We’re two weeks away from Lights On Afterschool! There is still plenty of time to plan, and whether your event is in-person or virtual, you’re covered. From ideas to logistics, Afterschool Alliance has the tools to help you get your event underway!
If you really need to make participation easy, light up an LOA pumpkin – or a bunch – and post it on social media. You can find the pattern here. You can also light up a landmark in your community. Or you can participate in the Light Bulb Challenge online. Finally, there are the Virtual LOA events online you can join with your students instead of hosting an event – “River City Drumbeat” on Oct. 25 at 6 p.m. and The Youth Town Hall on Oct. 28 at 6 p.m.
We are also giving you this link instead of hosting our own webinar: http://www.afterschoolalliance.org/webinars.cfm?ID=557A0581-5056-A82E-7A8D30411F04781D&fbclid=IwAR2tvmf8GbUQNk1DH-T3x7IzODcWplzMIS2rLR8xFBJHbfBH-gjM1YWXYok
Here you can watch a recorded webinar on LOA at your leisure with all the information you need, plus a list of links with all the downloads and additional info you could want.
Here are a few event planning actions to check off your list this week:
- Distribute a calendar announcement to local newspapers, television stations, and radio stations.
- Share a short newsletter article promoting your event for allied organizations to share on their websites or in their newsletters.
The top tools to help you plan your Lights On Afterschool event:
- Consider sending a thank you letter to your local school boards in honor of LOA day. Download the sample letter here and the TAN logo here.
- Get your local city Mayor or County council to issue a proclamation, Here’s a sample to get you started.
- Going virtual for Lights On Afterschool? Our virtual event planner has tips to help you along the way. It features sample event materials, tips for promoting your virtual event, and even helpful zoom info.
- Plan a Light Up a Landmark event virtually. Light up a landmark in LOA colors – blue and gold – and send out pictures over social media, on your website, and in a newsletter. Think out of the box – you can light up a bridge, a building, a movie marque, a ferris wheel, or even a billboard.
- Use our planning timeline to stay on track with event preparation. If you’re wondering when to send out invitations, or contact the media, this tracker is for you. From ideation to execution, we have tips here to guide you through every step of the planning process.
- The updated social media kit features sample social media posts that your program can use to spread the word about LOA in general or your specific event. Social Media is a great way to participate in LOA virtually without hosting an event. It also features the new Lights On Afterschool 2021 graphics, and a timeline to help you plan out social media posts in the weeks leading up to your event.
- Join the Lights On Afterschool Lightbulb Challenge! It’s an easy, virtual way to participate in Lights On, even if you aren’t able to organize an event this year.
- You can now order face masks, strobe buttons, and car decals to include in giveaways, goodie bags, and as promotional items for your Lights On Afterschool event!
- Participate by making a video on your phone and sharing it on social media. One way that’s been suggested to participate virtually and without a lot of organizing is to make a series of videos on your phone and share them on Social Media and through a newsletter on Oct. 28. Get videos of a parent, a student, and an elected official explaining what they love about afterschool and why it is so important to them. The best videos in the state from each category – student, parent, and elected official – will each win a $50 Amazon gift card.
You don’t have to choose between virtual or in-person for your event. Last year the City of Hialeah, YLC in Hialeah, Florida did both! They held a glow Zumba party for in-person and virtual students. There was a glow-in-the-dark slime activity and lightbulb coloring. Afterward, students were given glow sticks and a Zumba instructor led the party. Students enrolled in the program were able to participate at the in-person party, and all those enrolled virtually participated from their homes with family members and friends.