Grand County’s BEACON Afterschool Program is joining with the National AfterSchool Association (NAA) to celebrate the professionals that are at the heart of after-school programs during Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week on April 22-26.

“We believe after-school professionals make a difference in the lives of young people,” said Melinda Snow, BEACON Afterschool Program director. “We encourage everyone to join us this week in thanking the after-school professionals in their lives.”

The National AfterSchool Association said in a press release in April that it’s important to recognize after-school professionals. An estimated 10.2 million children participate in after-school programs each year. Today, after-school programs are viewed as much more than just child care.

The programs are widely credited as the way to enhance education in STEM, literacy, the arts, social and emotional learning, health and wellness and more.

With that demand comes an increased responsibility on the estimated 850,000 of professionals who are making a difference in the lives of children, the National AfterSchool Association said.

Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week is a joint effort of community partners, after-school programs, nonprofits, youth and child care workers and individuals who have committed to dedicating time to recognize and appreciate those who work with youth during out-of-school hours. The week is marked by celebrations and public relations efforts to encourage people to thank after-school professionals serving children in programs and organizations across the nation.

April 22-26 recognizes after-school professionals

“We believe after-school professionals make a difference in the lives of young people.”