NILES - While learning and educating others about light, Niles Middle School students celebrated national Lights On Afterschool, which focuses on afterschool programs for students in sixth to ninth grades.
The event included students showing different projects they made dealing with light, such as photosynthesis, light bulbs and lighthouses.
The students took turns explaining their project and what they have learned in the program.
Rick George, who coordinates the program, said the event helps to get students to talk in public and share what they have learned with others.
Samantha Cottrill, 12, seventh grade, who is in the program for her second year, said, ''All activities and learning are made fun.''
Hannah Dennison, 14, an eighth-grader, said this is her third year in the program.
"They help you if you are struggling with any school subject. They help to explain it so you understand,'' she said.
The program, which started last month and runs through the spring, includes sewing and cooking, photography, football games, restaurants and field trips.
Loretta Hale, career paths coordinator for the program, said the Career Paths Afterschool Program at Niles Middle School is operated by the Youngstown State University Center for Human Services Development.
"So many people do not understand the impact that afterschool programming has on these students. Programs like this one keep kids off the streets and provide them a safe place to finish their homework and learn new things," she said.
Lights On Afterschool is celebrated nationwide to call attention to the importance of afterschool programming for children, families and communities. In America, 15.1 million children are alone and unsupervised after school.
Hale said the Career Paths program operates four days a week. The center received a 21st century Community Learning Center Grant through the Ohio Department of Education.
The Lights On Afterschool is a project of the Afterschool Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all children have access to quality affordable afterschool programs.