Last year, while up early each morning to walk her dog, Manor Oaks resident Lauri Rodich noticed how dark it is when high school students were walking to school or to their bus stops. Even though her own children are no longer in school, she wanted to make the students’ walk a little safer.
Rodich is again asking Olney-area residents to leave their porch lights on overnight from Oct. 1 through Nov. 30, and also to ask their neighbors to do so.
“The gesture lets students know they live in a community where their neighbors care about them and their safety,” she said.
Rodich selected Nov. 30 as an end date because she didn’t want to discourage people from taking part. By making it a finite program, she thought there would be more participation.
“Besides, after Nov. 30, people start putting up their Christmas lights and the neighborhoods light up organically,” she said. “The hope would be that once folks got in the habit of leaving their lights on, they would continue doing it on their own through the holidays and until the mornings stay light.”
The idea has caught the attention of County Councilwoman Valerie Ervin (D-Dist. 5) of Silver Spring. Rodich met with a member of Ervin’s staff, where they discussed the possibility of spreading the program to other communities.