Support learning with nationwide #LightsOnAfterschool celebration tomorrow

We’re proud to join the Ohio Afterschool Network and communities all across the country to celebrate the 21st annual #LightsOnAfterschool! Over 1 million afterschool champions are showcasing all the ways afterschool and summer learning programs are serving our communities. The national Afterschool Alliance hosts this event each year to shine a spotlight on the importance of afterschool for children, their parents and communities.

There is unmet demand for afterschool programs. A national report by the Afterschool Alliance from March 2020 shows that more than 19 million kids nationwide are waiting to get into afterschool programs. Afterschool programs provide extended learning opportunities for students, time to develop strong social skills and explore topics like STEM outside the classroom. These programs provide peace-of-mind for working parents, allowing them to focus on work while knowing their kids are safe and positively engaged in learning.

COVID-19 has created serious hardships for afterschool programs across our nation. Programs have faced closures, budget shortfalls, and increased costs maintain program operations with social distancing protocols in place. Please raise your voice in support of afterschool.

The Ohio Afterschool Network (OAN) is the champion and collective voice for Ohio’s afterschool programs. OAN convenes stakeholders to expand high-quality afterschool programs in our state. More than 25 programs across Ohio have activities planned to celebrate #LightsOnAfterschool tomorrow. (see this listing from the national Afterschool Alliance)

For a statewide perspective, join OAN and Children’s Hunger Alliance for an online conference and celebration on “The State of Afterschool in Ohio” from 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM.  

Keynote speakers including State Representative Catherine D. Ingram of Cincinnati; Heidi Kegley, Superintendent of Delaware City Schools; State Senator Stephanie Kunze of Hilliard; Judy Mobley, President and CEO of Children’s Hunger Alliance; and Michele Ritchlin, Executive Director of Ohio Afterschool Network, will discuss the importance of afterschool programs in helping bridge the meal and learning gaps, especially during a public health crisis. 


State Representative Catherine D. Ingram of Cincinnati

Heidi Kegley

Heidi Kegley, Superintendent of Delaware City Schools

Stephanie Kunze
State Senator Stephanie Kunze of Hilliard

Judy Mobley, President and CEO of Children’s Hunger Alliance

Michele Ritchlin

Michele Ritchlin, Executive Director of Ohio Afterschool Network

Register here for this free event and receive a link to access the online session.  

If you can’t attend “The State of Afterschool” event, you can be a part of #LightsOnAfterschool and inspire others to get involved by taking the #LightbulbChallenge. Post a photo of you, your program, your family – whoever – posing a lightbulb on Oct 22! Here’s how: 

Photo credit: Cincinnati by night bv Don Sniegowski

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