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CAAELCHELLA is back February 4, 2023!

Athletic and educational programming for at-risk & special education students at alternative schools

CAAEL (Chicago Area Alternative Education League) exists to fill the interscholastic athletic and activity gap created when at-risk/special education students are removed from their mainstream school environments due to severe behavioral and emotional challenges.

We provide alternative school educators innovative and therapeutic programming to engage and motivate their students during the school day.

Athletic and educational programming for at-risk & special education students at alternative schools

CAAEL (Chicago Area Alternative Education League) exists to fill the interscholastic athletic and activity gap created when at-risk/special education students are removed from their mainstream school environments due to severe behavioral and emotional challenges.

We provide alternative school educators innovative and therapeutic programming to engage and motivate their students during the school day.

A wide range of students,
a wide reach of schools

16

ILLINOIS COUNTIES
SERVED

CAAEL serves a wide range of students with respect to age, gender, challenges, abilities, race, socioeconomic background, and culture.

Our students attend public and private schools, off-campus and on-campus programs, Special Education Programs, Truants’ Alternative and Optional Education Programs, hospital-affiliated programs, residential schools, and therapeutic day schools throughout 16 counties in Illinois.

CAAEL BY THE NUMBERS

Average Annual Stats

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ACTIVITIES & EVENTS

How CAAEL Works

During the week, students qualify to participate in competitive, character-building CAAEL activities by meeting attendance, academic, and behavioral criteria.

On the day of the event, qualifying students participate in the CAAEL event during the school day.

After the event, teachers and students celebrate participation, sportsmanship, and teamwork.

CAAEL’s Impact is Transformational

“Middle school is hard for most every kid, but compounded greatly when you have a disability. Most children can join anything they want, and from the time they’re toddlers, we sign them up for any team, class, or program with a click of a mouse and a swipe of a card. It’s not like that for kids with a disability — until CAAEL.

CAAEL provided an outlet for Jake to shine. He didn’t have to be the best in the sport to see playing time or to be chosen. He would look forward to games and be so motivated to keep his attendance, grades, and behavior in check so he would not miss an opportunity to shine, and he literally never did. He was eligible for every single game for two years solid. And with that CAAEL stepping stone, he began a path that yielded big results in quantum leaps.”

— Jayma Griffin, mother of CAAEL athlete, Jake Moran

Listen to the full story of how CAAEL transformed Jake’s experience at his alternative school.

John, Sarah, and Katie Martin
Play Video

About CAAEL’s Founder

CAAEL was founded in 1976 by John Martin, an alternative school teacher and administrator who had the inspiration to use basketball as an impetus for change with his at-risk/special-education students.

Today, his legacy is carried on by his two daughters, Sarah and Katie along with their team, as well as the dedicated teachers, students, coaches, administrators, volunteers, and families who use — and support — CAAEL every day.

About CAAEL’s Founder

John, Sarah, and Katie Martin

CAAEL was founded in 1976 by John Martin, an alternative school teacher, principal, and administrator who had the inspiration to use basketball as an impetus for change with his at-risk students.

Today, his legacy is carried on by his two daughters, Sarah and Katie, as well as the dedicated teachers, students, coaches, administrators, volunteers, and families who use — and support — CAAEL every day.

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Stay up-to-date on CAAEL events and the meaningful moments experienced by our schools, students, and staff.

We’ve been helping kids for 45+ years!

Please help us continue to serve by getting involved today