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Afterschool Programs Celebrate Lights on Afterschool in Georgia

MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Cardoza, GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 651-7358, mcardoza@gadoe.org   

Nathan Schult, 21st CCLC Program Manager, Phone: (404) 232 - 1197, nschult@doe.k12.ga.us  

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October 15, 2015 -- On October 22, 2015, hundreds of afterschool programs throughout Georgia will join together with students, families and communities to recognize the 16th annual Lights on Afterschool event. Since 2000, Lights on Afterschool has emphasized the importance of keeping the lights on and the doors open after school in order to provide students with quality afterschool programs. Last year, over one million people gathered at more than 8,000 sites across the country, and at U.S. military bases worldwide, to show support for afterschool programs.

 

Through Georgia’s Title IV, Part B, 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program (21st CCLC), the Georgia Department of Education provides federal funds to establish or expand community learning centers that operate during out-of-school hours. During this school year, approximately 26,000 21st CCLC students will attend afterschool programs offered at 243 locations that serve more than 60 school districts in Georgia. The majority of these programs will host Lights on Afterschool events in their communities on October 22 to celebrate their programs’ successes and the important role they play in their communities.

 

“We know that learning does not stop at 3 p.m. when the bell rings,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said.  “We are proud of the remarkable work being accomplished after school by the students who attend our 21st CCLC programs. These programs provide children with safe environments that inspire learning by giving kids the opportunity to discover new talents as they grow academically and socially.”

 

Over the course of a year, students only spend an average of 15 percent of their time in school. There is a growing opportunity outside of the school day to provide students – particularly those who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools – with academic enrichment opportunities. 21st CCLC programs help students meet academic standards in core subjects by offering a broad array of enrichment activities that complement regular academic programs, as well as literacy and other educational services for the families of participating children.

 

“The benefits of quality afterschool programs are clear,” said Nathan Schult, 21st CCLC Program Manager. “They support working families by ensuring that children are safe and productive when the school day ends. Now more than ever, most American families need some form of afterschool care. Quality afterschool programs make communities stronger by involving students, parents, business leaders and volunteers. Lights on Afterschool is a powerful reminder that afterschool programs play a critical role in keeping youth safe, engaged and prepared to be successful adults.”

 

To learn more about Lights on Afterschool and see a complete list of events in Georgia, visit http://www.afterschoolalliance.org/loaFindEvent.cfm. For more information about Georgia’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program, visit http://www.gadoe.org/School-Improvement/Federal-Programs/Pages/21st-Century-Community-Learning-Centers.aspx

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