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GWINNETT COUNTY EVENT IS PART OF NATIONWIDE CELEBRATION OF AFTERSCHOOL

(Lawrenceville, Ga., Oct. 17, 2017) – Gwinnett County children, parents, business and community leaders will come together at a Lights On Afterschool event, hosted by Live Healthy Gwinnett, to celebrate the achievements of afterschool and draw attention to the need for more afterschool programs to serve the millions of children nationwide who are unsupervised and at risk each weekday afternoon. Walk Among the Stars will be held on Thursday, Oct. 26, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at E.E. Robinson Park in Sugar Hill. This free community event will be one of more than 8,000 such events across the nation emphasizing the importance of keeping the lights on and the doors open after school.

Recent data from America After 3PM, the research series on afterschool programs commissioned by the Afterschool Alliance, shows a vast unmet demand for afterschool programs nationwide. In Georgia, 16 percent of children participate in an afterschool program, yet 40 percent would be enrolled if a program were available. Further, 90 percent of Georgia’s parents satisfied with their child’s afterschool program, and 79 percent agree that afterschool programs give working parents peace of mind.  More work needs to be done to meet the great need for afterschool programs that keep Georgia’s kids safe, inspire them to learn and help working families.

“Walk Among the Stars celebrates the remarkable work being done by government organizations and community partners,” said Tina Fleming, Director of Community Services. “It is a powerful reminder that out-of-school time programs offer a range of supports to children and families. Unfortunately, our community does not always have enough and/or accessible afterschool programs, and too many kids are home alone in the afternoons or on the streets where they can be exposed to at-risk behaviors. We must focus on working together to offer more programs and make sure lawmakers invest more in out-of-school time.”

Participants at Walk Among the Stars, who are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite characters, will travel to Neverland and enjoy STEAM activities, interactive games, Scholastic Book Fair, food vendors, inflatables and more. Community partners involved in this year’s Walk Among the Stars event include: Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta-Strong4Life, J.M. Tull Gwinnett-Family YMCA, GUIDE, Inc., Gwinnett 4-H, Keen Academy, Whiz Learning Kids, Success Martial Arts Academy, Discovery Point, Gwinnett County Public Library and various government divisions.

Lights On Afterschool is organized by the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children have access to quality afterschool programs. More information on the Afterschool Alliance, Lights On Afterschool and America After 3PM is available at www.afterschoolalliance.org.


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