Lights On After School

By Amanda Moses

On Thursday, October 25th the Spring Creek Afterschool Program took part in the national initiative, “Lights On Afterschool,” to help encourage more parent involvement.  The Afterschool Alliance Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that all children have access to quality, affordable afterschool programs, launched this campaign in 2000. 

Every year, “Lights On” helps to highlight the important role that afterschool programs play in the lives of children, families, and the community. During the course of this event, parents and children were able to gather in PS 346’s various classrooms to participate in an array of arts and crafts activities in correlation with the STEAM curriculum. 

STEAM is an educational approach to learning, and stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.  These lessons help provide students with the ability to question and solve problems, while also engaging them in a dialogue to improve critical thinking.  By combining creativity with problem-solving students are able to retain information and have fun.  

“We look to continue to draw awareness and understanding the importance of having Lights On after school. To see the amount of parents who interacted with students and fellow parents on STEAM project based learning activities was a great joy. It was a double pleasure to have a great amount of dads that came out for the event,” said Spring Creek Towers’ Afterschool Program Director, Jeremy Williams.

Takiyah Walden is one of the many parents who attended the Spring Creek Afterschool Program’s festivities.  She believes in being very active in her seven-year-old’s education and extracurricular work.  “I want to show my daughter that I support her in everything that she does, and I support all of the help and the work that the Spring Creek Afterschool Program does,” said Walden.

 During the “Lights On” celebration at PS 346, students were given certificates of citizenship, friendship and learning.  Many of the staff members were proud of their students’ cooperation, teamwork and overall positivity throughout the course of the Afterschool Program.  Williams welcomed everyone in attendance and was pleased to see that parents were able to interact with their children and staff through STEAM projects.  “I was filled with jubilation and inspiration to see the amount of parents that came out and supported ‘Lights On Afterschool.’ It was a reminder of what Spring Creek Towers is doing to support families and children in our community,” said Williams.

Mercedes Cevallos, 16, decided to stop by the “Lights On” event to support her 10-year-old sister, Sasha.  “My sister is always excited when she comes home from the Spring Creek Afterschool Program. She is always telling me about the projects she works on, so I wanted to show that I care about the things she is passionate about,” said Mercedes Cevallos.

Williams is a strong believer that parental participation is key to a child’s success. Some of the activities at “Lights On” included: making a rainbow using water colors, marshmallow towers, and cardboard robots.    

The Afterschool Program is available for students enrolled in PS 346 (grades pre-kindergarten to fifth grade), for more information call 718-942-1789 or 718-240-4530.

Photos by Amanda Moses