New After-School Locator Maps.

Check out this cool new interactive map that lets you plug in your zip code and find all sorts of after-school and weekend activities for kids that are going on around you.

Sure, it's a little too good -- suspiciously good. But if it helps parents, counselors, and others find good things for kids to do, then it isn't all bad. I think.

What do you think?


City of Chicago

Richard M. Daley, Mayor

Mary Ellen Caron, Commissioner


          Contact: Anne Sheahan 312.743.2031


New Web

tool allows families to navigate thousands of


opportunities with ease

(Chicago) Mayor Daley rolled out an interactive Web site

that will help youth, ages 6 and older, and their families research

and choose from thousands of different after-school programs located

throughout Chicago. The After-School Chicago Web site is

one of the most comprehensive of its kind in the nation and will include

a diverse variety of afternoon, evening and weekend program options

that span organizations including the Chicago Department of Children

and Youth Services, Chicago Public Schools, After School Matters, the

Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Libraries. The coordination

and development of the After-School Chicago Web site was led by the

Chicago Department of Children and Youth Services and funded by The

Wallace Foundation.

“The benefits of after-school programs

are far-reaching and can have a significant impact on the safety and

development of our children,” says Mayor Richard M. Daley. “They

let young people discover new interests or pursue activities such as

art or music. They also support parents who are increasingly busy at

work, particularly during the hours between 3 and 6 p.m., the peak period

for teens to be victims of crime.”

“The After-School Chicago Web site

will make it easier for families to explore and access quality programs

that best suit their child’s needs and support their healthy development,”

he says.

Powered by Google™ Maps, the easy-to-use

Web site,, allows users to simply input their address

or ZIP Code and choose from eight program interest areas, including:

academic, career, creative, health, life skills, religious, community

and sports. Search results are plotted on an interactive map with

a brief description of each offering, including information about dates

and times, related fees if applicable and the age range for activities.

The search results also include Chicago Transit Authority routes for


Mary Ellen Caron, commissioner, of the

Chicago Department of Children and Youth Services, says that the After-School

Chicago Web site will not only make finding activities easier, but will

also serve to provide agency partners with more information about the

landscape of after-school programming in every community.

“Through the After-School Chicago Web

site, our partners can examine the nature of programs they offer and

how they compare to other programs available in the same area.

It can also help us to identify gaps in service resulting from a neighborhood’s

changing demographics,” says Caron. “This data will enable us to

more efficiently and effectively coordinate our services to ensure Chicago’s

families are receiving the after-school programs they need.”

The After-School Chicago Web site was

coordinated through the Out-of-School Time Project—an initiative developed

to provide citywide supports for programs aiming to reach teens through

out-of-school time programs that help maximize their opportunities for

success. For more information, go to

Funded by a grant from The Wallace Foundation,

Chicago’s Out-of-School Time Project was launched in 2006 when Chicago

was chosen as one of five cities to receive funding as part of a national

effort to pioneer ways to build stronger, sustainable after-school systems

and develop and share lessons based on that work.

“The hours when school is out should

be a time of opportunity, rather than a time of risk. But research tells

us that many families, especially low-income and minority ones, have

trouble finding convenient, affordable, and interesting activities for

young people in the out-of-school hours,” said M. Christine DeVita,

President of The Wallace Foundation. “The Chicago Out-of-School Time

Project is building a citywide approach to help fill that need, and

we hope the After-School Chicago Web site will be an important new tool

for helping connect young people with all the programs and activities

that Chicago has to offer.”

The Wallace Foundation is an independent,

national foundation dedicated to supporting and sharing effective ideas

and practices that expand learning and enrichment opportunities for

all people. Its three current objectives are: strengthening education

leadership to improve student achievement; enhancing out-of-school learning

opportunities; and building appreciation and demand for the arts. The

Foundation maintains an online library of research reports and other

publications that may be downloaded free of charge at:

For more information on the After-School

Chicago Web site, visit

or call 312-743-1511, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday

through Friday. For more information on the Out-of-School Time

Project, visit

or call the Chicago Department of Children and Youth Services at 312-743-0300.

Filed under: Communities & CBOs

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