Karate students, a jazz ensemble and fencing novices accent a celebration and testify to the power of after-school programs during “Plug into Afterschool” Thursday, Oct. 12 at Judson Robinson Jr. Community Center, 2020 Hermann Drive.

As part of a nationwide rally in support of after-school programs called “Lights On Afterschool!” the event galvanizes backing from parents, children and community members. The event highlights the importance of after school as programs keep kids safe, help working families and inspire learning.

What: Plug into Afterschool event, a Lights On Afterschool! Celebration

When: Thursday, Oct. 12, 5:45-7 p.m.

Where: Judson Robinson, Jr. Community Center, 2020 Hermann Drive

Who: Student performers from Stevenson Middle (77017), Black Middle (77018) Gardens Elementary (Pasadena, 77506), Chinese Community Center (77036)

Why: National celebration in support of after-school programs

The Education Foundation of Harris County–a nonprofit benefiting K-12 public education in greater Harris County and supporting educational initiatives in four areas of focus–sponsors the event. Organizers are the Cooperative for After-School Enrichment from Harris County Department of Education; the Mayor’s After-School Achievement Program; Houston Parks and Recreation Department; and Prepared for Life.

Speaking on behalf of after-school programs are Houston City Council Member Ada Edwards; Harris County Department of Education Superintendent Dr. John E. Sawyer; and Education Foundation of Harris County Director Douglas Kleiner. Southwest High student Tony Ramirez tells his story about how after school has influenced his life. Students in grades Pre-K through high school show off what they’ve learned in after-school programs with demonstrations in ROTC exercises, guitar techniques, karate, robotics, science experiments, cooking, cup stacking and art.

Lights On After-School! is a national endeavor initiated by the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit organization based in Washington D.C. dedicated to ensuring that all children have access to quality, affordable after-school programs by 2010. In 2005, more than 7,500 communities celebrated; this year an estimated one million Americans will participate.


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