Friday, October 31, 2014

Lights On #Afterschool!

Prince George's County Council Member Ingrid M. Turner, Esq. (D-4) and Kentland Community Center afterschool students

Contact: Samantha Trotter

What Does a Nonprofit Organization and Community Center Have in Common?
Collaboration is Key in Afterschool

Landover, MD | On Thursday, October 23, 2014, In Reach, Inc. in collaboration with the Kentland Community Center celebrated Lights On Afterschool, the only nationwide event celebrating afterschool programs and their important role in the lives of children, families and communities. 

Forty students ranging in kindergarten to eighth grade from surrounding schools enjoyed an afternoon full of activities including decorating paper light bulbs, Lights On’s symbol, competing in a relay race, and sharing reasons why they love their afterschool program.  While some students took home winning prizes, everyone took home a book bag filled with goodies. “Our Lights On Afterschool celebration was a huge success thanks to In Reach. The kids were still talking about all of the fun they had days later,” commented Tarik Brown, Director of the Kentland Community Center.

All over the country public officials recognized the special day. Maryland’s Governor Martin O’Malley signed a proclamation claiming October 23rd the official Lights On Afterschool Day in the State as well did the Prince George’s County Council in a proclamation presented by Council Member Ingrid M. Turner, Esq. (District 4) to In Reach and the Kentland Community Center for their hard work and dedication to providing children with afterschool programming in Prince George’s County.
In Reach and the Kentland Community Center are both members of the Kentland-Palmer Park Transforming Neighborhood Initiative (TNi), one of six neighborhoods in the County that face significant economic, health, public safety and educational challenges. Several TNi members attended and supported the event. Corey Smedley, Team Leader, Kentland-Palmer Park TNi shared, “Education is the key to success and our County Executive, Rushern L. Baker, III, has set the vision for the County. Whether it is integrated school governance or Transforming Neighborhood Initiatives, education is the foundation, and improvements will take a collaborative effort.” 

This collaborative event was just one of many that took place in the county, and all over the state, committing to increase awareness about the value of afterschool programs and their necessity. It is just one way In Reach and the Kentland Community Center work to continuously expand its afterschool opportunities in Prince George’s County. Afterschool programs play a pivotal role in keeping kids safe and healthy, inspiring them to learn, and relieving working parents of worries about their children’s activities during the afternoon hours.

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In Reach, Inc., a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, mission is to prepare students for college, work and life.

Kentland Community Center is a facility of the Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation.

The Afterschool Alliance is a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children have access to quality afterschool programs, organizes Lights On Afterschool. Read more about the importance and value of afterschool programs at