Lights on Afterschool Event Focuses on “Afterschool for All”

UNION COUNTY, NJ – Hundreds of children, parents, staff and community partners came together October 24, 2019 at a Lights On Afterschool event at The Gateway Family YMCA After School Care sites in Elizabeth, Rahway and Union, NJ.  Lights on Afterschool events celebrate the achievements of afterschool students and draw attention to the need for more afterschool programs to serve the millions of children nationwide who are unsupervised and at risk each weekday afternoon.  This event is one of more than 8,000 such events across the nation emphasizing the importance of keeping the lights on and the doors open after school.

“Lights On Afterschool celebrates the remarkable work being done by students who attend our afterschool programs,” stated Krystal R. Canady, CEO, The Gateway Family YMCA. “It is a powerful reminder that afterschool programs offer a range of supports to children and families. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough afterschool programs, and too many kids are home alone in the afternoons or on the streets where they can be exposed to crime or at-risk.”

The Gateway Family YMCA provides Before and After School Care at more than 20 local elementary and middle schools in Elizabeth, Rahway and Union, NJ.  Within the program, students participate in physical activity, STEM activities, arts programs and enjoy healthy snacks.  In addition to Before and After School Care programs within the school districts, The Gateway Family YMCA offers Vacation Day programs on school holidays for the community, as well as Summer Day Camp and the Power Scholars Academy in the summer.

“There’s no reason that learning should stop at the end of the school day, particularly if the alternative is unsupervised time in front of a television set, or any of the dangerous unhealthy behaviors that can ensnare children in the afternoons,” added Melynda A. Mileski, EVP/COO, The Gateway Family YMCA. “Our After School Care sites are safe places for children and teens to make new friends, enjoy healthy activities and learn together.”

Lights On Afterschool is organized by the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children have access to quality afterschool programs.

The Gateway Family YMCA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, health and community service organization of caring staff and volunteers dedicated to strengthening the foundations of community and stands For Youth Development, For Healthy Living and For Social Responsibility.  The Gateway Family YMCA impacts the community by providing quality services to people of all ages, races, faith or incomes. The Y doesn’t just strengthen bodies – it strengthens people, families and communities. 

For more information about Before and After School Care provided by The Gateway Family YMCA, visit or contact the Elizabeth Branch at 908-355-9622, Five Points Branch 908-688-9622 or Rahway Branch 732-388-0057.

After School Care at The Gateway Family YMCA

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