The week of October 17th, 2011, THINK Together participated in the 12th Annual Lights On Afterschool event created by the Afterschool Alliance and held nationwide to bring attention to the importance of after-school programs for children, families and communities. Launched in 2000, the annual goal of the event is to raise awareness for the need of after-school care, as 1 in 4 youth today are alone and unsupervised after school. Programs like THINK Together keep kids safe, inspire learning and growth, and help working families. In observance of Lights On Afterschool, THINK Together staged multiple events across California to concur with the national event.
Sen. Calderon at Jersey Elementary
In Los Angeles County, Jersey Elementary in the Little Lake School District hosted a visit by Senator Ron Calderon, who spoke to students about the importance of his job in the Legislature and his commitment to support after-school programs. Also visiting Jersey Elementary were representatives from the Irvine Company, a real estate investment company which has donated $10 million to THINK Together over the last 10 years. Maxwell Elementary in the Duarte Unified School District also hosted Assemblyman Roger Hernandez. His visit and tour of the program included student presentations about THINK Together and the sharing of ideas about the future of public education. Students also created crafts and other activities for Lights On Afterschool.
In the San Bernardino Region, Haynes Elementary, in the Ontario-Montclair School District, was visited by Senator Gloria Negrete-McLeod, while Bemis Elementary in the Rialto Unified School District was visited by Assemblymember Wilmer Amina Carter. Both legislators visited the THINK Together sites to learn about the programs and their importance to student learning.
Parents and Graduates at Shalimar
The Orange County Region hosted two Lights On Afterschool community events, at the Shalimar Learning and Teen Centers in Costa Mesa and the Highland Learning and Teen Centers in Orange. Both events included testimonials from students, graduates, parents and volunteers. The average GPA of students enrolled in this program has risen by 34% and has helped to dramatically improve graduation rates for local students.
In Sacramento County, THINK Together organized Lights On events at Woodbine, Tsukamoto, Morse and Harkness Elementary Schools. Students created arts and crafts inspired by the Lights On celebration. At Kit Carson Middle and Herburger Elementary Schools, the Lights On activities featured STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) projects.
THINK Together is serious about helping kids achieve!
THINK Togetheris making a difference in the lives of more than 100,000 California students. The non-profit organization's trained staff, dedicated volunteers and generous donors are providing extended learning time programs (after-school, summer learning, small group tutoring, early literacy, etc.) and resources to help these kids, their families and their communities achieve. Our programs, generally free for at-risk students and low-income families, are predominately available at public school sites across Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and now Sacramento Counties.