Since 1976, Chicago Area Alternative Education League, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, has successfully provided a full spectrum of interscholastic academic and athletic programs to thousands of Chicagoland’s most at-risk boys and girls ranging from ages 7-21.
Used throughout the school day, it motivates these boys and girls to come to school, complete their assignments, and behave appropriately. CAAEL is integrated directly into the curriculum and all activities take place during school hours.
And through CAAEL’s emphasis on sportsmanship, leadership and teamwork vs. winning and losing, educators use their CAAEL membership to teach the skills needed to be both successful students and productive citizens.
A Chicago Area Alternative League school membership includes leagues and tournaments for chess, bowling, art, soccer, volleyball, softball, flag football, basketball, academic bowls and spelling bees.
“Thank you Mr. Martin for dedicating so much time to making sure that students in alternative schools are able to play sports… I have been in sports all my life, and thanks to you, coming to an alternative school did not stop that. Thanks to you we can come to a school that makes us better and not lose the sports opportunities that we could receive at our home schools. So again thank you very much for making sure we have the chance to be part of something bigger.”
“CAAEL is built on fairness and sportsmanship above winning. The most prestigious awards are the ‘Sportsmanship Awards’ given by CAAEL. Our son now wins modestly, loses gracefully, competes fairly and values the sportsmanship of the event above all else. This is what CAAEL teaches our son and his classmates.”
“Jeremy’s favorite was by far basketball, and he participated in the CAAEL basketball tournament for three years where my family and I saw him blossom into a communicative, helpful player; now, Jeremy’s a high school graduate and recently finished his first few courses at college, opportunities we know were gifted and enriched by his time spent at S.E.A.L. and with the CAAEL program. My family and I are forever grateful for the opportunity that CAAEL gave to Jeremy, and I want to share CAAEL’s achievements and bring awareness of their work with a larger audience.”
“CAAEL continues to be a resource through which our students have been privileged to explore, develop and demonstrate individual skills….[CAAEL] affords these young people the opportunity to enhance personal characteristics that are necessary and vital to every day living….”
“We hoped, through the sports program, to help our students gain more confidence and improve their self-esteem. Judging from the change in their behavior, the program has succeeded.”
“When he’s playing at the park district or through youth football, he’s such a little fish in a big pond,” Nesheim said. “With CAAEL, he gets to be a big fish in a small pond. Both CAAEL and the Therapeutic Day School have done wonders for Storm and I can’t thank them enough.”
“Too often, people only focus on what kids with special needs can’t do. The CAAEL tournament offers these kids an opportunity–a wonderful opportunity– to show what they can do.”
“I was a kind of a rebel without a cause in high school. I was kind of lost, and I’m sure I would’ve been a dropout if it hadn’t been for CAAEL… CAAEL was most definitely the only reason I graduated from high school.”
I had the opportunity to volunteer for CAAEL. Working with Sarah and her team was a pleasure and fun.
The fact that CAAEL is a family started and run organization shows that a small amount of people can have a huge impact in the community.
It’s also way better than kale the vegetable.
Click on the link below and it will automatically register CAAEL as your charity of choice. You will then always be set up to donate a portion of anything you buy to CAAEL. Just be sure to make your purchases through Amazon Smile rather than just Amazon (same merchandise). Thanks!