Panama City - Thursday marked the 11th annual “Lights On Afterschool” rally organized by the Afterschool
Over 7500 events took place nationwide Thursday with more than 500 happening in Florida.
The rallies called for an expansion of afterschool opportunities so every child who needs a program has access to one.
In Panama City’s Glenwood After School Assistance Program (ASAP), awareness was raised Thursday afternoon through a number of kid friendly events, including a bounce house and a special appearance by the Moseley High School cheerleaders.
The “Lights On” event is meant to highlight the significant contribution afterschool programs offer to the community and working parents by keeping kids safe and healthy and inspiring them to learn.
"Studies show it’s the hours between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. when kids create problems and get into trouble, experiment with sex, drugs, alcohol, things like that , so afterschool programs play a vital role in keeping kids safe and out of trouble,” said Terri Gainer, ASAP executive director.
The national group, Afterschool Alliance, is urging parents and supporters to sign their petition urging lawmakers not to deny or divert funding for afterschool programs.
If you would like more information or to sign their petition just log on to their website www.afterschoolalliance.org.