(BINGHAMTON, NY) – Close to 800 thousand New York children are left alone and unsupervised in the hours after the school day ends. A national advocacy week begins Monday to highlight the importance of keeping students in a safe, engaging environment after the bell rings. Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and the Expanded Learning Network of Broome & Tioga (ELN) announced details Wednesday of activities and events being held locally as part of Lights on Afterschool Week.
“Afterschool programs are so important to our students and their families,” said Lupardo, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Children and Families. “Students are more successful in and out of the classroom when participating in constructive activities after school, and parents have peace of mind knowing their children are in a safe place.”
“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.”
15 different local providers will showcase their programs during a series of events during Lights on Afterschool Week. Assemblywoman Lupardo’s office also debuted a new video called The Afterschool Effect, which highlights the impact of one local program.
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.
The ELN launched 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. For a list of local activities during Lights on Afterschool Week, and for more information on how you can get involved with local programming, click here.