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Our mission is to provide Chicago’s youth with a resource for educational, artistic and recreational activities facilitated by reputable service providers in order to promote the development of life skills pertinent to academic excellence and social responsibility.

Below is an excerpt from a publication from two renowned leaders in child development who share a similar vision of how children succeed in life endeavors.

Sharon Ramey and Craig Ramey, both Ph.D. professors and respected leaders in child development have over 25 years of research across the United States. In their book, Going to School, they offer “Ten Hallmarks of Children Who Succeed.” Each one, they stress, is a “dynamic process that can be positively influenced by parents.” Do these traits look familiar?

Children who succeed in school:

  1. Are “eager to learn.” From earliest childhood, parents and community have offered interesting things to explore, and have encouraged curiosity.
  2. Pursue learning. This means they ask questions, and they seek help. When they get stuck, they know that adults are on hand to help—and that it’s worth asking.
  3. Put effort into their work. Parents can convey the message that if kids try hard, the results will pay off. These kids are proud of effort, and they don’t give up.
  4. Use solid emotional and social skills. School is full of emotional and social challenge, as kids handle friends, authority, and group dynamics. Parents can help by supporting kids in making good decisions and being generous friends.
  5. Have an accurate view of their own knowledge and skills. Parents help when they celebrate their children just as they are, neither less nor more, while still encouraging high hopes and dreams.
  6. Look to parents as role models for learning. This does not mean that parents must be perfect—it means they must be real, and they must be willing to be learners sometimes too.
  7. Have homes that “promote learning by natural teaching.” This doesn’t require that Bach be piped into the nursery or abstract mathematics be taught in the sandbox. It means that parents talk, explain, name and count everyday things and experiences, helping kids learn and make meaning.
  8. Follow helpful family routines. Kids can count on regular meals, baths, and sleep times. When it’s time for school, they’re ready to go.
  9. Know that rules count. Parents help by setting clear limits and boundaries – “authoritative” rather than too strict or too lax.
  10. Attend schools with “high expectations,” strong and effective staff development, and good communication about kids’ progress. Whatever the age of the child, parents can help by modeling good communication, and by staying in close touch with teachers and school staff.

These are principles that Chicago Youth Activities feels are guiding principles for success – no matter what neighborhood you live in.

Often we hear of the countless acts of violence that occur in Chicago but, the many honest and hardworking parents of Chicago and their families who act and engage others in their communities often see a better quality of life.

CYA seeks to bridge the digital divide in inner city communities by connecting them to service providers through the sharing of places, activities and events. We serve the thousands of Chicago children and parents who seek extracurricular activities that any kid – from tot to teen – can enjoy in a safe place.

If you would like to be a part of the CYA community, click here to get your licensed business or not-for-prfoit listed on this site. Recommend us to places that you may go to that don’t have a web site so their youth-oriented service can be listed here.

– Chicago Youth Activities Staff

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