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Chicago Public Schools today announced $1 million in new funding to expand after-school programming at 88 elementary schools across Chicago, a 35% expansion that will serve nearly 8,000 additional students. The grant will support after-school programs focused on arts, health and wellness, academic enhancement and college and career exploration.

“The after-school programming investment is crucial in ensuring students have access to high quality programs that keep them safe and engaged,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This is yet another example of how we can work together to invest in Chicago’s future and provide students with the resources necessary for a brighter future.” 

This grant allows each school to create programming to support its unique student populations based on four categories: academic acceleration and support, arts and cultural enrichment, health and fitness, and college and career exploration. Whether schools are starting a spoken word club, taking a field trip to a local tech startup, or offering before-school yoga sessions, these out of school programs can provide students with enriching experiences that help bolster their academic performance and social and emotional well-being. 

“The City of Chicago is stepping up and making critical investments in programs that keep our students active, engaged and excited about learning – in and out of the classroom,” said Dr. Janice K. Jackson, Acting Chief Executive Officer at Chicago Public Schools. “After-school programs provide our students with opportunities to discover their passions and unlock their full potential, potentially changing the course of their lives.”

The City of Chicago has increased investments in youth programming every year since 2011. In the 2018 budget, the City of Chicago will invest nearly $77 million in local funds in youth programs, up threefold from 2011. These funds, spread over Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Housing Authority, Chicago Park District, and the Department of Family and Support Services, will provide after-school programs for more than 110,000 youth this year, up from 91,000 in 2012.

Other youth investments include:

  • The addition of Safe Passage routes to 10 new schools, allowing the program to serve a record 80,000 children.
  • The expansion of youth mentoring programs like Becoming a Man and Working on Womanhood, a step toward achieving the Mayor’s goal of universal mentoring for young men in high crime areas.
  • The creation of five new early education centers to compliment the programming in Chicago’s libraries, allowing more children to access quality early education.

Chicago Public Schools serves 371,000 students in 646 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.  

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