Lights On Afterschool! Morning Celebration Planned at City Hall October 22 Through Alliance of Local Afterschool Organizations

Jo-Carolyn Goode | 10/20/2015, 5:07 p.m.
The Lights On Afterschool! rally and press conference on October 22 at 10 a.m. at the Houston City Hall Rotunda, ...
kids in an afterschool garden

The Lights On Afterschool! rally and press conference on October 22 at 10 a.m. at the Houston City Hall Rotunda, 900 Bagby, celebrates the importance of afterschool programs and the achievements of students participating in out-of-school time programs. It also draws attention to the need for more afterschool programs in greater Harris County.

Sponsored by members of the Greater Houston Lights On Alliance, the event includes afterschool support remarks by Houston City Council members and the unveiling of new afterschool research.

In Texas, 935,057 kids are on their own during the hours after school, or 19 percent. An analysis of 68 afterschool studies found that participants in high-quality afterschool programs go to school more, behave better, receive better grades and perform better on tests.

Throughout greater Houston, communities will celebrate afterschool at programs in schools, community centers and faith-based organizations on October 22 from 4-7 p.m.

Organizations that are a part of the greater Houston Lights On Alliance include the Center for Afterschool, Summer and Expanded Learning, or CASE for Kids, a division of Harris County Department of Education; Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston; the YMCA; Houston Independent School District; the South East Texas After-School Association; the Education Foundation of Harris County; and the Houston Parks & Recreation Department.

“We want the community to know the benefits of afterschool, especially during a time when funding for programs is waning throughout the nation,” said Lisa Thompson-Caruthers, director for CASE for Kids.

Houston is benefitting this year from funding for afterschool projects through City Connections, an initiative support by Houston City Council and administered by CASE for Kids, which infuses all 11 city council districts with $45,000 throughout the school year.

“We continue to look for innovative ways to support afterschool in greater Houston and celebrate the innovative programs we have here,” Thompson-Caruthers said.

CASE for Kids provides resources, trainings and funding for students in grades pre-k through 12 in afterschool programs in schools, child care facilities and community centers.

For more facts about afterschool in greater Houston, contact CASE for Kids at 713-696-1331 or go to www.afterschoolzone.org . To access the afterschool fact sheet authored by the Afterschool Alliance, go to http://www.afterschoolalliance.org/documents/TX-afterschool-facts.pdf.

About the Center for Afterschool, Summer and Expanded Learning (CASE) for Kids: CASE for Kids, formerly the Cooperative for After-School Enrichment, was launched by Harris County Department of Education in 1999. CASE for Kids is an after-school intermediary which leverages community resources and strengthens the capacity of the out-of-school time field. Services benefit approximately 12,000 kids in greater Harris County. CASE for Kids programs happen before and after school, on weekends and during the summer. Go to www.afterschoolzone.org for information.

About Harris County Department of Education (HCDE): Serving students, teachers, schools and communities throughout Harris County, HCDE is a local governmental organization providing value for school districts while supporting educational opportunity. Partnering with Harris County school districts, HCDE maximizes local resources and respond to the needs of locally elected school boards and education leaders. HCDE services include school-based therapy for students, afterschool programs, Head Start, educator training, adult education and programs to promote safe schools. To learn more about how your county department of education can help you: www.hcde-texas.org .