an expected 8,000 such events across America as part of Lights On Afterschool, the annual nationwide celebration of afterschool programs organized by the Afterschool Alliance. This year, Lights On Afterschool will highlight youth voices in the upcoming national election, encouraging kids to share their thoughts with the next president and teaching them about our electoral process.

Speakers in [your city/town] will call for expanding afterschool opportunities so that every child who needs a program has access to one, and discuss the benefits of afterschool programs, including inspiring children to learn, keeping them safe in the hours when juvenile crime peaks, and providing relief to working families. At the event, parents and supporters will sign a petition that urges lawmakers not to deny or divert funding for afterschool programs.

Participants in the Lights On Afterschool rally include [list high-profile guests by name, like the mayor, city council members, local business leaders, educators and other officials]. The event will spotlight the range of programming available at the [name of program], including its [add some specific offerings, particularly those focused on STEM, academic support, physical fitness, and those featuring community partners]. Hundreds of parents, supporters and community members are expected to attend.

  • What: [your program or city name] Lights On Afterschool Rally
  • When: [date and time]
  • Where: [location, address]
  • Who: [noteworthy guests and speakers, ie: the mayor, school board chair, local business leaders] parents and supporters of afterschool

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is Founding Chair of Lights On Afterschool, a position he has held since 2001.

On October 16, a new report from the more than 5,000 sheriffs, police chiefs, and prosecutors of the organization Fight Crime: Invest in Kids – which is part of the Council for a Strong America -- spotlighted data documenting positive outcomes for children and teens who participate in high quality afterschool programs. The report, released in conjunction with Lights On Afterschool, showed that the hours immediately following school remain the “prime time for juvenile crime.” The group analyzed FBI crime data from 36 states and found that the majority suffered spikes in crime from 2:00 to 6:00 PM. The report went on to describe afterschool programs as one of the nation's best crime prevention strategies, an effective way to guide young people toward success in school and readiness for productive careers.

[Amend the following section to the specifics of your program]

The [your program name] opened in [year opened] with a 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant from the U.S. Department of Education. It now serves [XX] children, providing homework assistance, mentoring, tutoring, and classes and clubs in sports, recreation, mathematics, chess, and dozens of other subjects. The program is a collaboration between the school system, YMCA, Museum of Arts and Sciences and three local colleges.

The Afterschool Alliance is a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children have access to quality afterschool programs. More information on Lights On Afterschool is available at www.afterschoolalliance.org.