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Youth Development

Growing up is hard to do. Kids and youth do better when they have multiple supports that help them grow, learn, and mature into successful, engaged adults. Afterschool and summer programs are great partners in that work.

Afterschool programs:

  • Keep youth safe in a structured environment
  • Improve grades and attendance and reduce the dropout rate by offering hands-on, engaging learning
  • Promote college and career readiness and connect youth with career professionals
  • Connect youth with mentors
  • Allow parents to work and support their families
In 2014, 404,791 children (18%) in Illinois participate in an afterschool program, yet 741,400 children (41%) would be enrolled in a program if one were available to them (America After 3 pm).

Despite these proven benefits, too few youth have access to quality, affordable afterschool programs.

Voices for Illinois Children is a strong champion of expanding and strengthening afterschool opportunities for Illinois’ youth. We’re a leader in the ACT Now Coalition, a statewide network committed to giving more youth access to quality, affordable afterschool opportunities.

For more information visit the ACT Now Coalition website.


Join Voices and show your support for afterschool and summer programs
by becoming an ACT Now Coalition member today.