FRANKLIN — The 14th annual Lights On Afterschool will be the largest nationwide rally for afterschool ever held, and will take place on Wednesday, October 23, from 4-6 p.m. at the Bessie Rowell Community Center, located at 12 Rowell Drive in Franklin.
"We are delighted to join these rallies, which are sending a powerful message about the urgent need for more afterschool programs," said Krystal Alpers. "Afterschool programs do so much for our children, our families and our communities. They help keep kids physically fit, offer mentoring from local community leaders and help improve student attendance and work habits during the regular school day. With Lights On Afterschool, Americans are saying they want the lights on after school for our kids."
Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant welcomed the City of Franklin's Parks and Recreation Department's support. "We're grateful for all our Lights On Afterschool partners, and for the work they do on behalf of afterschool programs and the kids who attend them, Their support makes the message of Lights On Afterschool all the more compelling. We share their conviction that afterschool programs are essential because they inspire children to learn, keep them safe, and help working families."
Funding for afterschool programs has not kept up with demand, and more than 15 million children are alone and unsupervised after the school days ends. Lights On Afterschool was launched in October 2000 with celebrations in more than 1,200 communities nationwide. The event grew in 2001 to more than 3,600 events, and more than 7,500 in 2008.