Neighborhood YMCAs across Pittsburgh celebrated after school programs on national “Lights On Afterschool Day”

More than 1200 kids in the afterschool programs at local Y’s, parents, teachers, and diverse community leaders, including Jake Wheatley of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and representatives of The Hill House, Wireless Neighborhoods and Pittsburgh Public Schools.

YOUNG SUPPORTERS—Kids of many different grades and ages were in attendance to show their support for the programs. (Photos by J.L. Martello).

Members of the State House and Senate and Gov. Edward G. Rendell proclaimed Oct. 21, “Lights On Afterschool Day.” Ys across the city held open house events to celebrate the importance of afterschool programs and to raise awareness about funding shortfalls.

The Hon. Jake Wheatley visited Peabody High School and joined students from six different afterschool programs, Pittsburgh Public Schools, the Hill House, and Wireless Neighborhoods for one of the city’s biggest “Lights On Afterschool” events. Programs in other areas included a “Parent Appreciation Day” in Homewood, a talent show for teachers and parents at the Cloverleaf Y, an open house and refreshments in the North Boroughs, fall art projects at the East Suburban Family Y and more.

After school programs across Pennsylvania and the country are facing funding shortfalls, forcing many to close their doors. “Lights On After School Day” aims to raise community awareness and support for those after school programs. Combining play with academics, the Y’s after school programs fill gaps in schools by offering enrichment through arts, music, physical education, sports and nutrition. After school programming at the Y focuses on the holistic development of youth, promoting creativity, a love for learning, academic success and friendship and character building.

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