Scottsdale recognizes after school programs with Lights On Afterschool Event

The city of Scottsdale, in partnership with SUSD, is offering local kids a safe place to go after school hours. (Submitted photo)

The city of Scottsdale, in partnership with SUSD, is offering local kids a safe place to go after school hours. (Submitted photo)

In connection with the Scottsdale Unified School District, the city of Scottsdale is trying to provide local parents with a place for their children to go once school is out.

This isn’t a new concept for the city as the municipality has provided after-school programs for several years now. However, the city did try to promote its programs further with an event called Lights on Afterschool at Scottsdale Stadium.

This purpose of the event was to “highlight what (out-of-school) services the city of Scottsdale provides to support working families,” according to a press release.

The project Lights on Afterschool is part of the Afterschool Alliance, which is a nationwide nonprofit organization that focuses on providing children with access to affordable afterschool programs, according to the afterschool alliance website.

This was the first time the city hosted the event, which featured a variety of activities including booth games, mega sidewalk chalk, music and the Arizona Coyotes’ mascot Howler the Coyote, according to a press release.

Ann Porter, a marketing and sponsorship supervisor for the city of Scottsdale, said the event drew about 900 attendees, both adults and children, and had a specific goal in mind it wanted to accomplish.

“It’s not so much about marketing the programs, because typically there is such a high demand and we usually have a waitlist for them, but it’s more than anything just letting the community know how important these projects are, especially because they are so well-managed by the city,” Ms. Porter said during an Oct. 4 phone interview.

These after school programs, which cost $300 for the 10-month school year or $30 monthly payments during the 10 months, range from sports and athletics to arts and crafts to school study sessions. Additionally, Ms. Porter said if a parent signs a student up later in the year for a program, costs are prorated accordingly.

Ms. Porter said most of the programs begin between 1 and 2 p.m., earlier if there is an early-release day, and running until about 6 p.m.

1012ns-news-after-school-2All these programs exist because “with many parents and caregivers working full-time, out-of-school programs for kids are an imperative service for our community,” according to the release.

These programs are also not only limited to after school hours, but rather for school breaks such as fall and spring breaks. Additionally, Ms. Porter said the city offers a summer for children whose parents can’t supervise them because of work.

“It’s always stressful being a working parent but what this does is it gives them great, quality care and it’s at an incredibly reasonable price,” Ms. Porter said during an Oct. 4 phone interview.

In order to make these programs work, Ms. Porter said the city needs a solid relationship with the schools, which she said the city does with Scottsdale Unified School District.

“It’s a great working relationship,” Ms. Porter said during an Oct. 4 phone interview. “I think to the citizens of Scottsdale, it’s important that we work well with the Scottsdale Unified School District because these are services that impact all the citizens of Scottsdale.”

Ms. Porter said most of the after-school programs are at one of the SUSD schools.

While these programs are geared aimed at children in Kindergarten to fifth grade, Ms. Porter said there are programs for those in sixth, seventh or eighth grades.

Go to scottsdaleaz.gov/sports/scottsdales-after-school-program.

News Services Reporter Josh Martinez can be contacted at jmartinez@newszap.com or at 623-445-2738

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