PACES, Perry’s Academic Cultural and Enrichment Services, will be celebrating the 19th year of Lights On Afterschool on Wednesday, Oct. 17 and Thursday, Oct. 18.

The event was officially endorsed by the City of Perry during the Oct. 15 Perry City Council Meeting.

Mayor John Andorf read an official proclamation endorsing Lights On Afterschool during the meeting. The full proclamation is as follows:

WHEREAS, the citizens of Perry Community Schools stand firmly committed to quality after school programs because they: *Provide safe, challenging, engaging and fun learning experiences to help children and youth develop their social, emotional, physical, cultural 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 our students, parents, business leaders and adult volunteers in the lives of our young people, thereby promoting positive relationships among children, youth, families and adults. *Engage families, schools and diverse community partners in advancing the welfare of our children.

WHEREAS, P.A.C.E.S. 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 after school programs are a critical link to helping our children become successful adults; and

WHEREAS, Lights On After School!, the Nineteenth Annual National Celebration of after school programs on October 18, 2018, promotes the critical importance of quality after school programs in the lives of children, their families and their 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 afterschool programs across the country are facing funding shortfalls so severe that they are being forced to close their doors and turn off their lights.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that P.A.C.E.S. calls on the citizens of Perry Community Schools to assure that every child has access to a safe, engaging place where the lights are on after school on the day of October 18, 2018; AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this city enthusiastically endorses Lights On After School! and commits our community to engage in innovative after school programs and activities that ensure that children are safe and productive when the school day ends.

Andorf added that “as a community, we certainly do endorse that.”

PACES Director Mary Hillman then talked about the program with the city council members during the open forum of the Oct. 15 meeting.

She encouraged the community and city council members to attend the Lights On Afterschool events on Wednesday and Thursday this year. PACES students will walk around the track on Oct. 17 and will collect pledges and donations. A talent show, student awards, supper and more are scheduled for Oct. 18.

“It’s just a really, really nice, fun night,” Hillman said.