More than 7,500 events will be held across America to raise awareness of the importance of afterschool programs and the positive role they can play. On October 21, New York's Empire State Building will be lit up in yellow to mark Lights On Afterschool.
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.
"Afterschool programs keep children safe and inspire them to learn," said Jeff Slowikowski, OJJDP's Acting Administrator. "Unfortunately, too many children are home alone in the afternoons or out on the streets where they can be exposed to crime or engage in dangerous behaviors."
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. Studies have shown that children participating in afterschool programs demonstrate increased school attendance and enhanced academic achievement. Afterschool programs also reduce juvenile offending, while promoting public safety and positive child development.
To register for an event or to find out what is going on in your area on October 21, visit the Lights On Afterschool Web site.