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Mayor Richard M. Daley today reiterated the City’s commitment to providing after school activities for its young people and reminded parents and guardians to make sure their children are connected to their school and taking advantage of the opportunities that are available.
“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,“ Daley said in a news conference held at Gallery 37 Center for the Arts, 66 E. Randolph St.
“The more opportunities we create to connect a child to school, the better chance we have of making sure that child is safe, is learning and is on the right path toward, graduation, college, and a successful life,” he said.
Today, Chicago is taking part in a national event called “Lights on After School,” which is held to call attention to the importance of quality after school programs.
The event coincides with a new report by the Afterschool Alliance called “Chicago After 3 p.m.” which found that 27 percent of Chicago school children are in after school programs, compared with 15 percent of schoolchildren nationally.
The report says that participation in summer learning programs in Chicago is also higher than the national average -- 36 percent to 25 percent. And it singles out two Chicago programs – After School Matters and the Chicago Out-of-School-Time project for special recognition.
“Young people are the future of our great City and nation and it’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure that they are given the tools they need to thrive and achieve success in life,” Daley said.
“When we keep our young people engaged in positive, constructive programs after school, we make an important investment in out community,” he said.
The Mayor pointed out that this past summer, despite the tough economy, the City and its partners were able to place more than 18,600 young people in summer jobs and that this fall, there are approximately 200,000 after-school activity options available to students.
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
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