SELMA — The sun was setting on a chilly fall evening, but the headlights of a convoy of cars stretching back at least a half a mile were an indication that the fun was just beginning.
Abraham Lincoln Middle School celebrated its fifth annual Lights On After School celebration on Tuesday, Oct. 27. The event is a showcase for the district’s after-school program.
“It’s really to bring light and focus on all the hard work that the after-school kids do in their expanded learning program,” said Alejo Delgado, a project specialist with the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools. “The program brings in enrichment opportunities that aren’t offered during the regular school day.”
In past years, Selma Unified schools would host different activities for the event, including folklorico dancing and haunted themed after authors like Dr. Seuss, but this year special pandemic safety-minded precautions were in place.
Lights on After School is sponsored by the California Teaching Fellows and Fresno County Office of Education.
This year’s event was drive-thru only, seeing families, some wearing Halloween costumes, drive through the school’s campus, hitting activity booths along the way all while Halloween-themed music emanated from speakers, creating a perfect holiday atmosphere.
Students were then able to exit their vehicles and briefly interact with the booths and say hello to teachers and faculty.
Mickey Mouse – or perhaps a teacher in a Mickey costume -- guided students through the various booths.
One booth featured a backdrop of the Eifel Tower, allowing students to take a photo simulating a trip to Paris that wouldn’t otherwise be possible during our current COVID-era lockdowns.
“We want kids, parents and the community to know that we’re still here providing services,” Delgado said. “And we want them to know we miss them. This is as much an experience for a lot of the tutors that are on track to be teachers.”
The after-school program runs from the end of the school day until 6 p.m. Students who participate get a snack, time with a tutor and the chance to participate in physical education activities.
It was estimated that somewhere between 250-300 cars participated in the event at the middle school.
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