In our current political environment, now more than ever, it is critical for voices in support of OST programming to be heard. Funding for programming is under threat, with the potential to not only to negatively impact the scope of programming but in many cases, the ability for its existence. Afterschool Alliance offers a myriad of tools, guidelines, calendars, and how-tos on advocacy. 

National Events

Lights on Afterschool


Launched in October 2000, Lights On Afterschool is the only nationwide event celebrating afterschool programs and their important role in the lives of children, families, and communities. The effort has become a hallmark of the afterschool movement and generates media coverage across the country each year.

Every fall, the Afterschool Alliance organizes Lights On Afterschool to draw attention to the many ways afterschool programs support students by offering them opportunities to learn new things—such as science, community service, robotics, Tae Kwon Do, and poetry—and discover new skills. The events send a powerful message that millions of more kids need quality afterschool programs.

To register your site for this event or to learn more, visit the Lights On Afterschool Website


Afterschool for All Challenge


Afterschool for All Challenge is a day of national advocacy, sponsored by the Afterschool Alliance, in which out-of-school time supporters educate Congress about the benefits of OST programs. Hundreds of OST leaders from around the nation visit Capitol Hill and meet with U.S. Senators and Representatives. Those not visiting Washington DC also participate by contacting their representatives and using social media to send messages about the need to protect and increase funding. This year's event was held on April 19, 2018.


National Summer Learning Week


National Summer Learning Week is a national advocacy week aimed at elevating the importance of keeping kids learning, safe and healthy every summer, ensuring they return to school in the fall ready to succeed in the year. Participation sends a powerful message across the nation that summers matter and offers an opportunity to showcase how summers can make a life-changing difference in the lives of young people. This year's event was held on July 8-13, 2019.