from $1.7 million to $2.3 million. Currently, 36% of third-graders read below the “basic level”.
Reading levels have become predictive of future incarceration rates with 70% of prison inmates
unable to read above a fourth-grade level.
In recognition of these statistics, in 2008, By the Hand made the decision to add a reading
specialist to its staff in order to assist children from 4th grade and up who could not read. During
the 2008-2009 academic year, such children, on average, advanced two grade levels in their
reading. In 2009, the organization added a college specialist to its staff in order for the high
schoolers in Club for Big Kids to gain more exposure to college preparatory classes. Decisions
like these have garnered tremendous results for the students who attend By the Hand. In the 2016-
2017 school year, 85% of the 1,360 students who attended By The Hand passed all their classes;
61% made all A’s, B’s, and C’s, a 20% increase from the year before; and the average GPA on a
4.0 scale was 2.82. Also, in 2016-2017, 82% of the high school freshman that attended By the
Hand graduated from high school. Since 2008, By the Hand has seen 88% of their high school
graduates enroll in a college, university or certified technical school. Comparing this statistic to
the mere 40% of Chicago Public School students (who did not attend By The Hand) since 2008
who have enrolled in any type of continuing education, it is clear why after-school programs like
By The Hand can monumentally change the course of a student’s life.
By The Hand has proven the tremendous benefits an effective afterschool program can
have on a child’s academic success, social life, and personal life. The organization is determined
to go the extra mile when it comes to meeting the needs of its students. Although studies have
shown that poverty is a significant barrier to academic success and one out of every three children
in Chicago lives in poverty, By the Hand has made it their mission and has given children the
chance to obtain a better outcome. By The Hand Club For Kids has shown what a vision coupled
with faith can do for students in need.
BY THE HAND CLUB FOR KIDS, http://bythehand.org/ (last visited Feb. 23, 2018).
Offending by Juveniles, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/offenders/qa03301.asp (last
visited Feb. 8, 2018).
Robert Halpern, A Different Kind of Child Development Institution: The History of After-School Programs for Low-Income Children, 104 TCHR. C. REC. 178, 203 (2002).
The Benefits of After-School Programs in Low Socioeconomic Settings, PARTNERS IN LEARNING,
http://performancepyramid.miamioh.edu/node/1291 (last visited Feb. 8, 2018).