Op-Ed: Support After-School Programs in Covington
This Thursday, hundreds of parents, students, educators, business leaders, policymakers and others will come together across our community to mark the 19th annual Lights On Afterschool, the nation’s only nationwide rally for afterschool programs. Programs across the region will be hosting open houses, inviting families to participate in fun activities and giving tours to elected officials and policy makers.
Afterschool 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. These programs also serve an important function to provide equitable access to academic support, youth development activities as well as other support programs and services for children and family experiencing poverty.
Throughout Covington Independent Public Schools, afterschool programs are providing an array of supports and services for children, such as:
Last year, 697 students participated in 15,404 hours of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities.
Last year, 851 students participated in 14,753 hours of visual and performing arts activities.
Last year, 23 partner agencies and organizations came together to provide programs and services to children and families.
But because of funding difficulties, we do not have nearly enough resources, which means too many children and too many families don’t benefit.
So that is our challenge in the afterschool movement and as a community: To make sure every child has access to afterschool. I hope you will join us in supporting afterschool programs so we can keep the Lights On Afterschool for all children!