RALEIGH, NC (October 19, 2023)– The North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs will host 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 will recognize 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, 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
Lights On Afterschool was launched in October 2000 with celebrations in 1,200 communities nationwide. The following year 3,600 events took place. Today, more than 8,000 Lights On Afterschool celebrations are held annually, attracting 1 million Americans and media coverage. Lights On Afterschool is a project of the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that all children have access to quality, affordable afterschool programs.
“We are so excited to be among the millions of Americans celebrating the importance and impact of Afterschool and expanded learning programs through this Lights On Afterschool event,” said NC CAP Director Elizabeth Anderson. “We are so proud of North Carolina’s afterschool programs and providers. The work they do is both joyful and challenging, and they change children’s lives every day by providing them with enrichment, support, and unique opportunities for identity development.”
Also as part of the celebration, several buildings around the country will ‘leave the lights on’ for afterschool. Participating buildings will include the North Carolina Executive Mansion and 550 S Tryon in Charlotte.
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/