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.
Contact: [your program/rally contact]
[daytime phone number]
[evening phone number]
The [program] afterschool program will sponsor a Lights On Afterschool rally on [date and time]. The virtual event will be one of thousands taking place across America as part of Lights On Afterschool, the annual nationwide rally for afterschool programs organized by the Afterschool Alliance. This year, Lights On Afterschool will highlight the vital role that afterschool programs are playing during the pandemic. Across the nation, afterschool programs are meeting community needs. [Add a sentence on what your program is doing during the pandemic.] Many programs provided in-person programming for children of essential workers at the height of the shutdown, along with hybrid-schedule programming designed to wrap around pandemic-specific school-day schedules. In addition, many have delivered meals to low-income families, and served as a link to other vital services.
Speakers in [your city/town] will highlight the need for additional support for afterschool programs as they adjust to pandemic realities. They 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 supporting 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.
Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is Founding Chair of Lights On Afterschool, a position he has held since 2001.
[Amend the following section to the specifics of your program]
The [program] opened in [year] with a 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant from the U.S. Department of Education. It now serves [XX] students, 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 about Lights On Afterschool is available at www.afterschoolalliance.org.