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gallery37®, tech37®, sports37® and words37®. In 2006, with generous support from ... “We are all stakeholders in the future of ...



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Contact: Ellie Abrams 312/573-5516 ellie_abrams@jtpr.comTwenty Years Later, Maggie Daleys Program Shows that After School Matters® Successful out-of-school time program for Chicago Public Schools teens celebrates 20 years with help from Joan Cusack and others CHICAGOJune 29, 2011Today, Chicagos After School Matters® program marked its 20th anniversary with a public celebration on Daley Plaza. For two decades, the program has offered Chicago public high school students quality out-of-school time opportunities in the arts, science, sports, technology and communications. Supporters, partners, present and past instructors, alumni and Chicago Public Schools high school teens joined Emcee, Actress and After School Matters Board Member Joan Cusack, After School Matters Executive Director David Sinski, Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-13) and City of Chicago Deputy Chief of Staff for Education Beth Swanson for teen performances, a speaking program and ceremonial cake-cutting. Senator Raoul and Beth Swanson presented State and City proclamations, respectively, in honor of the anniversary. “I am so excited to be here to help Chicago recognize the talent and drive of the citys teens,” said Cusack. “Whether it be the teens dancing here onstage or the innovation displayed by those in the science program, these young Chicagoans are developing talents and learning skills that will prepare them for college and beyond.” After School Matters began in 1991 as a summer arts program under large white tents on the then-undeveloped Block 37 lot in Chicagos downtown Loop, and was called “Gallery 37.” The program served 260 teens that first summer, who worked with instructors who were professionals in their field. Four years later, Gallery 37 established a partnership with Chicago Public Schools and began to provide programming in high schools. In 2000, the successful apprenticeship formula used in the arts programs was expanded to technology, sports and communications. This array of programs became known as After School Matters, an umbrella organization for all of the content areas: ® ®® ® gallery37 ,tech37 ,sports37 andwords37 .In 2006, with generous support from ® Abbott, science programmingscience37was added to the organizations program content menu. Mrs. Daley continues to serve as the Chair of After School Matters, which has become a nationally recognized model for best practices in after-school programs serving teens, which provided 20,000 program opportunities this past year. The program collaborates with Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Public Library, as well as more than 100 community organizations to provide programming. -more- 1
After School Matters 20th Anniversary/page 2 “It is hard to believe it was two decades ago that we gathered teens just across the street from Daley Plaza,” said Daley. “The growth and success of this program is truly due to the commitment of professional instructors, collaboration of community and corporate partners, and most importantly, the dedication and talents of enthusiastic Chicago teenagers who are making an investment in their futures.” While providing activities in a safe environment, After School Matters hands-on, project-based activities also prepare teens for success in life and a more promising future, providing skills and experiences that can lead to significant personal, professional and academic opportunities. “After School Matters gave me so much training,” said Meghan Bestler, an alumna from the After School Matters opera program, established in partnership with Chicago Opera Theater. “The program gave me courage and confidence to do what I want to do. I would be nowhere today if it wasnt for the program.” Bestler is headed to Italy this summer for an opera internship. Research from University of Chicagos Chapin Hall Center for Children shows that teens involved in After School Matters had better attendance, failed fewer courses and graduated from high school at higher rates than those who did not participate. In addition, Chicagos Erikson Institute evaluated After School Matters programs, to find that they produce positive effects in teens abilities to work in groups, communicate effectively, plan and meet deadlines, cooperate and express flexibility in their work. After School Matters will continue its anniversary celebration with an annual gala on September 21, to be held this year at Navy Pier. For more information, to make a donation, for parents and teens looking to apply for fall 2011 programming, or for professionals interested in becoming instructors, please visit “We are all stakeholders in the future of Chicago teenagers,” said Daley. “We look forward to many more decades of inspiration from Chicagos teens. Because After School Matters it really does!” ~~~ About After School Matters After School Matters has evolved from 1991, when the gallery37 summer arts program served 260 teens on a then-vacant lot in downtown Chicago, to the present in which After School Matters is the nations largest out-of-school program of its kind for teenagers. This past year, After School Matters provided Chicago high school teens with 20,000 program opportunities at 60 Chicago public high schools and more than 100 community-based organizationsmany in the citys most underserved communities. ###