Mayor Richard M. Daley


Children need supervised, structured activities when school is not in session. To address this need, Chicago has an array of after-school, summer and holiday programs that keep kids safe and stimulated.

Under the direction of Mayor Richard M. Daley, Chicago Public Schools has recently opened ten high schools as Holiday Social Centers to provide academic and recreational activities for elementary and high school students during the Christmas Break. Holiday Sports Camps at select Chicago Park District sites also kept at-risk kids off the streets.

In 1998 the Chicago Public Schools will have the largest summer school program in the nation. More than 170,000 students will participate in summer learning opportunities, including the successful "Summer Bridge" and "Making The Grade" programs that help at-risk students move closer to their grade level. Last year the six-week summer program helped thousands of children improve their reading and math scores.

In 1996-97 more than 460 Chicago Public Schools implemented after school programs. Each school designs programming to meet its students’ specific needs, so the programs are as diverse as the schools that house them.

Chicago’s most successful and innovative after school initiative is the Lighthouse program. Lighthouse provides academic support, social activities and a third meal to 112,000 children in 248 schools each day. Lighthouse’s results are impressive: 39 of the 40 schools in the project’s pilot showed achievement gains in math scores, and 30 of 40 showed gains in reading scores.

The program features:

  • one hour of extensive instruction in reading and mathematics;
  • one hour of social ativities;
  • a third meal;
  • career education;
  • physical education and recreational activities;
  • parental involvement;
  • and community partnerships.

    To provide structure and quality programs to children who live in areas of high gang activity, eight Lighthouse schools have added Friday and Saturday recreational programs.

    Contact person:

    Dr. Cozette Buckney, Chief Education Officer, Chicago Public Schools, 773-535-3700

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    J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
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