At its Tuesday, Oct. 11 meeting, the Riverbank City Council officially registered its support for the ‘Lights On After School’ program in local schools.
The council joined thousands of communities nationwide in observing October as the Lights On After School month.
The programs offer varying extracurricular opportunities for student enrichment in the areas of science, art, physical activity and community service, among others, according to officials from California Avenue School. A group of that school’s fourth graders made a presentation to the council prior to Mayor Richard O’Brien’s reading of a proclamation and presenting it to the youngsters.
He said the programs provide a “safe and nurturing environment” for students awaiting parents or caregivers to come for them at the end of the day. He said such programs were essential and need continued support of families, schools, educators, volunteers, local leaders and policy makers in order to keep their lights “on.”
The Riverbank Unified School District said California Avenue School will be “one of 7,500 sites across the country sending the message that After School is a key to our children’s success.”
Noting the important attributes of the program, the proclamation joined the school district, Project A.C.T.I.O.N. – After School Care Together In Our Neighborhoods – and the city in recognizing the program, designating this Friday as “Lights On After School” within the City of Riverbank.
Riverbank Unified and Project A.C.T.I.O.N are hosting the 10th Annual Lights On event on Friday, Oct. 21 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at California Avenue Elementary, 3800 California Ave., Riverbank. The Project A.C.T.I.O.N. students and staff have coordinated this community event to demonstrate the importance of after school programs. Lights On will provide fun and engaging activities, informational booths from local businesses, and bike and helmet safety. Hundreds of parents, supporters and community members are expected to attend.
Lights On will highlight three significant contributions that afterschool programs make to Riverbank: keeping kids safe and healthy, inspiring kids to learn, and relieving working parents of worries about their children’s activities during after school hours.
Participants of Lights On include RUSD Superintendent Dr. Daryl Camp, Mayor Richard D. O’Brien, City Council members Darlene Barber-Martinez and Cal Campbell, School Board Trustees, Riverbank Police and Fire Department, local business leaders, educators, other officials, and most importantly, the afterschool program youth.
Project A.C.T.I.O.N. is proud to celebrate 17 years of after school programs in Riverbank. Funded by the After School Education and Safety grant from the California Department of Education and by RUSD, it now serves over 400 students daily, providing homework assistance, mentoring, enrichment activities, sports, healthy snacks, youth development and leadership opportunities, field trips, and more.