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Intermediary Profile and Statistics

» Number of Programs - 550 to 600 programs operate each semester, and 250 to 300 operate during the summer.

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Targeting Services

After School Matters (ASM) was founded in 2000 by Maggie Daley, wife of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, with the goal of offering skill-building after-school programming to high-school students, a commonly underserved youth demographic.

Working With Multiple Program Providers/Differentiating Services To appeal to the diverse interests of older youth, ASM began contracting with professionals from many sectors of the community - including the business, sports, journalism and art world - to teach apprenticeships. Instructors meet with teens three times a week for 10 weeks to complete hands-on, authentic projects in their fields. Each project includes a performance and/or a commissioned work. Each teen who successfully completes an apprenticeship receives a stipend and is eligible to enroll in an advanced apprenticeship or a paid internship to further the teen's knowledge and build job skills.

In addition to apprenticeships, ASM sponsors Club 37 programs, which offer teens informal drop-in activities every day after school. Club 37 programs may feature art, music, intramural sports, chess, table tennis, boxing, martial arts, dance, and other activities.

Connecting Service Providers to Schools and Communities

ASM has intentionally built strong connections with the schools that host their programs. To facilitate communications between the school and after-school program, ASM pays for school-day teachers to act as liaisons between the school and ASM instructors. Teacher liaisons also have a stake in improving the program. Each year, they consult with ASM staff about what types of programming would be most beneficial to their schools, and play key roles in student recruitment.

Though the content of apprenticeships does not explicitly connect to the academic day, ASM ensures that its course offerings prepare youth for learning with lessons that help to build social skills and self-confidence. ASM also pays for each of its instructors to attend a five-level Advanced Youth Development training offered by The Chicago Area Project to make sure youth are working with highly-qualified instructors.

The largest program of its kind for high school students, ASM served more than 13,000 teens in 2007. It contracts with more than 750 instructors, who lead approximately 1,500 programs each year (550-600 per semester, and 250-300 during the summer). Programs are located in high schools, parks and libraries across the city.