Students at Champions sites around the country recently hosted VIP guests and families at their annual Lights On Afterschool celebrations.
This year marked the 17th annual Lights On Afterschool celebration, a national rally showing support for after-school programs. More than 8,000 Lights On events took place within the past week, uniting community leaders, policy makers, students and parents. The event is hosted by the Afterschool Alliance.
Here’s what our Champions sites did to celebrate.
Marengo Ranch Elementary (Galt, Calif.)
The California Champions sites hosted family game nights. More than 70 people attended the Marengo Ranch event, enjoying a community dinner, playing games like pumpkin tic-tac-toe and creating games boards and pieces to take home. (Twister anyone?) This was Marengo Ranch’s first Lights On event and parents and children definitely enjoyed it.
Sunrise, Arnold Adreani, and John Adams Academy (Sacramento-area sites)
Three Sacramento-area Champions programs united for one giant family event. More than 150 people attended! “5 Seconds” was the popular game at this event: Children challenged their parents to name as many items in a particular category within five seconds. Ready? Name all the animals you can think of in five seconds. Go!
Arlene Hein Elementary (Elk Grove, Calif.)
Arlene Hein families enjoy the annual Lights On event. This year more than 160 people attended and joined in the fun and games. Site Director Erin Long also introduced families to the new school-age curriculum at the event.
Frank J. Dugan Elementary School (Marlboro, NJ)
From the moment Congressman Frank Pallone was greeted with a program-wide rendition of “The Grand Old Flag” (with a “Go Champions!” cheer) until the time he left with a scrapbook of children’s artwork, he was a welcome part of the Marlboro program. Congressman Pallone answered a myriad of questions – “Why is it important to vote?” “Is it hard work being a Congressman?” – and listened to campaign speeches from students running for President of Champions. He even autographed some of their journals. It’s quite possible one of the nearly 70 students will be inspired by the day’s visit to become a politician someday. Congressman Pallone told the students he knew he’d work in politics from the moment he ran for (and won) a spot on his school’s student government in fourth grade.
River Woods Elementary (Naperville, Ill.)
Students at the River Woods program were excited to show State Representative Grant Wehrli around their site. After the students shared all about Champions and the things they do in the program, he gamely sat down for a QA with the children where he explained the laws he’s helped to create and answered questions such as “Are there any women who are state representatives?” (Yes!) See TV coverage of their event here.