Pasco Joins Thousands to Celebrate Lights on Afterschool

Who: Pasco County Schools After-School Enrichment Programs (ASEP) students, parents, and staff; Superintendent Kurt Browning; School Board members; Sharon Carie, executive director of the Florida After School Alliance; Steve Turner with Giving Tree Music; Tampa Bay Rays mascot Raymond; and the community

What: Lights on Afterschool parade and activities

When: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, October 24

Where: Fivay High School track

12115 Chicago Ave., Hudson

Why: Pasco joins the Afterschool Alliance and more than a million people nationwide to underscore the need to invest in after-school programs.

How: A parade of programs will include children enrolled in PLACE, Beyond the Bell, and the STAR and DELTA academies parading around the track representing their individual school locations. They will carry signs and banners for each program and the parade will be led by Steve Turner from Giving Tree Music, who will play a drum beat while the kids walk. As they pass in front of the bleachers, ASEP director Mary Grey will announce each school’s name.

Each of the district’s 46 program locations will set up tents with children’s artwork on display, and each will have a game or activity, such as bean bag toss, cake walk, super hero photo booth, Go Fish Live, Wonder Woman Lasso, and more. The carnival- type games are all free and the children win prizes.

Superintendent Browning will open the parade with a welcome, then School Board Vice Chair Colleen Beaudoin will read a school board proclamation recognizing Lights on Afterschool, followed by School Board Member Megan Harding, who will say a few words about Pasco’s after-school programs. Sharon Carie, executive director of the Florida After School Alliance, the only statewide membership organization for after school professionals, will read a letter of support from Governor Ron DeSantis.

Tampa Bay Rays mascot Raymond will interact with children and Steve Turner of Giving Tree Music will lead a drum circle throughout the evening for anyone to join in.

The event is free and open to all families that want to attend and celebrate after school. Food and drinks will be available for purchase, and a DJ will play music.

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