After school programs play a key role in keeping kids safe, inspiring them to learn, and helping working families. Yet, many of the country's most vulnerable children and youth are not benefitting from afterschool and summer learning programs, which have a proven track record of success helping students succeed in school and in life. In celebration of the 17th Annual Lights On! After School event, a nationwide event celebrating afterschool programs and their important role in the lives of children, families and communities, the Raritan Valley YMCA is hosting a free Fun and Fitness Family Event and Open House on Thursday, October 20 from 5:00-6:30pm at the Y located at 144 Tices Lane in East Brunswick. All families are invited to enjoy healthy snacks, fun games, and learn about the YMCA’s learning center.


According to studies supported by the New Jersey School Age Child Care (SACC), the network for NJ’s after school communities, 64% of parents say after school programs help children gain valuable workforce skills such as: learning to work together, setting goals and accomplishing them, trying new skills, and independence. They also keep kids safe during the hours just after school ends—the peak hours for children to commit or become victims of crime.


The YMCA provides opportunities to support parents with peace of mind during the after school hours with enriching activities in a safe environment.  The program, serving East Brunswick, Milltown, and South River, operates until 7PM and offers all-day care when school is not in session during most school closures and snow days.  The Y also features the Healthy U initiative, funded by Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield of NJ, designed to combat childhood obesity with a multi-pronged program that includes nutrition education, increased physical activity and a focus on family. For more information, attend the Open House on Thursday, October 20 from 5:00-6:30 pm, or visit