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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: August 24, 2015 02:19 PM
From: Senator John T. Yudichak and Sen. Ryan P. Aument
To: All Senate members
Subject: Resolution designating October 22, 2015 as Lights on Afterschool! Day
As co-chairs of the AfterSchool Caucus, we plan to introduce a non-controversial resolution designating October 22, 2015, as Lights on Afterschool! Day in Pennsylvania. This will mark the 16th annual national commemoration of the Lights on Afterschool! Day, a national event recognizing the importance of afterschool programs in the lives of children.

Lights On Afterschool was launched in October 2000 with celebrations in more than 1,200 communities nationwide. The event grew in 2001 to more than 3,600 events and more than 9,000 in 2012. This October, more than 1 million Americans will celebrate Lights On Afterschool.

Pennsylvania has over 2.1 million school-age children and youth and over 1.3 million of them (6 to 17 years of age) have both parents in the workforce, or in the case of single parent families, the sole parent in the workforce. It is estimated that 18 percent of K- 12 youth are responsible for taking care of themselves after school. Children’s out-of-school hours represent the “single biggest block of time” for youth and a key time during the development of children into adolescents and adolescents into adults. More Pennsylvania youth than ever before are in afterschool programs; but for every two children in a program, five are waiting to get in.

Research on the benefits of afterschool programs is clear – it demonstrates that out-of-school hours have a significant influence on the development of children and teenagers’ habits, attitudes and skills that will ultimately help determine their academic and lifetime successes. High-quality afterschool programming improves student achievement, reduces crime by and against youth, and promotes positive social development.

Across Pennsylvania, communities are already working together to develop safe, affordable and enriching afterschool experiences for school-age children and teens. It is vitally important that the Senate recognize the importance of these programs and support the contributions that providers and volunteers make to improve the lives of our young people.

Introduced as SR216