Reaching Policy Makers

Policy makers at every level of government are critical allies in expanding the resources available to support afterschool programs. Consider inviting them to your event or asking them to issue a proclamation

Make afterschool an election issue. Lights On Afterschool provides an excellent opportunity for political candidates to speak to constituents. The presence of candidates can raise the profile of your event and increase media attention.

The opportunity to see and hear the impact that afterschool can have on a child’s life is invaluable. Use this sample language to invite policy makers to attend your Lights On Afterschool event and see for themselves.

Nearly every governor across the country issues a proclamation in support of Lights On Afterschool each year. Proclamations are an easy way for your community to celebrate, and can be made by your mayor, local officials, or even by organizations.

Watch the Webinar

In this webinar, we discussed a variety of strategies and considerations when planning your event and reaching out to policy makers to make sure that your Lights On Afterschool event makes a big splash.

Policy makers at every level are vital to expanding the resources available to support afterschool programs. You can invite them to your event or ask them to issue a proclamation—any connection is a good one! Lights On Afterschool provides an excellent opportunity for political candidates to speak to constituents about their commitment to afterschool. The presence of candidates can raise the profile of your event and increase media attention. We were joined by two of our amazing Afterschool Ambassadors, Kim Templeman and Patrick Pinchinat, and Patrick's colleague Marlena Starace, who provided some great insights and suggestions from their own experiences bringing policy makers to Lights On Afterschool events.

Pointers from the pros

Day in the Afterschool Life of a Dallas Child event forges new relationships with media & policy makers

The Dallas AfterSchool Network hosted a bus tour of afterschool programs in north and south Dallas for local dignitaries and community leaders, affording them a realistic look at “a day in the afterschool life of a Dallas child.” As a direct result of the bus tour, the local ABC television affiliate committed to doing a weekly segment on afterschool, and Dallas AfterSchool Network, Executive Director Tanya McDonald was able to establish relationships with federal and state representatives and schedule follow-up meetings.

Lights On Afterschool expo attracts elected officials

The Fort Worth Independent School District's 21st Century Community Learning Centers Programs' Lights On Afterschool event was a rally in front of the JCPenney store in Fort Worth's Ridgmar Mall. The event, which drew more than 700 attendees, drew on the talents of children from 21st Century programs across the school district, featuring singing, cheers, ballet folklorico, poetry, hip-hop dance, steppers, Tae Kwon Do, a band performance, a fashion show and Kung Fu. Displays on various afterschool learning opportunities filled the mall walkways on two floors in front of the store, giving parents, the media and policy makers the chance to sample the programs' rich and diverse curriculum.

Battle of the Bands draws media & local officials

A "Battle of the Bands" event built around the mayor's city pride initiative attracted media attention and local policy makers, creating visibility for the program and strengthening relationships with officials. 

Creative program inspires policy maker to act

The main event kicked off with a student torch race to the state capitol. Students passed the torches on to legislators to call attention to the thousands of area children without afterschool. The creative event inspired a state policy maker to help find needed funding for afterschool.