Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- The lights were on in The Zone at Williams-Brice Stadium on Thursday afternoon, but there was no football game.

Students from Richland One afterschool programs got the special opportunity to visit the stadium and much more.

This year, the district's Lights On Afterschool theme is "GAME ON: Moving Toward Academic Victory!" The celebration included a football-type theme, giving students an opportunity to tour U.S.C.'s football stadium and meet some of the players.

Along with the stadium tour and meeting players, students also had to opportunity to participate in football clinics, cheerleading sessions, and a tailgating party.

Nearly 300 Richland One students in the after school programs at Gadsden, John P. Thomas, Carver-Lyon, and Horrell Hill elementary schools participated in the event.

Dr. Percy Mack, Richland One Superintendent announced the winners of the annual student essay and poster contests. The contests promoted the importance for safety, academic success, and the well-being of the students.

Lights On Afterschool is a nationwide program aimed to assure that all children and youth have access to quality afterschool programs.

The program is sponsored locally by Richland One, Palmetto Health, the City of Columbia, SCE&G, City Year Columbia, the National Afterschool Alliance, the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, and Made You Look Marketing.

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