The students at Lincoln Elementary School were recently given an opportunity to bring their parents to school.
More than 7,500 afterschool programs across the nation were in overdrive as parents joined their children to participate in Lights On Afterschool. The Lights On event is a day that celebrates afterschool programs and demonstrates their importance to families and communities across the United States.
The afterschool program at Lincoln is no exception. Project LINC, which stands for Learning Is Never Complete, hosted students from grades 2 to 6 and their parents on a fun-filled night of games, reading, drawing, online scavenger hunts and more. Cheryl Stone, the Project LINC site coordinator, monitored the entire event, checking in on the students and their guests.
Project LINC students celebrated Lights On Afterschool by decorating the hallways for their parents. Each light bulb cutout on the wall represents a child in the program.
P-J photo by Gavin Paterniti
"Today is a nationwide event," said Stone. "Our children celebrated by decorating the hallways for their parents and decorating light bulb cookies with frosting. Each (paper light bulb cutout) on the wall represents a child in the program. Then the children invited their parents and grandparents to come and spend a typical 'LINC' day with them."
Project LINC is available to all students who attend Lincoln Elementary. It runs every Monday through Friday from 3-5:30 p.m. The program gives kids a safe and social place to spend their afternoons, and it gives parents peace of mind knowing that their child is safe and accounted for every day after school.
"With LINC, parents know that every child is my first priority," said Stone. "Parents can come to me with issues their child is having at school and I can collaborate with that child's teacher to get the child the help they need in order to get their work done."
"My husband and I have had kids coming to the LINC program for over 12 years," said Julie Morano, who was present with her son, Jaymin. "It's a great environment, the kids are very busy, and they're also learning and staying active after school. It's not like child care."
"I love the place," said Brenda Lemke, who was with her daughter, Rachel. "I use it every day (Monday through Friday), because my husband and I work. I know my daughter is safe and I know she's being well taken care of. If I try to pick her up early, she gets upset and doesn't want to go."
Project LINC, which is sponsored by the Jamestown Community Learning Council, is the longest running afterschool program in Jamestown. It is entirely paid for by parents and does not receive any grants.
Lights On Afterschool was launched in October 2000 and was celebrated in more than 1,200 communities nationwide. The following year, more than 3,600 events took place. It has consistently been growing over the past 12 years.
To learn more about the Lights On Afterschool program, go to afterschoolalliance.org.