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University Relations

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Dec. 2, 2005
Contact: Deb Elder, Kansas Enrichment Network, (785) 864-7044.

Five Kansas community after-school projects win awards through KU program

LAWRENCE -- Five Kansas communities have won $250 prizes for the "Lights On Afterschool" celebration activities this fall through the Kansas Enrichment Network at the University of Kansas School of Education's Institute for Research and Public Service.

Dodge City, Columbus, Olathe, Leavenworth and Wellington won prizes for their "Lights On Afterschool" celebration activities in October. "Lights On Afterschool" is a national campaign to increase support for after-school programs in communities. The national Oct. 21 event involved at least 122 Kansas after-school program sites and nearly 8,000 sites nationwide.

These communities celebrated the Lights On Afterschool in the following ways:

In Dodge City, two businesses and two public agencies -- G&G Car and Truck Supercenters, the JC Penney Company, the Dodge City Public Library and USD 443 -- sponsored the event. A highlight was G&G's "Car-ticipation" campaign, in which after-school parents and teachers could win the use of a car for four months and a student could win a computer.


In Columbus, local groups sponsored a month-long celebration, "Columbus After School Celebrates Kids," with a booth at Columbus Days and a float in the parade, an after-school carnival and the kick-off of a drug and alcohol prevention week campaign. YouthFriends provided volunteers and, with the Cherokee County children's coalition's help, the event generated interest and attendance from local officials.

In Olathe, an Oct. 12 rally and family celebration at the Great Mall of the Great Plains featured student performances from some of the 26 district schools that partner with the YMCA for after-school programming. Children from the Sunnyside Elementary Kindergarten after-school program performed and were featured in the Olathe Daily News.

In Leavenworth, students and local elected officials participated in "Building Our Community -- One Piece at a Time," an effort to raise awareness of the importance of good quality after-school programs. They constructed puzzle pieces for an expandable display and spread the word about the value of after-school programs. The project combined the 100th anniversary of 4-H with the national Lights On events.

Wellington celebrated the successes of The Zone, the after-school program at Wellington Middle School, and its students. The Wellington Daily News actively supported the event and the program, and is an active supporter of the other after-school programs in town. Assistant Superintendent of Schools Jackie Glasgow and Rick Horn, Wellington Daily News editor, jointly submitted The Zone for the honor.

The national organization, Afterschool Alliance, granted funds to the Kansas Enrichment Network for the purpose of recognizing outstanding partnerships. The Network, http://www.kansasenrichment.net, is a partnership of 60 state agencies and organizations that support high-quality after-school programs in Kansas. To find out more about after school in Kansas, contact Deb Elder, (785) 864-7044 or delder@ku.edu.

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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