Lupardo, ELN, & Chamber detail Lights on Afterschool Week

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Afterschool programming impacts more than 400 local businesses

(BINGHAMTON, NY) – Ahead of national Lights on Afterschool Week, which begins Monday, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Jennifer Conway joined the Expanded Learning Network of Broome & Tioga Thursday to discuss the impact area programming has on the local business community. More than 400 businesses rely on afterschool programs locally, providing the children of employees with safe, quality supervision and engagement.

“Along with providing working parents peace of mind that their children are in a safe place, afterschool programming saves employers money over time,” said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo. “These programs enrich the learning that takes place in the classroom, producing students that are healthier, more engaged in the community, and better prepared for school and careers. As a result, employers spend less money on remedial training that often accompanies new hires.”

The skill gap that currently exists with workers is evident by the $70 billion that US businesses spent on corporate learning in 2014. In addition to saving businesses money, research has shown that quality afterschool programs save taxpayers money as well. According to the Rose Institute at Claremont McKenna College, every dollar invested in afterschool saves taxpayers roughly $3.14. If benefits from crime reduction are factored in, each dollar invested in an at-risk child saves $8-$12.15.

Lights on Afterschool Week will highlight the variety of quality afterschool programs that currently exist in our area as well as offer professional development for current and potential providers. More than 15 programs are offering open houses, seminars, and programs for families. A complete schedule of events for next week can be found here.

“We have numerous excellent afterschool programs in our community; unfortunately, many parents and students aren’t aware of what is available to them,” said Katie Bowers, organizer of the Expanded Learning Network of Broome & Tioga. “Next week’s events will give families a preview of our great local programming, as well as learn more about the benefits of participating in afterschool.”

Statistics have shown that students who participate in afterschool programming have better attendance rates, get better grades, and are less apt to participate in risky behavior. Afterschool also serves as an economic development tool as parents are less likely to miss work to care for their children, and in the long run, businesses spend less money on remedial training for employees.

Assemblywoman Lupardo helped launch the ELN in 2014 as a collaborative effort between government, schools, non-profits, and afterschool providers to share knowledge and resources in an effort to increase the availability of programming for students and families.