OJJDP is pleased to announce its support of the 10th annual Lights On Afterschool initiative. Scheduled for October 22, 2009, this nationwide effort calls attention to the importance of afterschool programs and the resources needed to keep their lights on and doors open. More than 7,500 events will be held across America in schools, malls, and other venues.
More than a million people across the United States will participate in street fairs, open houses, fun runs, science and math competitions, community parades, and more to celebrate Lights On Afterschool, the only nationwide rally for afterschool programs. The event is sponsored by the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit public
awareness and advocacy organization.
"Studies have shown that children participating in afterschool programs demonstrate increased school attendance and enhanced academic achievement," said Jeff Slowikowski, OJJDP's Acting Administrator. "Afterschool programs also reduce juvenile offending, while promoting public safety and positive child development. No afterschool program is too small to help deter youth from the destructive path of delinquent behavior."
More than 14 million children have no place to go after school. Two-thirds of Americans say that it is difficult to find programs in their communities and that not enough programs are available. To address this urgent need, OJJDP encourages participation by individuals and community organizations across the country in the Lights On Afterschool rally. To learn more about Lights On Afterschool, access event planning tools, register an event, or to find out what is going on in your area on October 22, visit http://ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/lightson.