200 Youth Attend Mount Vernon’s Annual ‘Lights on After School’ Rally

More than two hundred young people rallied on the front steps of City Hall on Thursday to celebrate “Lights on After School,” a national program that promotes positive development through after-school activities.

The rally, which included live performances by some of the youth, was sponsored by Mayor Richard Thomas, the City’s Youth Bureau, and the Mount Vernon Youth Board. Every year, thousands of “Lights on After School” events are held across the country to raise awareness about the importance of after-school programming. Nationally, more than 15 million children go home and are left without supervision because their parents are working or cannot afford services.

However, advocates in places like Mount Vernon are fighting to keep youth off the streets and enrolled in safe, productive, and exciting activities. Thursday was declared “Lights on After School Day” across New York by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Mayor Thomas noted that the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau has worked diligently to increase high quality, affordable, after-school programming. “The city is dedicated to making resources through the Recreation Department and Youth Bureau available to serve the needs of our kids,” he said. “As much as we do, there is always more to accomplish. One of our goals is to establish a Youth Center.”

The event was hosted by Debbie Burrell-Butler, the executive director of the Youth Bureau, and David Addison, a member of the Mount Vernon City Council Youth Board. “For more than 18 years, Lights on After School has been showing the importance of engaging our youth in positive and meaningful activities during unsupervised hours,” said Burrell-Butler. “After-school programs offered through the city and many other agencies in Mount Vernon provide families and youth a safe place to interact with others while being exposed to STEAM activities, trips and much more.”

Thanks to the City Council and all the partners and supporters of Lights on After School.

For further information, please contact Dominique Smith through the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau at (914) 665–2344.