Keeping Lights On During Dark Times

National Lights On Afterschool Awareness Day is today, Thursday, October 22, 2020, and Kalamazoo Public School students are doing their part to shed light on the need to invest in after school programs. As part of this 21st national event, elementary and secondary students who participate in Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo (CIS) After School Programs have been busy coming up with creative ways to shine the spotlight on quality after school support during these unprecedented times.

A significant body of research demonstrates that students who regularly participate in after school programs are more likely to improve their grades, tests scores, and overall academic behavior. CIS Senior Director of Site Services Dr. Tamiko Garrett says, “Students value the opportunities and supports they receive as part of the after school experience. They know it makes a difference in their lives and they want the community to know it’s important to ‘keep the lights on’ for them.”

To get a taste of what some of our kids have been doing to raise awareness about the need for after school opportunities, here is one of the videos they’d like you to see. (And we’ll be sharing more videos in the weeks to come.)

CIS relies heavily on local resources and partnerships for its core work during the school day, including placing CIS Site Coordinators within schools to identify needs and connect students to the right resources to remove barriers to school success. The CIS After School Program is able to serve students in 15 after school sites—11 elementary and 4 middle schools— thanks to the support of federal dollars awarded through the Michigan Department of Education, 21st Century Community Learning Centers.