North Star Academy Sheds Light On After School Programs

Student Led Event Held for After School Programs

DULUTH, Minn.-It’s not often an event at a school is hosted entirely by students.

But today’s Lights on After School event was just that, as each after school club and program came together to show off what they do.

The event was held to raise money for, and illustrate the importance of After School Programs.

At first glance, it looks like a madhouse of unruly children, but looking closer, you’ll find them hanging up decorations and organizing tables.

Eagle’s Nest, North Star and Duluth area YMCA’s collaborative program, runs the show.

According to the kids, it’s the place to be after school.

“In Eagle’s Nest we do many things,” said Carolena, with her friends Neila, Ella, Aislyn and Ariauna. “We do crafts…we do field trips, we have after school programs like on the weekends, and we have outside time.”

When asked if they enjoy all that Eagle’s Nest has to offer, they answered without hesitation.

“We love it! It’s so much fun, we love it so much.”

The kids are definitely having a lot of fun, and also giving back.

Those girls held a bake sale to benefit the Lake Superior Zoo, and some young artists were selling their work to raise money for Animal Allies.

According to the YMCA, these after school programs give back to families, too.

“With the school day ending, a lot of times ending at 2:15, 3:00, 4:00, working families need that care for their child,” said Melissa Fanning, Executive Director of Community Service for the YMCA. “So they can have a snack after school, do some physical fitness, we do academic support, do clubs and do some deeper programs.”

“It’s really to support that family unit.”

According to After School Alliance, about 136,000 Minnesota students are enrolled in an after school program, about 150,000 are awaiting enrollment, and over 200,000 are “alone and unsupervised” after school.

The Duluth area YMCA website has a list of after school programs in the area, and they also offer programming on days when there’s no school, from 6:30am to 6pm.

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