Rutherford County and Murfreesboro City Elected Officials Support Oct. 26th Lights On Afterschool Day!
Ernest Burgess, Rutherford County Mayor, and Shane McFarland, City of Murfreesboro Mayor, have named October 26th Lights On Afterschool Day in Rutherford County, Tennessee, to recognize the role afterschool programs play in giving children the opportunity to discover hidden talents as they grow academically and socially. The proclamations were requested by the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties, a regional hub of the Tennessee Afterschool Network.
In the proclamation, both mayors stated, “The citizens of Murfreesboro, Rutherford County, Tennessee stand firmly committed to quality afterschool programs and opportunities because they provide safe, challenging and engaging learning experiences that help children develop social, emotional, physical and academic skills.” They further noted that, “afterschool programs also support working families by ensuring their children are safe and productive after the regular school day ends.”
On October 26th, children, parents and business and community leaders across the community will come together to celebrate the achievements of afterschool students and programming. “There will be more than 100 events across Tennessee. We anticipate thousands of children and families participating, with attendance from legislators, mayors, commissioners, school board members, and local celebrities,” said Mary Graham, President of United Ways of Tennessee and Lead Staff for the Tennessee Afterschool Network.
“Lights on Afterschool celebrates the remarkable work of Tennessee’s afterschool programs,” said Graham. “It is a powerful reminder that afterschool programs offer a range of supports for children and families. They truly advance the education, health and welfare of our children, and they make our communities stronger.”
“Tennessee doesn’t have enough afterschool programs, and too many youths are home alone. We must open more programs and make sure lawmakers invest more in afterschool,” said Linda O’Neal, executive director of the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth. “More than 170,000 Tennessee students are responsible for taking care of themselves after school, and nearly 264,000 students would participate if programming were available. The Tennessee Afterschool Network is committed to ensuring that in the near future, every child in our state who needs an afterschool program has one.”
Lights On Afterschool is organized by the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children have access to quality afterschool programs. www.aferschoolalliance.org