Plan your Lights On Afterschool event

Back-to-school time is also the time to start planning your Lights On Afterschool event. Lights On Afterschool is an important national advocacy event to let everyone know how critical afterschool programs are to kids’ academic success and parents’ peace of mind.

The National Lights On Afterschool day is Thursday, Oct. 26. Your afterschool program can participate simply by hosting an activity for parents, community members or special guests. It’s a great time to celebrate the kids in your program and give a nod to your favorite partner organizations and volunteers.

Not sure where to start? That’s no problem because there are tons of resources to help you pull off a successful Lights On Afterschool event. Here’s our tips:


Do this now! This is your first advocacy step. The Afterschool Alliance will brag about how many events are happening, so don’t keep yours a secret.  REGISTER YOUR EVENT here.


Decision-makers in your community should know all the great things about your program, but they won’t know unless you tell them. Don’t forget about the school superintendent, school board members, the mayor, city council members, the chamber of commerce, current partner organizations and any organizations you wish were your partners. Not sure if they’ll come? Give them a role, like reading to kids, judging a contest, telling kids about their job, or telling parents about their special contribution to your program.


Invite at least one state or federal elected official. Use this website to find your federal, state and local elected officials and their contact information. Trust me, your representatives and senators enjoy visiting community programs and are easy guests. The Afterschool Alliance has tips and tools to make the most of your time with elected officials. They even put together a sample invitation.


What are your students’ favorite program activities? Could your guests work on a project with your students? Could your students present something they created in your program? Get them working together and talking, and your students will do all of your advocacy work for you.


Do this before, during and after your event to get your message out. Hint: tag @envisionedplus, @ohioafterschool, and @afterschool4all for guaranteed retweets.


Join me and Nichelle Harris, director of the Ohio Afterschool Network, for a webinar on how to plan your Lights On Afterschool event. The webinar will be at 11 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 18. No registration is needed, just call or join online.

Here’s the webinar information:

  1. Dial into the conference:

Dial-in Number: (515) 739-1254 – United States

Access Code: 317425

International Dial-in Numbers:

  1. Join the online meeting:

Online Meeting Link:

Online Meeting ID: director551

Instructions: At the scheduled date and time of the meeting, dial into the conference line. When prompted, enter the Access Code followed by the pound key. To join the online meeting, click on the meeting link listed above and follow the prompts to join the meeting.

Our Courses

Image Course Description Price Created On Last Updated On categories_ID
Supporting Families (Level 1) Consider the differences between engaging and supporting eight types of parents or family members you might encounter. Reflect on your past experiences with each of those types. Create and implement an action plan to improve your support for families who need it. 0.00 2020/07/17 2022/03/24 6
STEAMing Up Literacy (Level 1) The content in this course is designed to begin your understanding of STEAM integration (design thinking) and apply this knowledge to your own classroom. You will have the opportunity to implement a mini lesson and receive feedback about your lesson. Two “office hours” will be available to chat with the instructor and others enrolled in this course. 0.00 2021/01/09 2022/03/24 5
Trauma Brain (Level 1) The brain is constantly changing and molding in response to the environment. These changes impact student learning. This is especially true in terms of trauma. This training is designed to help participants learn what goes on in the brain and how they can set up a learning environment for each of the students in their class. 0.00 2021/01/30 2022/03/24 4
STEAMing Up Literacy (Level 2) The content in this course is designed to begin your understanding of Problem Based Learning(PBL) and apply this knowledge to your own classroom. You will have the opportunity to implement a mini lesson and receive feedback about your lesson. 0.00 2021/02/23 2022/03/24 5
High Quality Literacy Instruction (Level 1 & 2) Core content includes an overview of Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement, evidence-based literacy practices, and resources and tools for literacy instruction. Participants will create, implement and improve two classroom-based literacy strategies (in-person, blended or remote). 0.00 2021/02/23 2022/03/24 5
Supporting Families (Level 2) In Engaging Families Through Support - Level 1, you learned about eight types of parents/caregivers and reflected on your past experiences with each type, culminating in a plan to better engage specific types as partners in their children's education. During this 8-hour asynchronous course you will delve deeper in your understanding of the eight types of parents/caregivers by speaking with individual family members you work with, discovering what they need from you and your program, and implementing an action plan informed by the actual families you serve. Doing so will give you sustainable skills and strategies to build stronger family engagement year after year. 0.00 2021/03/07 2022/03/30 6
Differentiated & Engaged Instruction (Level 1) Differentiation is effective instruction that is responsive to the learner’s preferences, interests and their readiness. It could be explained as a framework for thinking about your teaching and your student’s learning. This course discusses differentiation as an effective teaching tool. Included are many resources and strategies to help meet the learning needs of each student. Participants will learn through various articles, videos, examples, strategies and resources to adapt lessons to meet the needs of each student in their classrooms. 0.00 2021/03/18 2022/03/24 5
Trauma Brain (Level 2) This course gives an advanced understanding of the brain. including differences between “active” and “relational” based brains, trauma-related behaviors, and strategies to reach and teach trauma-impacted students so that they can re-engage in learning. Participants will learn about the range of thinking that a brain does, explore how students fit into the range of thinking, and discover healthy ways of engaging the full range of thinking. 0.00 2021/05/31 2022/03/24 4
Differentiated & Engaged Instruction (Level 2) This 8-hour, self-paced course is facilitated by Laurie Trotter, an EnvisionEdPlus Instructional Specialist. The course explores advanced differentiation as an effective instructional method that is responsive to the learner’s preferences and interests. Create, implement, and improve a lesson plan to engage all learners. Participants will learn through various articles, videos, examples, strategies, and resources to be able to be proficient in starting to adapt lessons to meet all needs of students in their classroom. Prerequisite: Differentiated and Engaged Instruction (Bronze Badge). 0.00 2021/05/31 2022/03/24 5
Creativity Belongs in the Classroom (Level 1) Encourage lifelong learning, improve focus, reduce anxiety and enhance thinking in your classroom or program. Creativity is a learned and trained process for getting the most out of higher level thinking and problem solving of your students. Learn how to embed creativity easily into your lessons, using strategies that will help unlock your students ability to be innovative thinkers and problem solvers. This course is appropriate for anyone who works with youth and also satisfies the HQPD Gifted competencies of A, B, and D. 0.00 2022/01/14 2022/04/10 5

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