By Nicole Graper
Children in Madison School & Community Recreation (MSCR) afterschool programs came together Oct. 26 for a Lights On Afterschool parade at Mendota Elementary School, 4002 School Road. The event was to draw attention to the need for excellent afterschool programs to serve millions of children nationwide who are unsupervised and at-risk every weekday afternoon. The gathering was one of more than 8,000 events across the nation emphasizing the importance of keeping the lights on and the doors open after school.
About 75 children in MSCR afterschool programs at Mendota, Lindbergh and Lake View elementary schools participated in the parade. Activities included creating signs and shakers for the parade. The parade began at 4:15 pm and concluded about 5 pm.
“Lights On Afterschool celebrates the remarkable work being done by students who attend our afterschool programs,” commented Jacob Tisue, MSCR executive director. “It’s a powerful reminder that afterschool programs offer a range of support to children and families. We are proud of our afterschool participants; they are proof that there’s no reason learning should stop at 3 pm.”
MSCR has a range of afterschool opportunities for elementary, middle and high schools. As a department of Madison Metropolitan School District, MSCR opened programs in 1999 with 21st Century Community Learning Centers grants from the U.S. Department of Education. MSCR now serves more than 8,000 youth, providing homework assistance, mentoring, tutoring, sports, recreation and additional programs. In addition, MSCR runs Safe Haven Childcare in 13 elementary schools and two community centers.
Organized by the Afterschool Alliance, Lights On Afterschool has been celebrated annually since 2000. 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. More information on the Afterschool Alliance, Lights On Afterschool and America After 3PM is available at afterschoolalliance.org. Additional information about MSCR is available at mscr.org.