Thayer Elementary students from left: Dylan Tillman, Ellie Burrell, Adam Brown, Laken Hollis, Holly Grimes and Molly King gather around Thayer Mayor Merle Williams as he signed a proclamation last week designating Oct. 18 as "Lights On After the School Day." All the students are fifth and sixth graders and serve on the After School Advisory Board.
THAYER -- Thayer Mayor Merle Williams signed a proclamation Oct. 18 designating that evening as "Lights On After the School Day."
"Our city endorses the Thayer After School Program and encourages our community to engage in innovative after school programs and activities that ensures the lights stay on and the doors stay open for all children after school," Williams said.
The "Lights On After the School Day" program was sponsored by the Thayer After School program. Tommy Lowery is the coordinator of the program.
"Our school district is firmly committed to quality after school programs and opportunities," Lowery said.
He said after school programs promote several positive ideas in the community. Such as:
* Provide safe, challenging and engaging learning experiences that help children develop social, emotional, physical and academic skills.
* Support working families by ensuring their children are safe and productive after the regular school day ends.
* Build stronger communities by involving students, parents, business leaders and adult volunteers in the lives of young people. This promotes positive leadership skills and relationships among youth, families and adults.
* Engage families, school, and community partners in advancing the welfare of our children.
"The Thayer III After School Program 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 after school programs are key to helping our children become successful adults," Lowery said.
He said this is a national celebration. "Statistics show that more than 28 million children in the United States have parents who work outside the home, and 14.3 million children have no place to go after school," he said.
Lowery said many after school programs across the country are facing funding shortfalls so severe that they are being forced to close their doors and turn off their lights. He said he hopes that does not happen in the Thayer School District and appreciates the support shown to the program by the mayor, the city and the community.