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Happy Lights On Afterschool 2021!

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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 us shine a light on the afterschool programs that help young people thrive. Dozens of governors have proclaimed October 28 “Lights On Afterschool Day,” and more than 5,000 celebrations nationwide are taking place.

We celebrate Lights On Afterschool to recognize afterschool programs and the tremendous value they provide, and to rally for more afterschool resources. Afterschool programs have innovated to serve communities as the pandemic persisted, expanding their hours and services to keep young people connected during periods of isolation, provide high-quality virtual and in-person learning experiences, address food insecurity, and help with remote learning. Afterschool staff have been playing a critical role supporting youth throughout the pandemic, serving as role models, mentors, and heroes.

In honor of their work, the Empire State Building, along with other landmarks nationwide, is lighting up in blue and yellow for Lights On Afterschool for the 15th year in a row. Landmarks shining from coast to coast include: Memphis-Arkansas bridge, Tennessee; Caesars Superdome, Louisiana; Charleston, West Virginia Coliseum and Convention Center; and many more. Messages in support of afterschool programs are illuminating digital billboards, bus shelters, and even Times Square, thanks to Clear Channel Outdoor, which donated space to help the nation celebrate afterschool programs.

Programs are shining a light on afterschool with celebrations all over the country, from a light bulb decorating contest held by YMCA of Florida’s First Coast to a Lights, Flight, and Fright; Harry Potter escape room held by Greenville ISD’s ACE program. Lights On activities are highlighting literacy, STEM, physical activity, and more with thousands of creative events. The Boys & Girls Club of Watertown is making STEM the focus of their celebration with STEM stations for youth to explore physics, anatomy, and outer space! Crooked Oak STREAM in Oklahoma is hosting a fall festival with outdoor activities including a sack race and Zumba class for adults. Afterschool programs have been at the forefront of youth recovery from the pandemic, and despite the challenges of the past year, have risen to the moment to allow youth to explore interests, learn critical skills, and be kids. Tonight’s celebrations are only a microcosm of the high-quality and engaging activities that programs provide every day.

Tonight, we celebrate with our centerpiece event, a virtual Youth Town Hall, featuring U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and youth from programs across the country as they speak about their afterschool experiences, reflections on the past year, and their hopes for the future.

Lights On Afterschool doesn’t end there! On November 8, NASA will celebrate with a Q&A with NASA Deputy Administrator and Astronaut Pam Melroy. Melroy is second in command at NASA and one of only two women to command a space shuttle. As an astronaut, Melroy logged more than 38 days in space as part of missions to build the International Space Station. Students, programs, and families are encouraged to join this exciting and STEM-filled finale and send in their questions for Melroy about her career and space explorations.

Show your support for afterschool today by taking the #LightbulbChallenge or writing a note of appreciation to the afterschool programs and staff that have made a difference in your life. After a year of unexpected challenges and uncertainty, afterschool programs need your support to keep forging successful futures for our youth and playing an integral role in the communities they serve. Happy Lights On Afterschool 2021!

The 2024 Lights On Afterschool Poster Contest is open!

The Lights On Afterschool poster contest is officially open, and this year we’re looking for any artwork that represents the spirit of afterschool programs. To make things even more exciting, we’re looking to gather new or already existing materials. If your program has pre-made artwork...

BY: Shaun Gray      04/09/24

Where we were during Lights On Afterschool 2023

Students at Life Pieces to Masterpieces in Washington, D.C. Afterschool Alliance staff members were out and about at afterschoool programs during Lights On Afterschool 2023. Here are a few snapshots of events they participated in. For even more Lights On Afterschool event recaps, check out...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      11/30/23

Lights On Afterschool: Where on earth is Chris Neitzey?

Photo courtesy of Chris Neitzey; Madison Deputy Mayor Sanon addresses the crowd outside the Wisconsin State Capitol.  For Lights On Afterschool 2023, Afterschool Alliance Director of State Policy Chris Neitzey visited a record-breaking six Lights On Afterschool events across Wisconsin. His...

