Meridian. MS (October 24, 2005)–More than 400 children, teenagers and business and community leaders gathered in Meridian, MS for its first-ever Lights On Afterschool rally at Peavey International Headquarters on October 20. One of 7,000 such events across the nation, the rally emphasized the importance of keeping lights on and doors open at after-school programs.
“Seventy-eight percent of moms today have to work, and that’s why we’re here,” said Mary Peavey, president of Peavey Electronics. “Afterschool is not about babysitting. It’s about having fun and being constructive, like taking art classes or learning how to dance and play music.”
Peavey urged leaders to fund programs nationwide as the children signed light bulb-shaped petitions to send to the U.S. Congress. “Along with thousands other Lights On events across the U.S., we’re hoping to collect 1 million signatures today,” she said. “Afterschool is key in developing tomorrow’s leaders.”
“Peavey is working hard in support of afterschool programs,” added Heather Goodwin, event organizer. “Afterschool programs keep kids safe, help working families, inspire learning and help young people develop into successful adults.”
Goodwin is founder of TilMomGetsHome.org, a web interface that connects parents with afterschool programs for children and teenagers across the U.S. Peavey is currently developing the first-of-its-kind web site with Goodwin.
Lights On Afterschool is the only national rally for quality afterschool programs. The Afterschool Alliance is a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children and youth have access to afterschool programs by the year 2010.