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Georgia afterschool programs celebrate ‘Lights on Afterschool’

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

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

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October 18, 2016 – In America today, 11.3 million children are alone and unsupervised after school. To recognize the necessity and importance of quality afterschool programs, hundreds of programs in Georgia will join together on October 20 to celebrate the annual nationwide event Lights on Afterschool.

 

Since 2000, Lights on Afterschool has brought together communities, students, and families across the country to collectively emphasize the importance of keeping the lights on and the doors open after school. Last year, over a million people gathered at more than 8,000 sites across the country to demonstrate their 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. This school year, 125 programs will operate over 240 locations serving approximately 27,000 21st CCLC students and their families. The majority of these programs will host Lights on Afterschool events in their communities on October 20 to highlight their programs’ successes and the importance of quality afterschool programs in the lives of children, families and the community.

 

“We know students often require opportunities and support beyond the regular school day to be successful,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “Through our 21st CCLC programs, children have the opportunity to discovery new talents and explore real-world connections that expand and enhance their learning. We are proud of the remarkable work being accomplished after school by students who attend our 21st CCLC programs.”

 

Over the course of a year, students only spend an average of 15 percent of their time in school. There is a growing opportunity to provide students – particularly those who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools – with academic enrichment opportunities outside of the school day. 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 research behind the importance of quality afterschool programs continues to grow,” said Nathan Schult, 21st CCLC Program Manager. “On October 20, communities across Georgia and the country will stand together in continued support of, and commitment to, afterschool programs that help children develop academically, socially, emotionally, and physically. Quality afterschool programs make communities stronger by involving students, parents, business leaders and volunteers. As the only national celebration of afterschool programs, 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/loa.cfm. For more information about Georgia’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program, please visit http://www.gadoe.org/School-Improvement/Federal-Programs/Pages/21st-Century-Community-Learning-Centers.aspx

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