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 SDCOE Recognizes Local Afterschool Program

​An afterschool program at Carver Elementary School operated by Social Advocates for Youth San Diego (SAY) was recently selected by the San Diego County Office of Education as the inaugural recipient of the Shine Bright Lights On Afterschool Program.

The award recognizes SAY’s commitment to providing quality expanded learning programs.

The Carver Elementary PrimeTime program nurtures a safe culture, in which students can build relationships, receive academic assistance, and participate in impactful learning opportunities. The program focuses on student safety, health, and well-being.

To celebrate the award, children, parents, and community leaders came together Oct. 23 at a Lights On Afterschool event at the school. The event also celebrated the achievements of afterschool students and highlighted the need for more afterschool programs to serve the millions of children nationwide who are unsupervised and at risk each weekday afternoon. The event was one of more than 7,500 such events across the nation emphasizing the importance of keeping the lights on and the doors open after school.

“Receiving this recognition is a wonderful testament to the great program at Carver made possible by the collaborative partnership we have with the parents, the school, and the San Diego Unified School District,” said SAY Chief Executive Officer, Nancy Gannon Hornberger. “Carver’s exemplary program is part of a movement to ensure that children and families receive the many benefits of high-quality before and after school programs – including greater student engagement in school and academic success, higher self-esteem, positive peer relationships, and critical support for hard working parents.”

The Lights On Afterschool event follows the release of America After 3PM data showing a vast unmet demand for afterschool programs nationwide. In California, 25 percent of children participate in an afterschool program, yet 49 percent would be enrolled if a program were available. Further, 90 percent of California parents are satisfied with their child’s afterschool program and 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 California kids safe, inspire them to learn and help working families.

“SAY’s PrimeTime program at Carver is a shining example of the importance of after school programs. They provide an environment for kids to extend their learning, enjoy cultural experiences, and develop their leadership skills,” said Dr. Randy Ward, county superintendent of schools. “After school programs are needed and are working in our local communities and across the county.”

The PrimeTime program at Carver Elementary started in 2002 with an Afterschool Education and Safety (ASES) grant from the California Department of Education. It now serves 80 children, providing homework assistance, mentoring, tutoring, and classes and clubs in sports, recreation, mathematics, chess, and dozens of other subjects. The program is a collaboration of the provider agency, school, and families.  Extended learning programs in San Diego provide support to 373 schools implementing the ASES and 21st Century Community Learning Center programs.

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.

In partnership with the San Diego Unified School District, SAY San Diego provides the PrimeTime program to over 3,000 children annually. PrimeTime provides a safe place for students in elementary and middle school to experience academic enrichment and recreational activities during the hours before and after the regular school day. The programs are designed to create an enthusiasm for learning. SAY is one of the largest providers of PrimeTime programs in San Diego.