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A Tale of Two Summers: How CYC’s Summer Enrichment Program Makes an Impact

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For children in Chicago’s south and west communities, summer can be a time of food insecurity, learning loss, and escalating violence. Families understand the importance of high quality summer learning programs, but for so many, these programs are financially out of reach. The New York Times reported that more than half of families surveyed said they want their children to participate, but they cannot find affordable programs.

This year, in Chicago, programs our families relied on have been cut, and our children are especially vulnerable.

Chicago Youth Centers’ (CYC) Summer Enrichment Program bridges the summer gap for more than 120 families. At CYC, summer is a season of opportunity. It’s when a child learns to swim. It’s when that math equation finally clicks. It’s when a teen becomes a leader. It’s when neighborhood boundaries are broken. It’s where possibility lives.

In 2015, CYC’s Summer Enrichment Program, hosted at CYC-Elliott Donnelley Youth Center in Bronzeville, served more than 120 children from all six of our Chicago communities. Our goal for 2016 is to double the number of children served. Since 96% of our students receive scholarships for the program, we need your support to reach more children.

 Support the Summer Enrichment Program today >>

A Tale of Two Summers

Children in low-income families can lose up to two months of grade level equivalency in reading and math.
In 2015, children in CYC’s Summer Enrichment Program increased their reading and math scores by 50% from July to September.
In Chicago, violence escalates in the summer months. Without the safety and structure of school, children are often forced inside their homes with little exposure to new people, places, or activities.
CYC’s Summer Enrichment Program provides children with a safe place to discover new horizons. Whether they are learning to code in the Maker Lab or visiting the Museum of Science and Industry for the first time, CYC children are discovering and nurturing their unique strengths.
Swimming pools and open water can be dangerous for many Chicago families unaccustomed to water safety.
CYC’s Summer Enrichment Program offers Red Cross swim instruction in one of Bronzeville’s only free, accessible pools. In 2015, 100% of children in the program took swim lessons, and 67% advanced by one Red Cross swim level.
Far too many Chicago children receive their only meal during school lunch. When school lets out, these children face food insecurity and hunger.
CYC provides healthy meals and snacks all summer long, and children learn about wellness and nutrition by growing vegetables and cooking their own meals.
Support CYC’s Summer Enrichment Program today, and ensure that more children will experience a summer full of learning, wellness, and possibility. Your donation directly supports scholarships for new children. Help us reach our goal of doubling the number of children served this summer! Donate here >>We greatly appreciate your support!


The mission of Chicago Youth Centers (CYC) is to empower children and teens to recognize and experience their full potential.

Featured Sponsor

Featured Sponsor: ArcelorMittal

Featured Sponsor: ArcelorMittal

Thank you to ArcelorMittal for its support of CYC’s Maker Lab and STEM program at CYC-Rebecca K. Crown Youth Center in South Shore. Thanks to the support of ArcelorMittal, CYC-Crown  Full Article »

Jun 1, 2017 Ξ

Summer at CYC

For children in Chicago’s south and west communities, summer can be a time of food insecurity, learning loss, and escalating violence. CYC makes summer a season of possibility for these children. Learn how.