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Lights on Afterschool Day

10/22/2020

WHEREAS, residents of the Commonwealth are firmly committed to quality afterschool programs and opportunities; and

WHEREAS, afterschool programs provide safe, challenging and engaging learning experiences that help children develop social, emotional, physical, and academic skills; and

WHEREAS, afterschool programs support working families by ensuring that children are safe and productive after the regular school day ends; and

WHEREAS, afterschool programs build stronger communities by involving students, parents, business and community leaders, and volunteers in the lives of young people, thereby promoting positive relationships among youth, families, and adults; and

WHEREAS, during the COVID-19 pandemic, afterschool programs have risen to the occasion to support youth through innovative virtual and in-person programming to keep children engaged, caring for children of essential workers, providing meals and academic support, and checking in on the health and wellbeing of the children and their families; 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, 19.4 million families report that they would enroll their child in an afterschool program if one were available; and

WHEREAS, many afterschool programs across the country face funding problems and need continued support; and

WHEREAS, Lights On Afterschool, the national celebration of afterschool programs held this year on October 22, 2020, promotes the importance of quality afterschool programs;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize October 22, 2020, as LIGHTS ON AFTERSCHOOL DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.