SPRINGFIELD — Noting the importance of student learning extending beyond school hours, Gov. Bruce Rauner today proclaimed Oct. 26, 2017, as Lights On Afterschool Day in Illinois.
He was joined by officials from ACT Now Coalition and the Springfield Urban League to recognize the importance of student learning beyond the school day.
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“Access to a quality afterschool program can expand learning opportunities for Illinois children and help guide them on the path to a better future,” Rauner said. “Increasing child participation will build stronger communities by helping working families and fostering positive relationships between participants and their mentors and peers.”
Started in October 2000, Lights On Afterschool is a nationwide event organized by Afterschool Alliance that highlights the significance of keeping the lights on and doors open to after-school programs.
According to Afterschool Alliance, 73 percent of parents surveyed in Illinois say that after-school programs help them keep their jobs and 72 percent say that the programs reduce the likelihood that children will engage in risky behavior. The alliance’s “America After 3PM” 2014 edition reported that the parents of more than 19 million families nationwide said they would enroll their child in an after-school program if one were available.
“Lights On Afterschool celebrates the remarkable work being done by students who attend after-school programs,” ACT Now Coalition Network Lead Susan Stanton said. “It is a powerful reminder that after-school programs offer a range of supports to children and families.”
“The Springfield Urban League Inc. and our community partners are driven to provide solutions that help both students and families progress,” Springfield Urban League Program Manager Larry Hemingway Sr. said. “As a community-based organization we are committed to investing in the whole family by providing direct services in the areas of health, workforce and education.”