Hundreds of Harlem Children and Parents March to State Office Building in Support of After-School Programs

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'Lights On Afterschool' Event Mobilizes Millions Nationwide

Thursday, October 18, 2012
4:00 - 5:30 p.m.

4:30 p.m. – Departure from The Children’s Aid Society Dunlevy Milbank Center
14-32 West 118th Street, between Fifth and Lenox Aves.

5:00 p.m. – Arrival at State Office Building Plaza
163 West 125th Street, just east of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd. 

Over 200 children and their families are expected to march from The Children’s Aid Society Dunlevy Milbank Center to the State Office Building Plaza in Harlem as part of the nationwide Lights On Afterschool event. Once there, they will deliver testimony and present letters to the offices of Congressman Rangel, Senator Perkins, and Councilmember Dickens.

Lights On Afterschool, an Afterschool Alliance event now in its 13th year, is a nationwide rally designed to highlight the importance of after-school programs in keeping children safe, educated and meaningfully engaged. One million Americans are estimated to be participating in over 7,500 events across the country.

Children’s Aid’s Dunlevy Milbank Center promotes the holistic development of students in after-school activities ranging from educational enhancement, homework assistance, dance, arts and crafts, sports and nutrition. Dunlevy Milbank is one of 12 Children’s Aid Society sites organizing youth to advocate for after-school programming during Lights On Afterschool.
Youth, parents and staff from The Children’s Aid Society and other Harlem-based after-school programs 

A decade of research has shown that attendance at high quality after-school programs has a range of benefits for children, including:
• Improvements in attitudes toward school, themselves and others, as well as better behavior in school
• Increased engagement in school and commitment to homework, achievement on test scores and involvement of parents
• Increased levels of physical activity
• Increased workforce readiness skills and attributes –including work habits – that prepare them for future employment

The hours from 3 to 6 p.m. on school days are prime time for teens to commit or become victims of crime, to be in or cause a car crash and to smoke, drink or use drugs. Teens who are unsupervised after school are 37 percent more likely to become pregnant. Kids who attend high quality elementary and middle school programs are less likely to drop out of high school than non-participants.

In July, New York City families averted a proposed cut to early childhood and after-school programs when the Mayor and City Council agreed to restore funding for over 47,000 slots for these programs. However, a significant amount of this restoration was one-year funding; until funding for quality programs becomes a permanent part of the City’s budget, the fight for early childhood and after-school programs continues.

The Children’s Aid Societyis an independent, not-for-profit organization established to serve the children of New York City.  Our mission is to help children in poverty to succeed and thrive. We do this by providing comprehensive supports to children and their families in targeted high-needs New York City neighborhoods. Founded in 1853, it is one of the nation’s largest and most innovative non-sectarian agencies, serving New York’s neediest children. Services are provided in community schools, neighborhood centers, health clinics and camps. For additional information, please call Anthony Ramos at (212) 949-4938/ (917) 204-8214, email anthonyr@childrensaidsociety.orgor visit