lights on

Students from Delano Union School District’s Terrace School POWER program perform one of their dance numbers during the 2018 Lights On Afterschool event at Pioneer School.

Across the country, the lights will be on for after school programs as Delano Union School District’s Powerful Outcomes in Wellness, Education, and Recreation (POWER) program will host its annual Lights On Afterschool event Oct. 24.

The event, held from 4 to 7 p.m. at Pioneer School, 1001 Hiett Ave., helps to showcase the talents seen in the after school programs of the district. More than 3,000 people attended the 2018 district event. This is the 20th year of this national event, in which the Delano POWER program is hosting its eighth annual gathering.

The event is open to the public, bringing together students, parents, educators, policy makers, community members and others to show their support for after school programs. The only nationwide rally for after school programs, Lights On Afterschool includes more than 8,300 events in every corner of the country this year.

According to district Director of Physical Education and After School Programs Kenneth Dyar, the gathering here in Delano is one of the largest in the area because it involves all 11 of the district’s POWER program sites.

In America today, a total of 11.3 million children are alone and unsupervised after school, according to the national Afterschool Alliance. After school programs keep kids safe, help working families and inspire learning. Programs provide opportunities to help young people develop into successful adults.

The Afterschool Alliance organizes Lights On Afterschool to focus attention on the urgent need to invest in after school programs. Opportunities include providing science, technology, engineering and math activities, homework help, mentoring, sports and fitness, healthy snacks and meals, art and dance, job- and college-readiness and opportunities for hands-on, team-based learning.

The POWER program offers services after school at 11 DUSD schools including targeted academic intervention, multiple and varied enrichment opportunities, hands-on science, fun and fitness-based physical activities, and a nutritious snack and dinner.

Organizations interested in participating in the event are asked to contact Angie Magallanez at 721-5000 ext. 00175.

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