Showcases, open houses, rallies, award presentations, and other events focused on academics, social and emotional well-being, arts and music, civic engagement, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), fitness and healthy eating, bullying prevention, and more will take place in every corner of the country tomorrow as America celebrates Lights On Afterschool. For the 22nd consecutive year, the only national rally for afterschool will showcase the skills students hone and talents they develop at their afterschool programs. This year, Lights On Afterschool will include a mix of in-person and virtual events.
The New York City skyline will shine for afterschool Thursday night when the Empire State Building is lit in yellow and blue. Other landmarks to be lit for afterschool this week include: the RSA Building in Birmingham, Alabama; Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana; LeVeque Tower in Columbus, Ohio; the World’s Only Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota; and the Charleston, West Virginia Coliseum and Convention Center.
On Thursday, the Afterschool Alliance is holding a Lights On Afterschool National Youth Town Hall at 6 PM EDT. U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona will kick off the event with a taped message. A panel moderated by radio personality Ally Lynn will feature young people sharing reflections about the role afterschool programs play in their lives, and their perspectives and hopes for the future. Learn more and register here.
The Afterschool Alliance organizes Lights On Afterschool to underscore the need to invest in afterschool programs. The most recent America After 3 PM household survey of more than 31,000 families, commissioned by the Afterschool Alliance, finds that for every child in an afterschool program in the United States, three more are waiting to get in. Afterschool programs have stepped up during the pandemic to expand their hours and services, provide in-person and virtual education, deliver meals and enrichment kits, support students during remote learning, check in with children to ensure their social and emotional needs are being met, connect families to social services, and much more.
BellXcel, Capital One, and Clear Channel Outdoor are generous sponsors of Lights On Afterschool this year.