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FWAS Celebrates 20 Years With Birthday Party

The Fort Worth After School(FWAS) program is lighting an oversized birthday cake to celebrate 20 years of programming, Thursday, October 24. The event starts at 5 p.m. in the Van Zandt-Guinn Elementary School cafeteria.

Annually, FWAS participates in the national observance Lights on Afterschool, a celebration of the nation’s after school programs, and it lights a city or Fort Worth ISD structure to recognize the day. This year’s celebration will be a well-lit birthday cake. Mayor Betsy Price and Texas Sen. Beverly Powell are slated to present proclamations honoring FWAS at the event.

FWISD Board of Education Trustees Anael Luebanos and Tobi Jackson, Acting Public Events Director Richard Zavala and National Youth Ambassador Vidiriana Gonzalez are also slated to attend. Afterschool participants from Van Zandt-Guinn and other students including cheerleaders from D. McRae, Mitchell Boulevard and Alice Contreras elementary schools are also expected to join the celebration.

FWAS, since 2000, has provided high-level enrichment programs after school from 3 to 5 p.m. primarily for students in grades 3-8. High schools participate, intermittently, through 21st Century Community Learning Center grants. More than 7,000 students participate in the program over the course of a school year.

“Long term data shows that students who participate for longer periods of time perform better in school and achieve higher scores on their STAAR tests,” said Miguel Garcia Jr., Fort Worth After School director. “Residents of Fort Worth should also know that no FWAS regular participant has ever matriculated through Tarrant County Juvenile Services, suggesting students make better decisions and make productive citizens.”

The program serves nearly 80 sites.

“FWAS has helped my students become the best PERSON they can be. The caring adults – who also happen to be the students’ school-day teachers – have demonstrated a belief in each one of my afterschool participants that they can be and will be successful,” said Howard Robinson, O.D. Wyatt High School principal who previously led Carter Park Elementary School. “The students have re-paid the teachers with their dedication to school during the day. Grades and behavior have improved!”

For more details on FWAS or the 20-year celebration, contact Mr. Garcia at 817-815-2950.