CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) – The West Virginia State Capitol in Charleston is one of thousands of landmarks, businesses and organizations that will be turning blue on Thursday.

According to a press release from Gov. Jim Justice, the turn blue is part of the national Lights On Afterschool campaign, which emphasizes the importance of keeping the lights on and the doors open after school, so students aren’t left unsupervised, home alone, and at-risk outside of school hours.

Blue lights will shine on the Capitol from 7 to 10 p.m. on Oct. 20, 2022, officially Lights On Afterschool Day, to help promote the importance of West Virginia’s afterschool programs.

A 2020 study found that only 12% of West Virginia students participate in an afterschool program, but 46% said they would participate if a program were available near them.

“Taking care of our kids is one of my top priorities because they are our future,” Gov. Justice said. “We’ve put a huge emphasis on education in West Virginia, and we’ve made it the centerpiece of what’s important in our state. Afterschool programs are a huge part of a child’s education because they support healthy development and promote social engagement. I love this initiative because by bringing awareness to these programs we are making sure people continue to recognize their importance.”

Locally, the campaign is being organized by the West Virginia University Extension Services’ Statewide Afterschool Network and the Salvation Army’s Boys and Girls Club of Charleston,