The Lights On Afterschool poster contest is officially open, and this year we’re looking for any artwork that represents the spirit of afterschool programs. To make things even more exciting, we’re looking to gather new or already existing materials. If your program has pre-made artwork celebrating afterschool, send it in! This includes murals, paintings, graphics on social media, and anything else that celebrates afterschool. The artwork does not have to be created specifically for the Lights On Afterschool Poster Contest, but it must represent afterschool.

Be creative! Think of the many ways your program has opened the doors to new opportunities for you and your friends. Look for artwork that represents how afterschool staff have inspired or mentored you. Did your program help you find your passion for learning how to code? Is your favorite part of afterschool sharing a snack with your best friend? Let us know in the form of art! Be sure to include the entry form along with the name or program name of the person who designed the artwork.

These ideas can be portrayed in abstract or realistic renderings. Encourage students to use bright, bold markers or paint to bring life to their images and make it possible for us to scan the artwork into a digital file. Or feel free to get your burgeoning graphic designers involved by encouraging them to submit their artwork in digital form to Take a high-resolution photo of a mural or painting that your program was involved in creating.

As always, the winning artwork will be printed on more than 50,000 posters that will be displayed at more than 8,000 Lights On Afterschool events around the world. The Lights On Afterschool poster contest is a great opportunity for an afterschool program to gain national recognition for the opportunities it offers. The winning artist will be featured on our website, blog, and a national press release, and their afterschool program will be credited on the poster in addition to receiving the grand prize of $500!  

Voting will take place on Facebook and Instagram in the month of July. Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to view and vote for the top five submissions.

Rules and guidelines:  

Be sure to submit all drawn or created artwork on 11’’x14” size paper. Art and office supply stores always have this paper size on hand. This allows us to properly fit the image into our final poster template. Anything smaller than 11’’x14” or with different proportions, will make the image impossible to use. For digital submissions, make sure the artwork is in PDF format and is no larger than a 2 MB file with a DPI of 350. For higher-resolution photos, email and request a link to our file transfer account.

A few don’ts: Because the image will be used to promote Lights On Afterschool events nationally, avoid using a specific program name within the submission. It’s also not required for the winning design to include the words Lights On Afterschool. We’ll make sure the Lights On logo is included in the final poster image.

If your artists do include the phrase Lights On Afterschool in their designs, make sure “afterschool” is written as one word, consistent with the national branding of the celebration. Keeping those guidelines in mind, please be as creative as possible! 

How to enter:

We’ve provided an entry form to capture all the necessary information that we need, as well as a set of rules and guidelines governing this year’s contest.

Be sure to complete the full form and include it with your artwork submission, postmarked no later than Saturday, June 15, 2024, to:

Afterschool Alliance, Lights On Afterschool Poster Contest
1101 14th Street NW, Suite 700
Washington, D.C. 20005 

For digital submissions, email—make sure the artwork is in PDF format and is no larger than a 2 MB file with a DPI of 350. For higher-resolution photos, email sgray@afterschoolalliance and request a link to our file transfer account.

Be creative, and most importantly, have fun!

We can’t wait to see what your students submit this year.