05 January 2010

Keeping Chicago Kids Out of Trouble: After School Matters

From Denny: Oh, that we had the national will to do this for every school across America! We could lower the number of drop-outs if we kept kids engaged with programs like this one. Gangs? No one would have the time - or be in the wrong place - to join a gang. Building self-esteem is yet another way to reduce the demand for drugs, helping to wipe out the drug trade in America.

"After School Matters" was founded in 1991 by Chicago's First Lady, Maggie Daley. This program combines culinary arts, photography, science and sports as a diverse approach to continue the teaching process: mentoring. What's wonderful about it is that these same kids go on to mentor younger kids, building their self-esteem and status in their community.

I view these kinds of programs as a way to bridge the gap from childhood to adulthood since they teach responsibility and mentoring. These are skills they will require in the adult world and it's easier to learn them while still in school. Take a look:

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