Enrichment Activities

Our Enrichment portfolio provides structured, safe, and enriching activities for young people outside of the classroom, in afterschool settings between the closing bell and while parents are working. Programs are also offered on the weekends and during school breaks. Research indicates these programs provide numerous benefits for youth socially, emotionally, academically, and that high-quality programs can positively impact young people’s lives.

Enrichment activities are operated by more than 150 nonprofit agencies across Chicago and serves thousands of youth between the ages of 6-21.

Portfolio Programs:

Chicago Housing Authority

The Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) provides afterschool programming to CHA youth ages 6-18.  These programs are facilitated by currently funded Out-of-School-Time (OST) programs that have the capacity to extend their hours of service for CHA youth.  Programming occurs year-round within 6 miles of CHA public housing sites that are located near existing bus routes. DFSS currently serves approximately 400 youth and funds fourteen delegate agencies in each one of the following program models:

  • Peace & Non-Violence;
  • Arts & Culture;
  • Environmental Responsibility & Stewardship


The Out-of-School-Time (OST) program provides opportunities for youth to participate in academic engagement, career pathway exploration and supervised after-school and year-round programs that strengthen relationships with parents, teachers, peers and community.  OST provides program participants a viable option for success in school, physical and emotional safety, and social and emotional development throughout the City of Chicago for youth ages 6-21 years of age

Project Innovation

In its third year, Project Innovation has grown from 9 agencies to 19 with over 537 youth age 9-18 years old. The goal of the program is to seek community-based innovations to address youth violence and school disengagement through science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) initiatives. Program goals include increasing 21st century skills among high-risk youth and providing safe activities.

Annually, youth participate in a learning showcase that includes a STEM presentation and exhibits where families, teachers, mentors come to celebrate a year of learning.

If you are interested in learning more about these initiatives, please contact the youth division at 312-743-0300.

Service Facts

Programs & Initiatives: