Our Community & After School programs create safe, integrated, school-centered support structures that promote students’ academic and social-emotional development.


Youth Guidance supports positive outcomes for Chicago’s students by integrating the Comer philosophy of systemic change into year-round, school-based opportunities for student engagement, achievement, exposure and enrichment. Complemented by our expertise in counseling and social supports, Youth Guidance’s Community and After School programs help students identify, develop and utilize their own internal and external strengths to overcome social and emotional barriers to success. All programs provide homework assistance, academic enrichment, technology exploration, recreation, skill development, access to integrated counseling supports, and most importantly, safety and supervision after school.

Youth Guidance’s Community & After-School programs produce successful and driven students by:

  • Building social and emotional resiliency
  • Influencing positive gains in academic engagement and achievement
  • Positively impacting student/teacher/parent perception of school culture and climate
  • Providing increased opportunities for parent and family engagement


Parent & Family Engagement

Youth Guidance’s Parent & Family Engagement services are designed to equip parents with specific skills that enhance their ability to support their children’s educational experience and improve school outcomes. Through our programs, parents develop the capacity to foster positive adult-student relationships and create a safe, child-centered school climate.

Parent & Family Engagement services provide parents with professional development and on-site coaching to deepen their engagement with their children’s school. Services are aligned with the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships, and are based on more than 20 years of Youth Guidance’s parent engagement work in Chicago Public Schools.


Full-Service Community Schools

Full-Service Community Schools programs address barriers to student learning by providing academic and social supports within and outside the school day. Our full-service schools go far beyond the average after-school program. They create an integrated, school-centered support structure for students’ academic and social/emotional development, providing social services to students, parents, and community members during extended school hours. Our Full-Service Community Schools serve primary, middle and secondary school students.


Community Learning Centers

Community Learning Centers use schools as the home-base for providing extended learning to students, families, and communities. Community Learning Centers provide academic and skill-based enrichment opportunities for students with the ultimate goal of improved performance in state academic achievement standards. The broad array of supplementary programs include youth development, art, music, recreation, technology education, character education, and literacy.


Extended Day Enrichment

Youth Guidance’s Tuition-Based After School programs provide homework assistance, academic enrichment, technology exploration, recreation and physical activity, skill development and safety and supervision after school. Each enrichment menu is tailored to meet the specific needs of the school, student and parent community; incorporate community resources, include a parent engagement component; and focus on self-sustainability.  The variety of programs offered stimulate students with challenging opportunities for growth and development outside the classroom, using age-appropriate materials and highly-skilled service providers. Youth Guidance employs an economy of scale approach to offer in-demand enrichment programs at competitively discounted rates.


Integrated Counseling Supports

In addition to the more formal programs discussed above, Community & After School (CAP) collaborates with Counseling & Prevention to offer as many social-emotional and behavioral health alternatives as are available. Many of the CAP program partners also offer parent leadership opportunities, our evidence-based B.A.M. (Becoming A Man) program, restorative justice initiatives, crisis and grief counseling, and anger management. Youth Guidance staff are trained to support the implementation of the RtI Behavioral Intervention model and the PBSS engagement and staff development encouraged by CPS.


This collaborative, comprehensive approach to student resiliency is what makes Youth Guidance a unique provider of student supports.