Today is “Lights on Afterschool” Day

October 21 is designated as national Lights On Afterschool day.  Over 1 million Americans are celebrating the 11th annual Lights On Afterschool in all 50 states. Though we are fortunate to have quality after school programs in Decatur, that is not true throughout Atlanta, Georgia, or the nation.  We must be advocates for  after school from the local, state and federal level in order to help our children to be safe and to prosper in their out of school hours and in order to provide assistance so there can be “After School for All.”

As a celebration for Lights on Afterschool!:

  • pause a moment and celebrate our successes (Decatur CYS has six quality after school programs, 4 are accredited, 1 has completed the process and is waiting on approval, 1 to go)
  • remember to advocate for continued development and growth of after school for our children both in Decatur and nationwide

A few facts about after school:
In America today, 15.1 million children (26%) are alone and unsupervised in the hours after school.  More than 30% of middle school students and 4% of elementary children are unsupervised after schoolOnly 8.4 million K-12 children (15 percent) participate in afterschool programs.The hours between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. are the peak hours for juvenile crime and experimentation with drugs,alcohol, cigarettes and sex.

 Parents recognize that afterschool is more than just a safe place for kids. According to parents of children in afterschool, the top benefits of participation include helping with social skills, keeping kids safe, providing opportunities to be physically active and helping their child succeed in school.

 Parents miss an average of eight days of work per year due to a lack of afterschool care. Decreased worker productivity related to parental concerns about after school care costs businesses up to $300 billion per year.