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Snacks by Shaun Gray
FEB
15
2017

LIGHTS ON
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The 2017 Lights On Afterschool poster contest is here!

By Shaun Gray

Grab your markers and sketchbooks, your digital art pads and pens and get ready for the 2017 Lights On Afterschool poster contest. This year, we’re adding a new twist to the competition: the afterschool artist who creates the winning masterpiece will take home $500 for their afterschool program!

As always, the winning artwork will be printed on more than 50,000 posters that will be displayed at more than 8,000 Lights On Afterschool events around the world. We encourage all of your program participants to submit artwork that celebrates afterschool programs and conveys the importance of keeping the lights on after school. We all know afterschool programs keep kids safe, help working families and inspire kids to learn. We want your students to tell the world what afterschool means to them!

The Lights On Afterschool poster contest is a great opportunity for an afterschool program to gain national recognition for the opportunities it offers. The winning artist will be featured on our website, blog, and a national press release, and their afterschool program will be credited on the poster in addition to receiving the grand prize of $500!  Not a bad deal!

Get your students’ creative juices flowing soon: the deadline for submissions is April 15, 2017.

Tips to create a winning design

Have your youth participants demonstrate artistically how afterschool program has benefited their lives.  Need some tips to help your students bring their compositions to life? Think about what happens in your afterschool program. Dancing, singing, robotics, reading, sports, learning how to play an instrument—these things can be portrayed in abstract or realistic renderings.

Encourage students to use bright, bold markers or paint to bring life to their images and make it possible for us to scan the artwork into a digital file. Or feel free to get your burgeoning graphic designers involved by encouraging them to submit their artwork in the digital form to lightson@afterschoolalliance.org

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MAR
21
2016

LIGHTS ON
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The 2016 Lights On Afterschool poster contest is open for submissions!

By Shaun Gray

Last year's winning poster was designed by Hicksville Boys & Girls Club of NY.

Calling all afterschool artists! Your artwork could be displayed at more than 8,000 Lights On Afterschool events around the world. Click here to learn how to submit a poster for the 2016 Lights On Afterschool poster contest!

We’re looking for eye-catching creatitivty to showcase on this year's Lights On Afterschool poster. Last year, we received thousands of youth artwork submissions from afterschool programs across the nation. Once again for 2016, we’re encouraging all afterschool program participants to submit artwork that celebrates afterschool programs and conveys the importance of keeping the Lights On Afterschool.

We all know how afterschool programs keep kids safe, help working families and inspire kids to learn. Now's the time to encourage your afterschool participants to show the world how afterschool has benefited their lives!

The 2016 Lights On Afterschool Poster contest is also a great opportunity for an afterschool program to gain national recognition for the opportunities it offers, as the winning artist's afterschool program will be credited on the poster, too! The winning design will be printed on tens of thousands of posters and mailed to more than 8,000 Lights On Afterschool events worldwide. The winning artist will also be featured on our websiteblog and a national press release.

The deadline for submissions is July 15, 2016.  

Contest details and submission guidelines are available for download now.  Keep in mind that the winning artwork will need to be scanned to become a digital image, so avoid using textures or raised materials. We love bright colors that jump off the poster, so materials that won’t smear or rub off—like markers, paint and pens—often work better than crayons, watercolors or chalk. 

Feel free to get your future graphic designers and computer programmers involved by encouraging them to submit their artwork in the digital form. Unleash your creativity and get designing!

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learn more about: Competition Events and Briefings Arts
MAY
13
2015

IN THE FIELD
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#MoveInMay with afterschool programs

By Shaun Gray

National Physical Fitness and Sports Month is the perfect time to celebrate afterschool and summer programs that are keeping kids active and healthy, and for programs to cement their commitment to combating the childhood obesity epidemic—we know from America After 3PM data that they’re doing a tremendous amount to encourage healthy habits that kids can keep with them for life.

Programs looking to foster healthy practices in the out-of-school time space have plenty of resources to explore. The Healthy Out-of-School Time (HOST) Coalition serves as a hub for the latest in physical activity and healthy eating news from afterschool and summer learning programs, from research to activities and ideas, as well as physical activity resources. The Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) Standards can also be found on the HOST Coalition’s website, along with background on how the standards were developed, offering guidelines to help programs effectively foster healthy behaviors.  First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign offers even more resources to encourage active and healthy lifestyles, from key facts to simple steps for success.

To learn more about the state of healthy afterschool programs in your community, dive into our America After 3PM dashboard—compelling statistics about parent demand and satisfaction for these programs help make a strong case for the importance of afterschool. And to help make the case, check out these eye-catching infographics that can be used to grab people’s attention and share key America After 3PM findings. The research is clear: Afterschool programs are vital resources to keep kids active and healthy. Celebrate National Physical Fitness and Sports month by spreading the word!

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APR
17
2015

LIGHTS ON
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The 2015 Lights On Afterschool poster contest is open for submissions!

By Shaun Gray

Calling all afterschool artists! Your artwork could be displayed at more than 8,000 Lights On Afterschool events around the world!

