By Sarina Marsh, MSW Intern
Throughout the week of October 17th, afterschool programs across the United States joined the Afterschool Alliance in celebration of their 17th annual Lights On Afterschool Day. Lights On Afterschool calls attention to the importance of afterschool programs and the need to keep the lights on, and doors open. In Georgia, over 200 afterschool programs registered celebrations. Nationally, 8,200 programs registered their events, the largest to date. As part of Lights On Afterschool, GSAN partnered with two programs, Girls, Inc. of Greater Atlanta and STAR House Foundation, to assist them in hosting their celebrations.
On Thursday, October 20th, Girls, Inc. of Greater Atlanta hosted a showcase at their Marietta location. Attendees included State Representative Stacey Evans, State Senator Dr. Michael Rhett, Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin, Anno Hardage, CEO of Girls Inc. of Greater Atlanta, Dunaway Parker, founder of Girls, Inc. of Greater Atlanta, and many Girls, Inc. alumnae. Program participants showcased projects that included a robotic simulation using plastic cups, a snack prepared by the students to highlight the importance of healthy living, and a mock business plan. The projects featured are a part of Girls, Inc.’s goal to help girls succeed academically and in life. Check out this great article on the event from the Marietta Daily Journal here.
On Friday, October 21st, STAR House Foundation hosted an open house at their Roswell Elementary School site where visitors observed and participated with students in creative and health conscious activities such as yoga, a life-sized Operations game, and arts and crafts. Activities were provided by Roswell Urgent Care, Johns Creek Arts Center, and educator Emily Merkle. Guests included Roswell Police Chief Rusty Grant and members of Roswell Police Community Relations Unit, Nancy Diamond, City of Roswell Councilmember, Liz Hausmann, Fulton County Commissioner, Judy Semones, one of STAR House’s founders, and members of STAR House Board of Directors. STAR House provides enriching and fun academic assistance and activities to at-risk youth. Check out this great article on the event from the Alpharetta Roswell Herald here.
Both events were a huge success! Thank you to all Georgia programs that participated in Lights On Afterschool 2016. Your efforts to provide quality afterschool programming to youth across the state of Georgia are greatly appreciated.