After School Matters Reaches Milestone

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - EducationChicago’s After School Matters program marked its 20th anniversary with a public celebration on Daley Plaza on Wednesday, June 29. 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 in honor of the anniversary.

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® and words37®. In 2006, with generous support from Abbott, science programming—science37®—was added to the organization’s program content menu.

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. 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

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