Metro Schools celebrates afterschool programs with Lights on Afterschool events

2 At the end of October, more than 125 afterschool programs in Metro Schools hosted events or activities during the national Lights on Afterschool celebration. Lights on Afterschool is the only nationwide event celebrating afterschool programs and their important role in the lives of children, families and communities. Metro Schools celebrated with fun afterschool activities—games, crafts, STEAM experiments and other educational activities!

Lights on Afterschool educates communities and parents about the positive impact of afterschool programs. Afterschool programs strengthen students’ academic performance and social emotional skills, while also keeping them active and healthy and promoting community and family engagement.


“We are impacting the success of our students, not only during traditional school hours,” said Jennifer Bell, MNPS’ director of extended learning programs. “In addition to receiving academic support, students engage in activities that foster improved social and emotional skills, positive health and the opportunity to participate in areas of interest such as the arts and STEAM - the type of experiences and lessons that educate the whole child.”

In a study done by the Afterschool Alliance, data shows:

  • More than 70 percent of parents agree that afterschool programs improve students’ behavior and attendance.
  • Every $1 invested in afterschool programs saves $9 by reducing crime and welfare costs, improving students’ school performance and increasing students’ earning potential.
  • More than 4 in 5 parents in the study agree that afterschool programs helped working parents keep their jobs.


There are three types of before and after care options in MNPS:

  • Fee-based programs: Pre-K through fourth grade programs managed by Metro Schools at select schools require a fee or tuition to participate.
  • 21st Century Community Learning Center/ LEAPS programs: Metro Schools was awarded a federal grant to expand academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours in high-poverty or low-performing schools.
  • Community-managed programs: There are some community organizations that offer before and after school programs at certain schools. Fees or program cost may vary depending on the service provider.