Senators Collins, Smith Praise Unanimous Senate Passage of Their Resolution Celebrating Afterschool Programs

Bipartisan Resolution Commemorates the Nationwide Lights on Afterschool Event, which will be held on October 22nd

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tina Smith (D-MN) praised the unanimous Senate passage of their resolution recognizing Lights on Afterschool, a celebration of afterschool programs nationwide.  The resolution also recognizes the outstanding contributions afterschool programs have made during the COVID-19 pandemic.


“Afterschool programs provide an enriching environment for students once the school day has ended.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, afterschool programs in Maine and throughout the country have gone above and beyond to ensure that children still receive virtual programing, nutritious meals, and support essential workers and their families,” said Senator Collins. “By engaging young people in academic and physical activities, these programs enhance students’ education and help promote healthy habits. In addition, afterschool programs provide parents with peace of mind knowing that their children are in a safe and structured setting.”

“During the coronavirus pandemic, many afterschool programs have risen to the challenge of engaging and supporting students and families while still protecting the health and safety of students, families and staff,” said Senator Smith. "It takes exceptional community builders and academic leaders to guide afterschool programs through these uncertain times. Afterschool programs enhance students’ education and help promote healthy habits. I’m glad to introduce this bipartisan resolution that recognizes their value.”


Last year, more than one million people participated in more than 8,000 Lights On Afterschool events across the nation.

For the past 20 years, these events have fostered awareness of afterschool programs among the public and elected officials.  They have also demonstrated the value of such programs by allowing participants to showcase the skills they have learned and talents they have developed.

As a member of the Senate Afterschool Caucus, the Senate Appropriations Committee, and the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, Senator Collins is a strong advocate for afterschool programs. She has consistently advocated for funding for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21CCLC) Program, and with her support, an amendment reauthorizing the 21CCLC was successfully included in the Every Student Succeeds Act, which was signed into law by President Obama on December 10, 2015.