South Dakota programs celebrate Lights On Afterschool
Afterschool programs across the country rally Oct. 16
PIERRE, S.D. – Lights On Afterschool, a nation-wide rally to support afterschool programs, will take place on Oct. 16, 2008. More than 1 million children, parents and community leaders are expected to take part in celebrations across the country, including a variety of activities in South Dakota:
Afterschool programs keep children safe and healthy, and inspire students to learn while helping working families. Children who participate in afterschool programs have a safe place to go, a range of fun and challenging activities to participate in, and supervision by adults who help them learn and grow.
“Afterschool programs are critical to the continued education and safety of children in South Dakota,” said Deb Bowman, Secretary of the Department of Social Services. “Quality afterschool programs provide opportunities for children and youth to develop social, emotional, physical and academic skills.”
The South Dakota Out-of-School Time (OST) Program provides resources for schools and communities who want to offer structured and safe environments for children when they are not in school through grants, training, technical assistance and program development. The South Dakota Department of Social Services' Division of Child Care Services encourages school officials to work with their communities to build programs that positively impact K-8 children during their out-of-school time.
Sponsored by the Afterschool Alliance, Lights On Afterschool began in 2000 as an event to recognize the importance of quality afterschool programs in the lives of children, their families and communities. A complete list of South Dakota afterschool programs holding events in conjunction with Lights On Afterschool can be found at www.afterschoolalliance.org.