BY: Chris Neitzey      11/20/23

Lights, learning, and lunchboxes – An innovative partnership during Lights On

By Meredith Bush, Senior Manager of Education Business Development at Center of Science and Industry (COSI), and Stephen White, Chief Strategy Officer, Vice President of Partnerships and Business Development at Center of Science and Industry (COSI). Afterschool Alliance teamed up...

BY: Guest Blogger      11/09/23

Lights On Afterschool STEM extravaganza

With Lights On Afterschool season upon us and as the new STEM Hub Manager here at the Afterschool Alliance, I was eager to participate in an event elevating the value of STEM learning for youth at a young age. I was delighted to learn about and attend the inaugural STEM Extravaganza in Columbia,...

BY: Leslie Brooks      11/02/23

Top ten highlights from Lights On Afterschool 2023

Yesterday, the 24th annual Lights On Afterschool was celebrated by afterschool programs and supporters nationwide. With 8,000 different events held in collaboration with hundreds of partners and a million attendees, it’s hard to select just a few special moments to share...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      10/27/23

Today is Lights On Afterschool!

In Arkansas, students are completing an obstacle course with members of their local fire department. In California, they are learning to weave baskets and performing songs and skits. In Delaware, they are exploring careers from landscaping to banking; in Georgia, identifying native plants...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      10/26/23

Energy Superheroes join Lights On Afterschool events in Charlottesville, Denver, Houston – and Mons, Belgium

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

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      10/24/23

Celebrate Lights On Afterschool with these last-minute ideas

The time has come: we are officially one week out from Lights On Afterschool day! Did you think it was too late to join in the celebration? Well, think again! Whether you want to partake in the Lightbulb Challenge or light up a local landmark, here are some ways to get involved in Lights On...

BY: Lucy Maddox      10/19/23

Join the Lights On Afterschool Lightbulb Challenge!

With just two weeks left until Lights On Afterschool day, the countdown to this annual celebration is well underway! Still, it’s not too late to get involved and show your support for afterschool programs across the country. Even if you aren’t hosting your own event this year, there are...

BY: Lucy Maddox      10/12/23

The 2024 Lights On Afterschool Poster Contest is open!

The Lights On Afterschool poster contest is officially open, and this year we’re looking for any artwork that represents the spirit of afterschool programs. To make things even more exciting, we’re looking to gather new or already existing materials. If your program has pre-made artwork...

BY: Shaun Gray      04/09/24

Energy Superheroes join Lights On Afterschool events in Charlottesville, Denver, Houston – and Mons, Belgium

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

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      10/24/23

What we saw during Lights On 2022: Part 1

Welcome to part one of "What we saw during Lights On 2022." As we head into the new year, we wanted to share some of the first-hand accounts from our staff members who were able to visit afterschool programs during this year's Lights On. You can read part two on the blog. Mark...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      12/15/22

Spotlight on STEM at YMCA Houston's 21st CCLC Lights On celebration

This Lights On Afterschool, the Afterschool Alliance partnered with Energy Superheroes and Trailblazers from the award-winning multicultural nonfiction children’s book series, Everyday Superheroes to bring STEM learning to four different local Lights On celebrations. One of those celebrations...

BY: Maria Rizo      11/28/22

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

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

The 2024 Lights On Afterschool Poster Contest is open!

The Lights On Afterschool poster contest is officially open, and this year we’re looking for any artwork that represents the spirit of afterschool programs. To make things even more exciting, we’re looking to gather new or already existing materials. If your program has pre-made artwork...

BY: Shaun Gray      04/09/24

Bring out student creativity during Lights On Afterschool

This Lights On Afterschool, host an art day! Lights On Afterschool is the perfect time to let students express their thoughts on afterschool through art. Events can be as big as a mural painting around a unique theme that resonates with your students and as simple as decorating a lightbulb with all...

BY: Maria Rizo      09/28/23

Meet the winner of the Lights On Afterschool 2023 poster contest

This year's Lights On Afterschool poster was created by Lydia Ireland, a seventh-grade student from Folks Middle School Art Club. Lydia’s drawing features afterschool imagery, including a ballet slipper, a football, a theater mask, a chess piece, and a computer mouse – all radiating...

