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White Plains Mayor Tom Roach, the White Plains Youth Bureau, and the Westchester County Office of Children and Families will participate in the 21st annual Lights on After School program, which recognizes the importance of after school programs to positive youth development and outcomes.
Please join us on October 22nd as we light up the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge in bright sunshine yellow in celebration of LIGHTS ON AFTER SCHOOL.
Communities across New York State and the country will be celebrating the importance of after-school programs that provide youth with opportunities for developing essential life skills. These essential skills help countless young people achieve their goals and realize their dreams for a productive future. Each year the White Plains Youth Bureau celebrates this day with a variety of activities designed to showcase the positive impact these services have on our youth and families.
This year is a special year because of the pandemic. However, it does not diminish the importance of after-school programs. In fact, these programs carry even greater importance in such times. They are needed by parents who need to get back to work in order to sustain the financial security of their families. Funding for after-school programs and services takes on critical importance today.
The America After 3PM household survey of 30,000 families, commissioned by the Afterschool Alliance, found that participation in afterschool programs has increased to 10.2 million students nationwide – but the unmet demand is still great. For every child in an afterschool program today, two more are waiting to get in. Unmet demand is especially high in rural communities and communities of concentrated poverty. One in five students in the United States is unsupervised after the school day ends.
A large and powerful body of evidence demonstrates improvements in grades, school attendance, behavior and more among children who participate in afterschool programs. Researchers have also found that students in afterschool programs are more engaged in school and excited about learning and develop critical work and life skills such as problem solving, teamwork, and communications.