By Tamas Mondovics

Bright House Networks and Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization that works to ensure that all children and youth have access to quality after- school  programs, announced the four winners of their nationwide Lights On Afterschool, photo contest earlier this month.

The contest awarded cash prizes for the top pictures, among them two local residents representing the Brandon and Plant City communities.

The $2000 Grand Prize went to Brandon resident Susan Miller, for her photo “Halloween-in-the-Halls-Mosaic,” which, according to the judges, best depicted how programs and people are focusing on afterschool.

“At The Village Early Learning Center, we keep the lights on afterschool not only by having fun and holding events in house, but we also get engaged with the community through annual fundraisers and holiday celebrations,” Miller said.

According to contest spokesperson Lorelie Johnson, throughout the month of October  participants were asked to submit photos on Facebook and include a caption that described how they are celebrating afterschool. Facebook visitors voted on their favorite photos from November 1-14.

“The photo contest shined a spotlight on afterschool programs that work to keep our kids safe, inspire learning and help working families everywhere,” Johnson said.

Johnson explained that a record-breaking 9,300 Lights On Afterschool events were held around the country during October, all to celebrate afterschool programs.

Friends of afterschool, including parents and children, sent more than 600 e-mails and phone calls to members of Congress and also signed a petition in support of afterschool.

“To date, more than 10,900 individuals have signed on to urge that funding for afterschool programs not be denied or diverted,” she said.

Third place winner was Taylor Mowery from Plant City.

More information is available at  For more information about Bright House Networks or our products and services, visit


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