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WHEREAS, the health and safety of all Virginia’s children are important to the happiness, prosperity and well-being of our Commonwealth's families and communities; and
WHEREAS, building stronger communities starts with promoting the welfare of our children, and requires students, parents, business and community leaders, and volunteers to work together; and
WHEREAS, citizens of the Commonwealth are firmly committed to quality afterschool programs and opportunities; and
WHEREAS, afterschool programs support working families by ensuring that children are safe and productive after the regular school day ends; and
WHEREAS, stronger communities are built by involving students, parents, business leaders, and adult volunteers in the lives of children, thereby promoting positive relationships among youth, families, and adults; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth has provided significant leadership in the area of community involvement in the education and well-being of our youth, grounded in the principle that quality afterschool programs are key to helping our children become successful adults; and
WHEREAS, many afterschool programs across the country face funding problems; and
WHEREAS, 19.4 million families report that they would enroll their child in an afterschool program if one were available; and
WHEREAS, Lights On Afterschool, the national celebration of afterschool programs held this year on October 25, 2018, promotes the importance of quality afterschool programs; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia is committed to investing in the health and safety of all young people by providing expanded learning opportunities that will help close the achievement gap and prepare young people to compete in the global economy;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize October 25, 2018, as LIGHTS ON AFTERSCHOOL DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.