Crawford Prize

Margaret C. Daley

The 2006 Crawford Prize Recipient

Margaret C. Daley

The National Recreation Foundation was honored to present Margaret Corbett Daley with the 2006 Robert W. Crawford Achievement Prize for her innovative and influential contributions to advancing recreation opportunities and improving the quality of life for youth in the Chicago area.

Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she earned a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Dayton in Ohio and took an executive position with Xerox Learning Systems. In 1972 she married Richard M. Daley and moved to the City of Chicago and dedicated her life to public service.

Since 1991, Daley served as the Founder and Chair of the celebrated Gallery 37 program. This is a paid apprenticeship program that involves year round training for youth ages 14 to 21 to learn transferable job skills in visual, literacy, culinary, performing and graphic art under the direction of professional artists. As a result of these successful programs, the Gallery 37 Center for the Arts opened in 1999 in collaboration with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs.

Inspired by the flourishing interest in Gallery 37, Margaret Daley expanded the program under the name After School Matters (ASM). The aim of ASM is to capture the minds and hearts of youth in after school activities to provide them opportunities to gain important life experiences and life lessons. This is accomplished through working with mentors and other youth to provide the essential building blocks for success in later life.

In addition to the highly successful Gallery 37 programming, activities at ASM include Sports 37. Tech 37, and Words 37. Sports 37 offers youth the opportunity to learn lifeguarding, officiating, coaching, and sports broadcasting skills that could lead to employment in these fields. This program enables youth to serve as paid recreational leaders in an atmosphere that not only allows for personal growth, but is also fun and exciting. Tech 37 gives youth skill development in technology such as website development and computer refurbishing. Words 37 helps youth develop competence in reading, writing, and public speaking. Summer Internships for this program are highly competed for at locations such as the Mexican Fine Arts Museum and the Chicago Historical Society.

The ASM, under Daley's leadership, grew from nine programs in three high schools in the Chicago area serving 180 teens in 2000, to 853 programs in 35 high schools in 2005 serving over 23,000 teens. Although ASM is open to all youth in the city of Chicago, it reaches out to the lowest performing schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods in which 93% of the students qualify for the free and reduced student lunch program. By the end of 2006, Margaret Daley's goal was have the ASM program available in every public high school in the city, serving at least 50% of Chicago's high school students.

Daley's passion for youth also translated into other notable positions. She was the chair of the Chicago Cultural Center Foundation whose purpose is to provide to the public free of charge our exposure to Chicago's rich multi-cultural life. She was also on the Board of Directors for several prominent organizations including the Chapin Hall Center for Children, the Golden Apple Foundation, and the Children at the Crossroads Foundations. All of these organizations seek to improve the lives of children through educational efforts.

The efforts of Margaret Daley to advance the quality of life for youth in the Chicago area were an inspiration. Through her innovative programs, she demonstrated the successes of reaching disadvantaged youth through the arts and recreation. Under her creative leadership, thousands of disadvantaged young people realized the path to more fulfilling futures. For these reasons, the NRF is proud to have recognized her outstanding contributions.