We’re looking for the best artist to showcase their creativity on this years’ Lights On Afterschool poster!  Last year we received thousands of youth artwork submissions from afterschool programs across the nation.  Once again for 2015 we’re encouraging all of your program participants to submit artwork that celebrates afterschool programs and conveys the importance of keeping the lights on afterschool.   We all know how afterschool programs keep kids safe, help working families and inspire kids to learn. Have your youth participants show the world how their afterschool program has benefited their lives.

The 2015 Lights On Afterschool Poster contest is also a great opportunity for an afterschool program to gain national recognition for the great enrichment opportunities it offers since the winner’s afterschool program will be credited on the poster, too!

The winning poster design will be printed on tens of thousands of posters and mailed to more than 8,000 Lights On Afterschool events worldwide.  The winning artist will also be featured on our website, blogAfterschool Storybook, and a national press release.

The deadline for submissions is June 1, 2015 JULY 1, 2015.  Contest details and submission guidelines are available for download now.  Keep in mind that the winning artwork will need to be scanned to become a digital image, so avoid using textures or raised materials.  We love bright colors that jump off the poster so materials that won’t smear or rub off—like markers, paint and pens—often work better than crayons, watercolors or chalk.  Feel free to get your future graphic designers and computer programmers involved by encouraging them to submit their artwork in the digital form.  Be creative as possible!

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learn more about: Media Outreach Arts
NOV
25
2014

IN THE FIELD
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Smile: It's Thanksgiving

By Shaun Gray

"I believe that afterschool programs are an essential part of bettering our youth. Afterschool programs have helped me learn and grow, and will help other students do the same."
– Gabby, age 17

This has been an incredible year for the Afterschool Alliance! Thanks to your support of our work, more students like Gabby are taking advantage of expanded educational opportunities. Our highly-publicized landmark research study, America After 3 PM , released this October, found that more than 10 million children now participate in afterschool programs, a 57% increase over the last 10 years. However, for every student currently in an afterschool program, parents report that there are two more waiting to get in—that’s 20 million students whose parents would enroll them if an afterschool program were available.

You can help support afterschool programs and our year-round work, by doing your holiday shopping online through Amazon Smile. It’s easy.  On your first visit to smile.amazon.com, select the Afterschool Alliance as your charitable organization, then browse through the tens of millions of products that Amazon Smile has to offer and are eligible for donations. The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to us.

This past year has seen some remarkable achievements in advocating for more afterschool investments and expanding afterschool resources to support this work.

You can help ensure that all children have access to quality, affordable afterschool programs that keep them safe, inspire them to learn and help America’s working families.

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NOV
12
2014

CHALLENGE
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Join the Afterschool for All Challenge & NAA Convention March 2015

By Shaun Gray

Join us for the NAA & Afterschool Alliance joint conference!
March 8-11, 2015, Washington, D.C.

The Afterschool Alliance is once again teaming up with the National Afterschool Association and afterschool professionals from around the country, March 8-11, 2015 in Washington, D.C., to meet face to face with Members of Congress and urge them to support kids and families who rely on afterschool programs.  Afterschool professionals will bring their powerful stories to our nation’s capital to share with their federal elected officials.  Be sure your stories are part of the message we'll deliver to Congress on Tuesday, March 10, as part of the Afterschool for All Challenge.

OCT
8
2014

LIGHTS ON
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Guest Blog: Celebrate Lights On Afterschool with STEMfinity!

By Shaun Gray

Bill Albert is the CEO and owner of STEMfinity. STEMfinity offers thousands of hands-on academic enrichment kits with curriculum to teach PreK-12 students science, technology, engineering, math (STEM), robotics, electronics, alternative energy, rockets and beyond.

 

This October, STEMfinity is proud to join more than one million Americans and thousands of communities in celebrating Lights On Afterschool, an annual event that helps to raise awareness about the need for programs that keep kids safe, inspire them to learn and help working families.

Supporters of Lights On Afterschool believe that schools can’t do it alone and that meaningful, active collaboration with out-of-school programs are critical. We know that access to an array of quality, informal STEM learning opportunities can make a huge difference in the lives of youth. We also know that strong partnerships between informal learning institutions can help to maximize the use of shared resources and foster creative solutions to community needs. 

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learn more about: Guest Blog Robotics Science
APR
21
2014

LIGHTS ON
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Designers wanted for 2014 Lights On Afterschool poster!

By Shaun Gray

Calling all artists!  The 2014 Lights On Afterschool poster contest is now officially underway!  Youth participants in afterschool programs nationwide are encouraged to submit artwork that celebrates afterschool programs and conveys the message of the importance of keeping the lights on afterschool.

The winning poster design will be printed on tens of thousands of posters sent to Lights On Afterschool celebrations across the country, not to mention that the winning artist will be featured on our website, blog and Afterschool Storybook!  The Lights On Afterschool poster contest is a great opportunity for afterschool programs to gain national recognition for the great enrichment opportunities they offer since the winning submission will also have the afterschool program name printed on the poster.

The deadline for submissions is June 2, 2014Contest details and submission guidelines are available for download now.  Keep in mind that the winning artwork will need to be scanned to become a digital image, so avoid using textures or raised materials.  We love bright colors that jump off the poster so materials that won’t smear or rub off—like markers, paint and pens—often work better than crayons, watercolors or chalk.  Feel free to get your future graphic designers and computer programmers involved by encouraging them to submit their artwork in the digital form.  Be creative as possible!

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learn more about: Arts