Today is Lights On Afterschool Day, a day of celebration of Afterschool programs and what they do to help working families, keep kids safe and inspire kids to learn.

Almost 100 programs across Ohio are participating in a variety of ways, from holding “Honk For Afterschool” rallies to visiting science museums. Those 100 programs are part of the larger 8,000 programs across the US who are advocating and educating others on the importance and power of Afterschool programs.

Back here in Ohio, the issue is ACCESS. Simply put, there are not enough programs to meet the need.  For every 1 youth in an Afterschool program, there are 2 more who would participate if an Afterschool program was available. 

So what’s the big deal? Why is it concerning that 2/3 of Ohio’s youth don’t have access to an Afterschool program? Afterschool programs impact communities in research-proven ways that are not always so obvious, like helping youth become work force ready, increasing social-emotional competencies, impacting the juvenile crime rate and feeding hungry kids dinner. Want more information? Click here.

Here are 3 quick and easy things you can do to support Afterschool TODAY:

  1. FORWARD THIS EMAIL. To colleagues, to partners, to parents and to friends. Send it to one person or many. Help spread the word about the need for Afterschool programs.
  2. PARTICIPATE WITH SOCIAL MEDIA. Find OAN on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and like and re-post our social media posts today. Use the hashtag #lightupOhio . And don’t forget to join the Thunderclap, our social media “flash mob”.
  3. SIGN THE PETITION. Head to the Afterschool Alliance’s website and sign the petition to join in the call for increased investments in Afterschool, and to ask policy makers and community leaders to ensure our kids are learning and growing when school is out.
Spread the word, and let’s #lightupOhio!

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