TOPEKA – Afterschool programs help thousands of Kansas children receive much-needed guidance and support to succeed in school and later in life. Kansas will join the rest of the nation tomorrow in celebrating these programs on Lights on Afterschool Day.
Each October, communities all across the country celebrate Lights on Afterschool to recognize the afterschool programs that keep kids safe, inspire them to learn, help working families and build workforce skills for youth. This year, the Kansas Lights on Afterschool theme is “Afterschool is Electric.” Last month, Governor Sam Brownback was joined by children from Manhattan’s Boys & Girls program as he signed a proclamation to designate Oct. 23 as Lights on Afterschool Day in Kansas.
The Kansas Enrichment Network plays a key role in organizing Lights on Afterschool events, which include activities such as obstacle courses, healthy food workshops, homework help programs and more.
“Education is the key to life-long success,” Kansas Enrichment Network Director Marcia Dvorak said. “Lights on Afterschool is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the importance of programs that support Kansas student learning.”
The Kansas Department for Children and Families funds the Kansas Reading Roadmap (KRR), a Governor Brownback afterschool initiative to ensure that children are reading at a proficient level. KRR serves more than 2,000 children and involves the Boys & Girls Club, Families and Schools Together and Save the Children. In communities such as Pittsburg, 45 percent of second graders were reading at the benchmark level when they started the school year. By the end of the school year, 60 percent were proficient readers. KRR programs will participate in Lights on Afterschool Day.
Lights on Afterschool events are scheduled all over the state, including in Wichita, Topeka, Clay Center, Gardner, Hutchinson, Liberal, Manhattan, Overland Park, Lawrence and Independence. A complete list of the events in Kansas is available at http://www.afterschoolalliance.org/loaFindEventZip.cfm
. Last year, there were nearly 80 celebrations in Kansas for Lights on Afterschool.