Lights on Afterschool, in True Quest Fashion

By Jennette Lotrean

Every year, more than one million Americans celebrate afterschool programs and their impact on the lives of millions of children. The Quest ExpandEd program at P.S. 182 proudly participated in this national celebration with our Annual Lights on After School event and, in true Quest fashion, knocked it out the park! 

We had 85 parents come to support our event. Their feedback showed that they were not only impressed with the showcases representing what goes on in our program every day, but also excited for what the rest of the year has to bring.

Ms. Moreno welcomed families with a warm smile and steered them toward our STEM booth. Ms. Breeonna’s hands-on STEM experiments stirred up quite the frenzy with the Jello-quivering earthquake simulation.

Drama instructors Ms. Cahill and Ms. Gianna revealed the much anticipated secret as to which play will follow up Beauty and the Beast, Jr.’s success and bring the house down this year:  They’ve taken on the challenging task of discussing big issues with their upcoming performance of Hairspray.

Ms. Gabriela and Ms. Duffy ran the inspiring and colorful Art booth, which featured large, vibrant works produced by participants collaborating and negotiating ideas together.

Music 1 and Music 2 had our amazing veteran volunteers leading Music Theory class, with Mr. Michael and Ms. Hillig chatting up parents and drumming up support for our first fundraising event at the beginning of November and our California Pizza Kitchen fundraiser at the end of the month. Mr. Meyers oversaw the Guitar Rock Stars teaching parents how to strum out a few perfect notes, while Mr. Chris had the parents work up a sweat going over the intense and competitive physical education curriculum for this year.

Last but not least, I want to give a big shout-out to Ms. Shelly’s and Ms. Rubin’s awesome idea of collecting families’ guarded recipes for the new “Baking Class!” before they left for the night.

And a hearty shout-out to the entire team for putting the planning, effort, and energy into showcasing all the work that we do with our prized assets in the middle of it all — our kids. The dedicated professionals that make up our staff never lose sight of the fact that afterschool programs are essential; the majority of our participants would be left to their own devices for the majority of the afternoon if they were not in program. All of our participants qualify for free lunch, and we extend that in program to a free hot supper as well. Our participants are able to learn fun and engaging activities without the constraints of the typical public school classroom. It’s wonderful to have a night devoted to recognizing the vital role we fill — and I hope our partners in government remember this long after the lights go out.

Despite the extreme challenges regarding our funding this year, the team came together with hard work and perseverance to support one another, the program, and most importantly our kids. I am honored to be a part of such a team.

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