RALEIGH, NC (October 27, 2023)– The North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs hosted a Lights On Afterschool reception on October 26 in Raleigh as part of the national Lights On Afterschool campaign. The annual nationwide campaign celebrates afterschool programs and their important role in the lives of children, families and communities. At the reception NC CAP recognized the 2023 North Carolina Afterschool Champions for their commitment to enriching out-of-school time programming in North Carolina. This year’s awardees are listed below.
Emerging Afterschool Champion Award for Early Career Afterschool Professionals:
Michael Hayes, Founder and CEO of Umoja Health, Wellness, and Justice Collective.
Distinguished Afterschool Champion Award for Mid-Career Afterschool Professionals:
Dr. Carolyn Banks, Strengthening Youth in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (SYSTEM) After-school Program Director at Partners in Ministry
Lifetime Afterschool Champion Award for Lifelong Afterschool Professionals:
Afterschool Catalyst Award for Community Changemakers:
Afterschool Advocate Award for Elected Officials, Policymakers, and Organizers:
Geoff Coltrane, Senior Education Advisor, Office of NC Governor Roy Cooper
About 100 attendees joined the celebration at which Governor Roy Cooper, Senator Sydney Batch and Senator Jay Chaudhuri presented the Afterschool Champions with their awards.
“North Carolina is a top-10 state for after-school programs, driven in part by a 96 percent parent satisfaction rate, and I’m one of those overwhelmingly satisfied parents,” said Senator Sydney Batch before presenting honorees with their awards. “From the bottom of my heart and from families everywhere ― thank you for educating our children while we are at work, thank you for giving us the peace of mind that our children are safe while in your care, and thank you for dedicating your professional careers to molding the character and intelligence of our future leaders.”
Learn more about the annual national Lights on Afterschool campaign here.
About the North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs
Established in 2002, the North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs is a comprehensive statewide afterschool and expanded learning network working in collaboration with stakeholders across North Carolina to increase access to high-quality afterschool and expanded learning programs for all children and youth in North Carolina, especially for those at-risk of education failure. NC CAP’s key partners include out-of-school time (OST) providers, state agencies, state and local policymakers, law enforcement, universities and community colleges, business, and the philanthropic community. NC CAP supports out-of-school time professionals by providing high-quality professional development, technical assistance, and resources; informs stakeholders and policymakers about the benefits of out-of-school time programming and its impacts on students in the state of North Carolina; convenes communities and key parkers around out-of-school time issues; and advocates at local, state, and federal levels for expanding afterschool access, opportunity, and equity. (To learn more, please visit https://ncafterschool.org/.)
About the Public School Forum of North Carolina
Since our founding in 1986 as a nonpartisan “think and do tank,” the Public School Forum of North Carolina has been a champion of better schools and one of the most trusted sources in the state for research and analysis on vital education issues. In order to provide meaningful action on our state’s most important public education issues, we bring together leaders from business, education and government to study education issues, develop ideas, and ultimately inform and shape education policy. We do this through research, policy work, innovative programs, advocacy, and continuing education for educators and policymakers. Follow us on social media at @theNCForum and visit our website at http://www.ncforum.org/