Lights On Afterschool recognizes children affected by Harvey through celebration at Children’s Museum

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October 25, 2017 by HCDE-Texas

bulb_transparentbgLights On Afterschool, the national awareness-raising day to support afterschool, will be held locally in Houston on Thursday, Oct. 26 from 3-5 p.m. at the Children’s Museum of Houston, 1500 Binz. The event is hosted by the Greater Houston Lights On Alliance, a collection of local organizations which support afterschool.

Locally, Lights On Afterschool! will celebrate the organizations and afterschool providers who kept the lights on for students during Hurricane Harvey and in the storm’s aftermath.

About 150 children invited to the event from Alliance organizations come from areas in Houston which were heavily affected by the storm.  Children will trick-or-treat in designated areas of the museum with their afterschool community from 4-5 p.m.

Event highlights include remarks by the Texas Partnership for Out of School Time; an afterschool rally; post-Harvey: Afterschool in Houston discussion; and a STEM interactive science experience called “air blaster” provided by museum staff to demonstrate the power of air mass.

A recent study completed by Harris County Department of Education’s Research and Evaluation Institute circulated to local afterschool communities reported 80 percent of afterschool sites said they expect to see changes in enrollment because of Hurricane Harvey. Over half of the respondents provided afterschool programs and services in Harvey’s aftermath, and many depleted resources and exhausted personnel during the weeks following the storm.  Harvey afterschool relief kits will be distributed to many of the affected sites at the event.

National statistics show that 11.3 million children are alone and unsupervised from 3-6 p.m., and one in five children still don’t have afterschool caregivers. Even though more youth than ever before are in afterschool—10.2 million—for every child in a program, two are waiting to get in.

This year the national celebration highlights the importance of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities in afterschool. Over the next decade, Texas is projected to have nearly 10 percent of the nation’s STEM job opportunities, with Dallas, Houston and Austin being among the top places in the nation for STEM job seekers. Texas businesses need workers with STEM skills, and afterschool programs help prepare students for jobs in high demand, like those in the STEM fields, according to the Texas Partnership for Out of School Time.

The event is hosted by the Greater Houston Lights On Alliance, an alliance that supports the philosophy that afterschool programs keep kids safe, help working families and inspire youth to learn.

The alliance is comprised of the following organizations:

The alliance is comprised of the following organizations:

CASE for Kids, Education Foundation of Harris County, Harris County Department of Education, YMCA of Greater Houston; Houston ISD; the City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department After-School Achievement Program (A.S.A.P.); The Mayor’s Office of Education Initiatives; Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston; Harris County Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis; United Way of Greater Houston; Children’s Museum of Houston; South East Texas After-School Association (SETAA); and Harris County Precinct 1 and Harris County Precinct 2.

View invite: http://www.hcde-texas.org/media/4945/lights-on-2017-invitation.pdf

View statistics about afterschool from TXPOST and the Afterschool Alliance: http://www.hcde-texas.org/media/4966/statistics-2017.pdf

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