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Letter: After-School Programs Keep Children Safe and Learning, & Need Support

This Thursday, several hundred parents, students, educators, business leaders, policymakers and others will come together across our region to mark the 18th annual Lights On Afterschool, the nation’s only nationwide celebration of afterschool programs.

We will be just one of thousands of communities across the nation celebrating Lights On Afterschool this year.

After-school programs keep children safe, inspire them to learn, and give working families peace of mind during the afternoon hours when unsupervised kids can get into trouble. But because of funding difficulties, we don’t have nearly enough programs, which means too many children and too many families don’t benefit.

In fact, for every child in an after-school program, the parents of two more say they’d enroll their children if a program were available, according to a 2014 study commissioned by from the Afterschool Alliance.

In Covington, we are lucky to bring together a number of community partners including Covington Independent Public Schools, the City of Covington, the Center for Great Neighborhoods, Kenton County Public Library, The Carnegie, and many more to serve over 2,000 students and their families through the Covington Community Learning Center out-of-school time program. 

However, that number represents only half of all students we could serve if more funding was made available. 

So that’s our challenge in the afterschool movement: To make sure every child in the nation has access to after-school. I hope you’ll join us in supporting afterschool programs by helping us keep the lights on after-school! 

Tom Haggard is the resource development coordinator at Covington Partners

Photo: Holmes Middle School (RCN file)