This October 24 marks the 20th Lights On Afterschool, and one of Afterschool’s brightest partners is back: for the 13th year in a row, the iconic Empire State Building will light up the New York City skyline in support of Lights On Afterschool! The national landmark will light the sky in blue and yellow to recognize afterschool programs all around the country.
The lighting has started to inspire others to light up local landmarks as well, from the Dallas skyline to Baltimore’s M&T Bank stadium to the Orlando Eye. For our 20th, we’re lining up as many lightings as we can. We’d love to see statues, buildings, and landmarks light up all across America for Lights On Afterschool, from small towns to large cities and everything in between. Join us for the Light Up A Landmark Challenge!
So Michigan, what should you light up in your communities?
We’ve developed a featured activity page with recommendations and ideas from past lightings on how to go about lighting up a landmark in your community, as well as creative alternatives to light up your community for Lights On. Consider:
Buildings and landmarks that already light up, from skyscrapers and office complexes to stadiums and historic buildings. In Indiana, the Indianapolis Power & Light Building ran a giant Lights On Afterschool message!
City or town properties like statues, community centers, town halls, fountains. The Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network partnered with state leadership to light the State Capitol in yellow.
Partner organizations like libraries, recreation and park departments, universities, local athletic teams, arts institutions, or museums may have a prominent property in the community that could be lit for afterschool! In South Dakota, the parks department lit up the Falls of the Big Sioux River last year.
Stumped on finding a landmark? Think outside the box! Create a corn maze or pumpkin patch in the shape of a light bulb. Form a human lightbulb on a giant field, cut a light bulb shape into the grass, or plant flowers in the shape of a light bulb. Work with students to fly a drone over the site and take a photo. You could even project a Lights On image (or design your own message or a symbol) to on the side of your program’s building.
We are honored to have a national landmark like the Empire State Building celebrating afterschool with us, and we’re excited to celebrate the afterschool partners, programs, families, and students across the country during the Lights On Afterschool season. Join us, the Empire State Building, and thousands of out-of-school time programs in keeping the Lights On Afterschool. Register your program so you don’t miss a single update!
By Ursula Helminski, Vice President, External Affairs, Afterschool Alliance