Students at the Copeland Champions after-school program in Libertyville, Illinois, invited State Senator Dan Duffy to join them on Tuesday, October 14 to celebrate their annual Lights On Afterschool event.
Lights On Afterschool, sponsored by the Afterschool Alliance, is the annual celebration of the importance of after-school programs. More than a quarter of youth in America – 15.1 million children – are alone and unsupervised after school. After-school programs like Champions keep kids safe, help working families, inspire learning, and provide opportunities for students outside of their regular school day.
“It is important for elected officials to visit because legislators can see for themselves the positive impact after-school programs have on children and families,” said Jill Brown, licensing and compliance advisor for Knowledge Universe. Jill organized Senator Duffy’s visit. “Also, creating relationships with legislators can help us advocate for legislation that may affect our programs (i.e. new child care licensing regulations or new/existing funding streams).”
Senator Duffy’s district includes four Champions programs, so students at the Copeland program invited him to visit their program for a tour. After the tour the Senator gave the students a behind-the-scenes view of the legislative and political maneuvering that takes place on a daily basis in the state’s capitol. “Springfield 101” was a hit as students learned how an idea becomes a law and the importance of cooperation, especially when it comes to legislation.