Join Us for Lights On Afterschool!

Lights on Afterschool logo

Thursday, October 26

Launched in October 2000, Lights On Afterschool is the only nationwide event celebrating afterschool programs and their important role in the lives of children, families and communities. The effort has become a hallmark of the afterschool movement and generates media coverage across the country each year.

The Afterschool Alliance, in partnership with the 50 State Afterschool Networks, organizes Lights On Afterschool to draw attention to the many ways afterschool programs support students by offering them opportunities to learn new things—such as science, community service, robotics, Tae Kwon Do and poetry—and discover new skills. The local events send a powerful message – afterschool programs make a difference - and millions more kids need access to quality afterschool programs.

Lights On Afterschool events can take any form—you can find hundreds of ideas in the searchable events database! Get inspiration from other Lights On Afterschool celebrations and search by theme, event type, and difficulty. You can even look at what other programs in your region have done in previous years.

Here are some of the most popular ways people celebrate:

  • Open House: Share your program's story by inviting your community to participate in a Day in the Life or special event at your program.
  • Rally: Demonstrate at your state capitol, your city hall, or invite policymakers to your program site to honor afterschool champions and make connections with decision-makers.
  • Talent Showcase: Put the talents of your students center stage and celebrate everything they are learning after school.
  • Carnival/Festival: Set up interactive games, booths, snacks, and group activities like mural painting or a movie screening to create a special day at your program.
  • Art Day: Download coloring pages and decorate your program with artwork from your students.

Need some help with planning? Use the planning tool for your Lights On Afterschool event.

Thinking about inviting some local officials or state policymakers to your event? Use this sample invitation as a starting place and use this tool to help you host a successful site visit.

Hoping to generate some positive media coverage with your event? Use these outreach tools to support your efforts. 

And be sure to register your event so we know about all of the amazing celebrations of afterschool happening around the state of Wisconsin! 



Lights On Afterschool is a project of the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that all children have access to afterschool programs.

The Benefits of Membership

Becoming a member of the Wisconsin Afterschool Network is FREE and comes with some benefits.  Members will receive discount codes for free registration to the Alternative Pathway courses: Introduction to School-Age Care; Guiding Children's Behavior in OST programs; and School-Age Curricular Framework, as well as access to Member Only discussion boards.  We would love to have you join us in supporting high quality programs for youth in Wisconsin!

Join Today

Out-of-School Time Resource Center

The Wisconsin Afterschool Network is here to provide supports and resources to YOU and YOUR PROGRAM through our Resource Center.  The Resource Center contains content on topics such as: Mental and Emotional Wellness; Starting a Program; STEM and more!  In addition to content, you can request personalized Technical Assistance using our Request Technical Assistance Form found in Quick Links.  We are here to help you - so let's get started!

OST Resource Center STEM