Illinois

Illinois ACT Now Coalition

The Illinois ACT Now Coalition (ACT Now) is a coalition that brings together afterschool and youth development stakeholders from across Illinois to join forces and ensure that all young people in Illinois have access to quality, affordable out-of-school time (OST) programs.

Accomplishments: 
  • Illinois’ ACT Now Coalition members participated in a high-energy advocacy day and testified in House and Senate appropriations hearings on behalf of Teen REACH, a state funded afterschool program.
  • The Teen REACH afterschool program received a 7% increase in funding for FY14 from $8.2 million to $8.8 million.
  • Over $10 million in new funding for afterschool programs with a focus on anti-violence was appropriated in the FY14 budget; The Coalition helped inform implementation of the programs.
  • Illinois' ACT Now Coalition partnered in competition to secure funding to increase access to STEM programs for underrepresented students; Chicago’s application has advanced to the final round. 
Current Projects and Initiatives: 
  • The ACT Now Quality & Outcomes Committee has begun work on developing statewide quality standards and expects to have them ready for implementation Fall ’14.
  • The Coalition is engaging in new and exciting work to maximize and highlight afterschool’s power to improve students’ college and career readiness.
  • The Coalition will be hosting multiple professional development / training events based on members’ responses to our survey on their interests in policy and advocacy.