Students Participate in More Than 85 Celebrations Across Pennsylvania

Oct. 16, 2023

HARRISBURG, Pa.—According to the Afterschool Alliance, more than half of students nationwide who want to attend an afterschool program do not have access to it. To raise awareness about the need for more afterschool resources, the Afterschool Alliance is hosting the 24th annual Lights On Afterschool (LOA) national rally on Oct. 26. Governor Josh Shapiro proclaimed Oct. 26 as Lights On Afterschool Day in recognition of the important role of afterschool programs in Pennsylvania. In his proclamation, Governor Shapiro states that “the Commonwealth is committed to investing in the health and safety of all young people by providing expanding learning opportunities that will help close the achievement gap and prepare young people to compete in the global economy.”

“PSAYDN is delighted to partner with the Afterschool Alliance and afterschool programs throughout the state to celebrate Lights On Afterschool Day on Oct. 26,” stated PSAYDN Director Contrell Armor. “I encourage everyone to join in a celebration near you, so you can see firsthand how quality afterschool programs support academic achievement, build strong leadership skills in our youth, and create bonds that last a lifetime.”

Events focused on science, music and dance, sports and fitness, academics, community service, social and emotional wellness will take place across the country. Events will be held both in person and virtually, organized by schools, 4-Hs, Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCAs, parks, museums, libraries and community centers.

In addition to LOA events, several landmarks will light up yellow on Oct. 26, including the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, Lincoln Financial Field and Ben Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia, and the Duquesne Incline in Pittsburgh.

More than 85 events are scheduled across Pennsylvania, including:

  • TRU Day Party, Harrisburg. This will be a day party for youth who graduated and will be going off to college or a trade school. They will also have the younger students bring a friend with them to learn about the TRU Program.
  • A Day in the Life of UACS After School Program, Philadelphia. Families, school leaders, teachers and community members to join the afterschool space to participate as scholars. Participants will have the opportunity to shadow the students’ daily routine. Youth and afterschool group leaders will facilitate a variety of activities including social and emotional learning activities, physical fitness activities, and literacy activities.
  • Watch Us Glow!, Pittsburgh. Lights On Afterschool light bulbs will decorate the center and showcase student work. Youth ambassadors will give tours of the afterschool facility and speak on the importance of afterschool programs. Students and guests will paint with glow paint as they engage in the dark with tic-tac-toe, make luminous cups, and network.

A complete list of Pennsylvania celebrations is available at

Launched in October 2000, Lights On Afterschool is the only nationwide event celebrating afterschool programs. The effort has become a hallmark of the afterschool movement and annually sees more than one million Americans participate at more than 8,000 events nationwide.

The Pennsylvania State Afterschool/Youth Development Network (PSAYDN) celebrates Lights On Afterschool to underscore the need to invest in afterschool programs, which provide help with homework; skilled mentors; art, dance and music; healthy snacks and meals; computer programming; opportunities to think critically, collaborate and communicate with peers and adults; job and college readiness; sports and fitness activities; robotics; and opportunities for hands-on, team-based learning.

For more information about Pennsylvania’s afterschool network, please visit

Contact: Kelly Swanson, Communications Manager, 717-992-5964, [email protected]