October 24, 2019: Lights on Afterschool Day

WHEREAS, the citizens of the State of Michigan stand firmly committed to quality afterschool programs and opportunities; and,


WHEREAS, afterschool programs provide safe, challenging, and engaging learning experiences that help children develop social, emotional, physical, and academic skills; and,


WHEREAS, after the regular school day ends, working families use afterschool programs to ensure their children are safe and productive; and,


WHEREAS, these programs build stronger communities by involving students, parents, business leaders, and adult volunteers in the lives of young people, thereby promoting positive relationships among youth, families, and adults; and,


WHEREAS, when families, schools and community partners promote and encourage afterschool programs, they are advancing the welfare of our children; and,


WHEREAS, the state of Michigan has provided significant leadership in the area of community involvement in the education and well-being of our youth, grounded in the principle that quality afterschool programs are key to helping our children become successful adults; and,


WHEREAS, Lights On Afterschool, the national celebration of afterschool programs, held this year on October 24, 2019, promotes the importance of quality afterschool programs in the lives of children, families, and communities; and,


WHEREAS, 19.4 million families report that they would enroll their child in an afterschool program if one was available; and,  


WHEREAS, many afterschool programs across the country are facing funding shortfalls so severe that they are being forced to close their doors and turn off their lights; and,


WHEREAS, the state of Michigan is committed to investing in the health and safety of all young people by providing expanded learning opportunities that will help close the achievement gap and prepare young people to compete in the global economy;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim October 24, 2019, as Lights on Afterschool Day in Michigan and encourage our state to engage in innovative afterschool programs and activities that ensure the lights stay on and the doors stay open for all children after school.