Mayor Richard M. Daley joined Chicago Public Schools officials and community and program partners Monday in urging Chicago parents and guardians to enroll their children in some of the approximately 200,000 after-school activity options available to students this fall.
“All of our children are back in the classroom now, working hard with their teachers to achieve their full potential and to keep the momentum and progress of the Chicago Public Schools going,” Daley said in a news conference held at Columbus Park, 500 S. Central Av., where the Park District is offering camps for students attending CPS’ year-round -- or “Track E” -- schools, which are on break right now.
“As I’ve said many times, the regular school day isn’t long enough to make sure the progress continues. We need to keep our students involved in learning during after school hours as well,” he said.
The Mayor said the more opportunities that are created to connect a child to school, the better the chance of making sure that child is safe, is learning and is on the right path toward, graduation, college, and a successful life.
I again want to make it clear to every parent that we are doing all we can to keep our students safe – both at school and after classes are over.
“This fall, the after school opportunities offered by the City and its sister agencies add up to almost 200,000. So there is no reason for any young person to be hanging in the streets after school, and I urge every parent and guardian as strongly as I can to make sure your child is enrolled in some kind of after school activity,” Daley said.
Here are highlights of the City’s fall after school program:
- The Department of Family and Support Services annually provides about 19,000 after school opportunities, including mentoring, gang intervention and prevention and career exploration in green industries. All DFSS agencies programs have open enrollment.
- The After School Matters fall program launches the week of October 4 and annually hopes to fill 20,000 slots in science, technology, the arts and sports through partnerships with CPS and more than 100 community-based organizations. The After School Matters application is open now however and will remain open beyond the end of September. The full array of After School Matters programs will be offered: gallery37, sports37, words37, tech37 and science37. Programs will be offered at 60 high schools and more than 100 community based organizations.
- The Chicago Park District is offering more than 2,900 opportunities for children and teens to participate in recreation programs. You can register at your local park. The programs include boxing, indoor soccer, swimming, cheerleading, basketball, tackle football for boys and girls ages 11 to 13, flag football, floor hockey and Special Olympics.
- The Chicago Housing Authority is partnering with the Chicago Park District, After School Matters and DFSS to offer more than 500 after school opportunities for CHA young people.
- The CAPS program will again offer its police explorers program, which provides a positive experience with law enforcement for young people.
Daley said the greatest number of activities is offered through the Chicago Public Schools, with more than 170,000.
- The Community Schools Initiative will be implemented at 140 schools this year and serve 30,000 students with academic, cultural, student wellness and parent-family programs.
- Intramural Sports are offered at approximately 50 elementary schools and 20 high schools. About 7,000 students are served and the programs vary from school to school.
- The new Additional Learning Opportunities initiative will kick off in five pilot schools November 1, adding 90 minutes of online learning in math and reading to the existing school day. This program ultimately will serve 5,500 students.
- After-School All-Stars is available at 230 schools across the city for K-8 students. This program includes academic, sports and arts programs for 35,000 students.
- Another 65,000 students can take part in the CPS fall sports season in both elementary and high schools.
- And tutoring through the Supplemental Educational Services program is expected to be available to about 25,000 students this year.
- There are also many after school programs run on a school-by-school basis, so parents should check to see what’s offered in their neighborhood school.
- The Chicago Public Library is offering a wide variety of after school programs this fall, including book discussions for teens, reader’s theater programs and financial literacy programs. And the Library will repeat its very successful “Teacher in the Library” homework assistance program. Last year this program had 30,000 homework help transactions. Some of the Library’s programs require registration and some do not, so check the website for further information.
Information about all the available opportunities offered by the different agencies can be found at the City’s after school program locator at www.afterschoolchicago.org
“Clearly, there are many positive opportunities for our children to be involved in learning and other activities during the after school hours. Now is the time for parents to get connected to their school, to help their children get connected to their school and to take advantage of the opportunities that are available,” Daley said.
“We all share the responsibility for protecting our children. We can’t be with our children every minute to keep them out of harm’s way, but we can create positive activities that give them an alternative to hanging out in the streets,” he said.