2013-10-23 / Front Page

QCH Youth Centers Fight to Keep The Lights On

On October 17, three Queens Community House (QCH) sites took part in a nationwide event celebrating after-school programs and their important role in the lives of children, families and communities. Lights On Afterschool was held in the hopes that through the 9,000 events attention would be drawn to the need to invest in after-school programs. QCH participants, parents and program staff hosted events at P.S. 82, P.S. 86 and the Beacon Program at J.H.S 190.
The Beacon Program celebrated with children, families, community members and elected officials during a two-day event. On October 16, they hosted an advocacy carnival with activity demonstrations, games, face painting and advocacy testimonial booths. On October 17, there was a march through the local shopping area adjacent to their site location, along Austin Street in Forest Hills. It concluded with a rally and ceremony at the program site, 68-17 Austin Street to commemorate the annual event. Beacon Program Director and Afterschool Alliance Ambassador Patrick Pinchinat said, “This is an opportunity for youth and their parents to join others around the nation in raising awareness for the programs and services that empower our young people and help working families.”
Afterschool programs at P.S. 82 and P.S. 86, both located in Briarwood, hosted open houses for parents and family members of participants. The focus of both of those events was the importance of afterschool programming.
Organized by the Afterschool Alliance, Lights On Afterschool is now in its 14th year. More than a million people were expected to participate across the country. For the seventh year in a row, the Empire State Building was lit up in yellow to celebrate Lights On Afterschool, the only nationwide rally for after-school programs.
Queens Community House, located at 108-25 62nd Dr., Forest Hills, is a private, non-sectarian, nonprofit agency that has served the residents of Queens for almost 40 years. They currently serve approximately 25,000 people a year. QCH’s 21 sites serve as centers for community gathering, organizing, and social service activity, while working to promote inter-generational and cross-cultural cooperation and exchange. For more information, visit www.queenscommunityhouse.org, or call 718-592-5757.

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