In Every Corner of the Country, Parents, Students, Educators, Community Leaders and Lawmakers Will Rally This Week to Keep the Lights On Afterschool

Oct 19, 2010, 10:00 ET from Afterschool Alliance

Many Events This Year Will Feature the 'Petition to Save Afterschool Funds'

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- There's a Lights On Afterschool event in nearly every community in the country this week.  On October 21, a million people will see children conduct science experiments, build robots, play soccer and chess, spruce up parks, perform music, and more as part of the 11th annual Lights On Afterschool.  The only nationwide rally for afterschool programs is organized by the Afterschool Alliance.  Across the country, some 7,500 events are scheduled that will feature the diverse, educational activities that children engage in at afterschool programs every day.

These events are being held in schools, city halls, libraries, shopping malls, parks, museums, restaurants, local businesses and other venues.  In honor of the afterschool programs that keep kids safe, inspire them to learn and help working families, the Empire State Building will be lit up in yellow on the evening of October 21 for the fourth year in a row.  Thousands of miles away in South Dakota, Mount Rushmore was lit this weekend when the memorial played host to a Lights On Afterschool kick-off event featuring Lakota Indian dance and song.  

As part of this year's Lights On Afterschool celebration, the Afterschool Alliance has launched the Petition to Save Afterschool Funding, which will be circulated at many events.  It urges lawmakers not to deny or divert crucial federal funds from the afterschool programs that families rely on.

In advance of Lights On Afterschool this year, the Afterschool Alliance released a new special report from America After 3 PM: A Household Survey on Afterschool in America, the most in-depth study ever to explore how America's children spend their afternoons. This special report, America After 3PM: From Big Cities to Small Towns, examines the differences in afterschool participation, satisfaction and demand across rural, suburban and urban communities. Both the America After 3PM full report and this new special report are sponsored by JCPenney Afterschool, a charitable organization committed to making life-enriching afterschool programs available to more students and families.  The report will also reveal city-level data on Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York that will be featured at Lights On events in those cities.

Actress Rhea Perlman is a spokesperson for Lights On Afterschool and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is Founding Chair, a position he has held since 2001.

A list with descriptions of hundreds of events is online.  For a complete list of the more than 7,500 events, please visit here.

SOURCE Afterschool Alliance