The Pasadena ISD community united in support of afterschool programs on October 22 for Lights On Afterschool, a national celebration dedicated to highlighting the significance of educational activities when the school day ends.
The event was organized by Pasadena ISD afterschool staff and welcomed community members who explored afterschool campuses in the district. Students demonstrated skills learned through the program with live performances and interactive demonstrations.
Several special guests gathered at the Administration Building for an art unveiling, proclamation reading and to sign a petition for federal funding of afterschool programs. These individuals include State Rep. Gilbert Pena (R-Pasadena); Allison Morrison, on behalf of State Rep. Wayne Smith (R-Baytown); councilmembers Darrell Morrison, Pat Van Houte; Pasadena ISD Board of Trustees Marshall Kendrick and Kenny Fernandez.
Superintendent Kirk Lewis kicked off the festivities with a proclamation reading emphasizing the importance of Lights On Afterschool. He also expressed his support of the afterschool programs.
“Pasadena ISD is committed to providing quality afterschool programs because they allow students to continue learning beyond school hours in a safe and nurturing environment,” Lewis said.
After the proclamation, Rayburn High School students unveiled a new art display across from the board room, which features origami ornaments and floor to ceiling paintings of the sun and the moon. Attendees watched a 10-minute stop motion animation film made in collaboration with afterschool elementary, intermediate and high school students. Pomeroy Elementary students demonstrated the process used to create stop motion animation, Milstead Middle School students showcased their math and science skills with a clever game of Battleship and Keller Middle School students provided snacks.
“I never get tired of seeing the joy expressed by students when learning happens naturally,” Steven Villano, the district’s afterschool project director said. “That is why I love this work. Afterschool programs give what I call ‘disguised learning’ a venue. Having fun is what makes learning stick.”
The Pasadena ISD afterschool program has been serving district students and parents since 2011. Since its adoption, over 7,860 students and 8,000 parents have taken advantage of this extended learning opportunity, which is offered at 19 campuses in the district. Afterschool students participate in engaging hands-on activities that reinforce the regular instruction. In addition, students gain knowledge and skills in science, technology, engineering and math based subjects – preparing them for college and a career.
For information about the Pasadena ISD afterschool program, please visit the webpage. To sign the petition, please visit the Afterschool Alliance webpage.