BY: Shaun Gray      08/21/23

The 2023 Lights On Afterschool Poster Contest is open!

The Lights On Afterschool poster contest is officially open, and this year we’re looking for any artwork that represents the spirit of afterschool programs. To make things even more exciting, we’re looking to gather new or already existing materials. If your program has...

BY: Shaun Gray      05/18/23

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

Lights, learning, and lunchboxes – An innovative partnership during Lights On

By Meredith Bush, Senior Manager of Education Business Development at Center of Science and Industry (COSI), and Stephen White, Chief Strategy Officer, Vice President of Partnerships and Business Development at Center of Science and Industry (COSI). Afterschool Alliance teamed up...

BY: Guest Blogger      11/09/23

Lights On Afterschool STEM extravaganza

With Lights On Afterschool season upon us and as the new STEM Hub Manager here at the Afterschool Alliance, I was eager to participate in an event elevating the value of STEM learning for youth at a young age. I was delighted to learn about and attend the inaugural STEM Extravaganza in Columbia,...

BY: Leslie Brooks      11/02/23

Energy Superheroes join Lights On Afterschool events in Charlottesville, Denver, Houston – and Mons, Belgium

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

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      10/24/23

NASA is celebrating Lights On Afterschool - and you’re invited!

This Lights On Afterschool, get wrapped up in learning about Paula Cain, who went from fashion designer to space blanket technician at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.  NASA invites programs and youth to join a special virtual Lights On Afterschool event with Thermal Blanket...

BY: Maria Rizo      10/02/23

Spotlight on STEM at YMCA Houston's 21st CCLC Lights On celebration

This Lights On Afterschool, the Afterschool Alliance partnered with Energy Superheroes and Trailblazers from the award-winning multicultural nonfiction children’s book series, Everyday Superheroes to bring STEM learning to four different local Lights On celebrations. One of those celebrations...

BY: Maria Rizo      11/28/22

The 2024 Lights On Afterschool Poster Contest is open!

The Lights On Afterschool poster contest is officially open, and this year we’re looking for any artwork that represents the spirit of afterschool programs. To make things even more exciting, we’re looking to gather new or already existing materials. If your program has pre-made artwork...

BY: Shaun Gray      04/09/24

Communities from Alaska to Florida lit up landmarks for afterschool

Last Thursday, communities across the country rallied for the 23rd annual Lights On Afterschool celebration. This year, the nation shined their lights for the essential programs that keep kids safe, inspire them to learn, and give working parents peace of mind that their children are safe and...

BY: Maria Rizo      10/28/22

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

The 2024 Lights On Afterschool Poster Contest is open!

The Lights On Afterschool poster contest is officially open, and this year we’re looking for any artwork that represents the spirit of afterschool programs. To make things even more exciting, we’re looking to gather new or already existing materials. If your program has pre-made artwork...

BY: Shaun Gray      04/09/24

Today is the first day of Lights On Afterschool season!

It's on! Lights On Afterschool is back for its 24th year -- please join us in the nation's only celebration of afterschool and out-of-school time programs! With 10 weeks until October 26, now is the perfect time to register and begin planning your event. Explore...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      08/17/23

Lights On Afterschool: Celebrating 25 years of 21st CCLC programs

We are delighted to announce that this year Lights On Afterschool, the nationwide rally for afterschool, will highlight the contributions of 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) afterschool programs. 21st CCLC funding has enabled local programs to keep kids safe, inspire them to...

BY: Ursula Helminski      07/20/23

Spotlight on STEM at YMCA Houston's 21st CCLC Lights On celebration

This Lights On Afterschool, the Afterschool Alliance partnered with Energy Superheroes and Trailblazers from the award-winning multicultural nonfiction children’s book series, Everyday Superheroes to bring STEM learning to four different local Lights On celebrations. One of those celebrations...

BY: Maria Rizo      11/28/22