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The Learning Lamp Recognized for Supporting Afterschool Programs Across PA

Posted on December 12, 2023

Johnstown, PA (December 11, 2023) – The Learning Lamp, a local nonprofit with a mission to engage all children in the support they need to succeed, is proud to announce its selection as Outstanding Organization of the Year at the statewide 2023 EMPOWER Out-of-School Time (OST) Conference. The award acknowledges The Learning Lamp’s exemplary contribution and commitment to enhancing out-of-school-time experience for students across the Commonwealth.

The conference, held December 7-9, 2023, by the Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network (PSAYDN), is a premier event in the afterschool field. The Learning Lamp’s selection as this year’s Outstanding Organization reflects its unwavering dedication to creating meaningful and engaging learning opportunities beyond school hours.

“We are honored to be selected as the Outstanding Organization of 2023. This recognition belongs to the afterschool team at The Learning Lamp. They pour their hearts and souls into serving children and families and sharing their thoughtfully crafted resources with the entire out-of-school-time community,” explained Dr. Leah Spangler, President and CEO of The Learning Lamp. “Their commitment to children and afterschool providers stems from the belief that every child deserves access to quality education and enriching experiences that extend beyond traditional classroom hours.”

The Learning Lamp launched the Best Day Ever! lesson plan resources for OST programs in 2021. They were created to address staffing challenges faced by providers of after school and summer care. Best Day Ever! lesson plans, which are free to all youth-serving providers in Pennsylvania, remove the heavy burden of planning, allowing staff to spend more time working with children. The turnkey, downloadable lessons for grades PreK to 5 are written by teachers and aligned with learning standards. They include fun activities, and reinforce foundational math, science, and arts concepts when children are not in school.

This summer, the organization’s summer camp lesson plans were used by nearly 600 organizations across Pennsylvania. A fall version of the lessons, which offers after school and school holiday plans, is being used by more than 200 organizations.

For more information about The Learning Lamp and Best Day Ever!, contact Kerri Belardi at 814-262-0732 x 245 or visit https://thelearninglamp.org/shared-services-child-care-providers/best-day-ever/.



The Learning Lamp is a nonprofit organization with a mission to engage all children in the support they need to succeed. We deliver high-quality programs that are affordable and accessible to families of all income levels. In 2022, The Learning Lamp served 34,813 youth/adults from 61 public school districts and 70 other schools and organizations in 22 Pennsylvania counties.

 Our programs include: child care and preschool, after-school programs, tutoring, SAT prep, school staffing, alternative education programs for at-risk students, online learning, credit recovery, drug and alcohol prevention programs, and grant writing and project consulting for schools.

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