Students from Golden Acres Elementary read poems from the backs of cardboard flashlights during Thursday's "Light Up A Landmark" gathering aboard the Battleship Texas.
Students and staff from a dozen Pasadena ISD schools gathered on the deck of the Battleship Texas at sunset on Thursday to speak up for after-school programs and demonstrate some of the skills being taught after the daily dismissal bells ring.
The gathering was part of a national "Lights On Afterschool" campaign to raise awareness of the importance of after-school programs.
At the conclusion, attendees switched on battery-operated candles, part of the goal to "Light Up A Landmark" to emphasize the need to "keeps the lights on" for after-hours campus programs.
Steven Villano, the project director for the Texas Afterschools Centers on Education (ACE) program, emceed the event and led the singing of "God Bless America" to raised candles.
The idea to "Light Up A Landmark" was one of 10 chosen nationally to be implemented. Participating schools were Sam Rayburn High, South Houston High, Beverly Hills Intermediate, Keller Middle School, Milstead Middle School and seven elementary schools: Morales, Golden Acres, L.F. Smith, Parks, Gardens, Matthys and Richey.
Jack Bailey, president of the Pasadena ISD Board of Trustess, addressed the audience on the many benefits of after-school instruction and participation. Louis Hollins, manager of JCPenney in Baytown, spoke of his company's commitment to the program.
Earlier this year, the Pasadena ISD received a five-year grant to fund 21st Century Community Learning Center after-school programs at 10 schools.
Students from Richey Elementary hang their "Lights On" banner at the Battleship Texas.
Sam Rayburn High cheerleaders Shelbie Swilley and Joy Snyder try out the big guns on the deck of the battleship before taking part in a cheer routine for the crowd.
Students from Keller Middle School practice their guitar arrangement aboard the ship.
School Board President Jack Bailey speaks of the importance of after-school programs in the Pasadena ISD.
Event emcee Steven Villano holds the microphone for Keller Middle School student Michael Escobar as he reads a poem about after-school activities.
L.F. Smith Elementary students participate in a step-dance routine.
Lauren Holloway, grant coordinator at Gardens Elementary, leads students through a science demonstration.
Participants switch on their candles and sing "God Bless America" at the conclusion of he event.