A project of the Afterschool Alliance

Engaging Policymakers

Policymakers at every level of government are critical allies in expanding the resources available to support afterschool programs. Consider inviting them to your event or asking them to issue a proclamation.

Invite policymakers to your event

The opportunity to see and hear the impact that afterschool can have on a child’s life is invaluable. Use this sample language to invite policymakers to attend your Lights On Afterschool event and see for themselves.

Sample invitation
Proclaim Lights On in Your City

Nearly every governor across the country issues a proclamation in support of Lights On Afterschool each year. Proclamations are an easy way for your community to celebrate and can be made by your mayor, local officials, or even organizations.

Sample proclamation
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Watch the Webinar

In "Fight Budget Cuts using Lights On Afterschool," Afterschool Alliance VP of Policy Erik Peterson runs us through the gamut of potential threats to afterschool funding that make this Lights On Afterschool so critical and answers questions from the audience about the latest developments in federal policy. Then, Dan Gilbert from the Alliance shows you the basics of planning a successful Lights On Afterschool event.

We show you how to use our event planning tools and go over all of the basics to help you stay on track with your planning, attract VIPs, and work with the media to get your message out. Learn about steps you can take now to help prevent cuts to afterschool in your state and learn more about what you can do to make sure policymakers see firsthand how afterschool is working for kids, families, and communities.

Pointers from the Pros
An inside view forges a connection with the media and policymakers

Dallas, Texas

The Dallas AfterSchool Network hosted a bus tour for local dignitaries and community leaders, affording them a realistic look at “a day in the afterschool life of a Dallas child.” As a result, the local ABC television affiliate committed to doing a weekly segment on afterschool, and the network was able to establish relationships with federal and state representatives and schedule follow-up meetings.

Read the case study
Lights On Afterschool expo attracts elected officials

Fort Worth, Texas

The Fort Worth Independent School District's 21st Century Community Learning Centers Programs' event was a rally at Fort Worth's Ridgmar Mall. 700 attendees explored displays about afterschool learning opportunities, filling mall walkways on two floors and giving parents, the media, and policymakers the chance to sample the programs' rich and diverse curriculum.

Read the case study
Battle of the Bands draws media & local officials

Scranton, Pa.

A "Battle of the Bands" event built around the mayor's city pride initiative attracted media attention and local policymakers, creating visibility for the program and strengthening relationships with officials.

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A creative program inspires policymaker to act

Dallas, Texas

The main event kicked off with a student torch race to the Texas state capitol. Students passed the torches on to legislators to call attention to the thousands of local children without afterschool. The creative event inspired a state policymaker to help find needed funding for afterschool.

Read the case study