In October, our YMCA Expanded Learning Programs celebrated Lights on Afterschool, a nationwide day to highlight the important role afterschool programs play in our community. With over 100 school sites across San Diego County, we’re proud to provide safe and supportive spaces for students to learn, grow, and thrive.

Dozens of our afterschool programs participated in the festivities, allowing students to express their creativity and showcase their talents to parents and community members. From art walks to trunk or treat events to STEAM showcases, there was something for everyone to enjoy! Check out some key highlights from our events. 


El Toyon Elementary School

Assemblymember David Alvarez visited and presented our team with a certificate of recognition from the California Legislature.


Art Walk at John Otis Elementary School 

Students from our Expanded Learning Program at John Otis Elementary held a Community Art Walk where they displayed their paintings, self-portraits, and craftwork. Parents and community members were amazed by the talent on display and enjoyed chatting with the young artists about their work.


Trunk or Treat Parties! 

For some spooky fun, several of our programs hosted Trunk or Treat parties. Students went from car to car collecting candy and enjoying Halloween-themed games put on by our staff. It was a great opportunity for parents to get to know each other while the students had a blast! 


STEAM Showcase at Glen View Elementary 

Many of our programs incorporate STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Math), offering students opportunities to explore various topics through hands-on learning experiences. Students from our Expanded Learning Program at Glen View Elementary put their skills on display with a STEAM Showcase—an interactive event where students shared what they’ve learned with parents, teachers, and community members. 


Not only are the Lights on Afterschool activities great for students, but they also help build relationships between schools and families, creating a sense of community. These relationships are essential to ensuring that students have the support they need to succeed both in and out of the classroom. 


For many working families, afterschool programs are a lifeline that allows them to maintain employment while also knowing their children are safe and cared for. According to a report by the Afterschool Alliance, “nearly 60 percent of parents say they would like their children to participate in an afterschool program but cannot because there is no program available in their community or they cannot afford it.” 


Afterschool programs provide a much-needed service to families and communities across the country. That’s why, we are here to offer students safe and nurturing enrichment opportunities that prepare students for college, career, and life.  


Thank you to everyone who participated in our Lights on Afterschool events! We had a blast celebrating with all of you! Visit YMCA Expanded Learning Programs webpage to see if there is a program the Y runs near you.


To get involved, learn more about the Lights on Afterschool celebration and reach out to local policy makers to take action.