We know that when the school bell rings, kids take off in all different directions. Unfortunately, more than 15 million kids are left alone and unsupervised after the school day ends.
The parents and guardians of more than eight million of these young people would like their children to participate in an afterschool program, but those children don’t have the opportunity to take part in activities that could help them build upon what they learn during the school day and pursue their own interests.
On Oct. 23, more than 1 million kids, educators, families and communities will come together at thousands of events around the country to raise awareness about the importance and value of learning experiences that take place outside the school day, and the importance of the partnerships that make them happen as part of the 15th annual Lights On Afterschool, organized by the Afterschool Alliance. The Afterschool Alliance encourages you to join the Lights on Afterschool effort by participating in a local event or hosting your own.
This year, the Afterschool Alliance is once again partnering with Educator Innovator to highlight the meaningful, engaging and fun learning that’s happening in schools, libraries, museums and community-based organizations after the school day ends. As part of our partnership, we’re excited to offer any event host the opportunity to earn a digital badge as a “facilitator” via the Educator Innovator badge portal.
The facilitator badge is a great way for event hosts to be recognized for all the time and effort they’ve invested in organizing their events.
You can get your badge in two easy steps:
- Register your event on the Lights On Afterschool website; and then
- Apply for the “Facilitator” badge on Educator Innovator’s badge portal (make sure to enter the partner code “Afterschool4All” when applying for your badge).
Whether you’re a parent, teacher or afterschool provider, anyone can pull together a great Lights On Afterschool celebration. Lights On Afterschool provides us with the opportunity to come together to show how meaningful, active collaboration between schools and out-of-school programs can radically change the lives of young people around the country for the better.
Lights On Afterschool events can help showcase program offerings and deepen ties between schools, community organizations, and informal learning institutions. They can also be an easy and effective way to raise money, educate policy makers, get local media to cover your event and connect with other like-minded educators. Most importantly, however, they are a way to show your support for the in-school and out-of-school partnerships that re-imagine what learning looks like today and where it takes place.
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. You’ll find everything you need to host a great event in the Afterschool Alliance’s planning kit, including sample media releases, case studies, an afterschool petition and much more.