The Lights Initiative was developed as a partnership between dedicated staff and community members to provide PCSD youth with an extended learning environment where they can develop positively as youth. "The Lights Initiative began as a school and community response to the uptick of violence in the City of Poughkeepsie on the weekends. We wanted to offer the children a safe space to learn, socialize and just be a kid outside of the school day,” Natasha Cherry, executive director of community schools, said. “Together with a team of volunteers who included Gully Stanford, James Watson, Tamoya Norwood, Gabriella Fryer, Debra Long, Matthew Tether, Mary Ellen Iatropoulos from the Art Effect, Pool Manager Galen Franchek and PMS teachers Julie Hayen and Jennifer Burke we started hosting Friday Night Lights at PMS.”
Saturday Morning Lights – is the Poughkeepsie City School District Community Schools flagship initiative that provides PCSD students in grades PreK-12 and their families the opportunity to engage in academic enrichment, positive youth development, and family bonding experiences.
Summer Lights – is a summer program for students grades 2 – 7 providing positive youth development opportunities for students grades 2 -7. Summer Lights is unique in that its programmatic facilities are outside of the school environment, taking place in Bartlett Park summer of 20’ and 21’ and most recently at Camp Nooteeming in Pleasant Valley, NY in partnership with Dutchess County Youth Services.
Friday Night Lights – is a youth development initiative that provides PCSD students with an opportunity to engage in extracurricular activities beyond the instructional day. The program offered PCSD students with afterschool programming in once central location on Friday nights. Friday Night Lights transformed into Saturday Morning Lights to provide greater opportunity for parent and caregiver involvement and to eliminate concerns of children traversing home in the dark during the winter months.