National after-school event will be observed Saturday at PalaceA highlight of South Dakota’s second annual Lights On Afterschool observance scheduled for Saturday will be a 5:30 p.m. lighting ceremony at the Corn Palace.
By: News release, South Dakota Voices for Children
A highlight of South Dakota’s second annual Lights On After-school observance scheduled for Saturday will be a 5:30 p.m. lighting ceremony at the Corn Palace.
The national event focuses on the benefits of after-school programs for children, their families, communities and the state’s economy.
Eighty-six percent of South Dakota women with school-age children are in the labor force, and 72 percent of school-age children have all available parents in the workforce, according to the South Dakota Kids Count Data Center.
The hours after school are a critical time for youth, experts say.
Quality out-of-school-time programs keep students safe, support their healthy growth and inspire them to learn.
This year, the event will also focus on the health benefits provided by after-school programs. A study by the Afterschool Alliance of afterschool programs showed that obesity was significantly lower (21 percent) among program participants compared to nonparticipants (33 percent).
As part of a statewide contest among South Dakota after-school participants, an interpretation of a healthy activity by Rebekah White, of Colome, has been depicted in a corn mural on the Corn Palace.
Speakers at the Lights On Afterschool event are:
• Mike Levsen, Aberdeen mayor, emcee;
• Rob Monson, president, National Elementary School Principals and principal, Parkston Elementary School, Parkston;
• Rebekah White, student, Colome Afterschool Program, Colome;
• Aaron Krumholz, student, Mitchell Middle School, Mitchell;
• Tiffany Brink, parent of after-school participant at YWCA, Sioux Falls;
• Billie Jo Bakeberg, president, South Dakota School Age Care Alliance, Spearfish;
• Marilyn Rasmussen, board chair, South Dakota Afterschool Partnership and Youth Development/4-H Specialist, South Dakota State University, Brookings.
The event is sponsored by the South Dakota Afterschool Partnership, a project of South Dakota Voices for Children; the South Dakota School Age Care Alliance; the South Dakota Department of Education; and Avera Queen of Peace Hospital.