By SHERRY DIGMON
News Staff Writer
Escambia County Middle School hosted their Be the Light After School program Thursday, Oct. 25.
The purpose of Be the Light is two-fold – to showcase the work done in the A-STEM program and to present an opportunity for students to sign up.
Be the Light is free to students and offers courses that are not available during the school day – strings, art, Tae Kwon Do, yoga and more.
This is the last year for the grant which has enabled the school to offer A-STEM courses: Arts, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Science and math have been emphasized in the past, and this year the focus is on the arts.
Thursday, a string ensemble played a Halloween rendition of Old McDonald with other students acting out Halloween characters.
A proclamation from Gov. Kay Ivey was presented by program lead teacher Melissa Daniel:
WHEREAS, the citizens of the State of Alabama stand firmly committed to quality afterschool programs and opportunities because they:
* 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, thereby promoting positive relationships among youth, families and adults.
* Engage families, schools and community partners in advancing the welfare of our children.
WHEREAS, the state of Alabama 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.
WHEREAS, Lights On Afterschool, the national celebration of afterschool programs held this year on October 28, promotes the importance of quality after school programs in the lives of children, families and communities.
WHEREAS, more than 28 million children in the U.S. have parents who work outside the home, and 15.1 million children have no place to go after school.
WHEREAS, 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.
WHEREAS, the state of Alabama 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.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that I, Kay Ivey, Governor of Alabama, do hereby proclaim October 28, 2018, as “Lights On Afterschool Day”; AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Governor enthusiastically endorses Lights On Afterschool and commits 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.