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Mayor Richard M. Daley today encouraged parents to enroll their children in the thousands of after school activities available in winter through the City, its sister agencies, After School Matters and the Chicago Public Schools.
“We all want our young people to stay safe from violence, stay away from a life of violence and achieve their full potential in life. And among the most important things we can do to help are to give them the best education possible and give them plenty of positive activities after school,” the Mayor said in a news conference held at St. Mark International Christian Church, 832 N. LeClaire Av.
At the news conference, the Mayor and CPS officials announced the expansion of its successful Safe Haven program to after-school hours at 27 sites throughout the city, including St. Mark.
The expanded program, modeled after the Safe Haven activities CPS has operated in partnership with faith and community organizations during recent school holidays and vacations, began this week and will operate through May 20.
About 1,000 children from kindergarten through 12th grade are expected to be served in the after-school Safe Haven program, which carries the citywide theme of “Stop the Violence, Stop the Silence.”
The Mayor pointed out that for many years, the City and its sister agencies have provided a wide array of positive activities for young people to keep them safe and constructively occupied all year-round.
“This program is based on every Chicagoan’s shared commitment to do an even better job of keeping our children safe and giving them a good start in life,” he said.
Among the after school opportunities being offered are:
- CPS will offer athletic programs for more than 20,000 young people. Another 30,000 children can take part in activities offered through the Community Schools Initiative, and the After School All-Stars program expects some 36,000 CPS students to participate.
- After School Matters will offer sports, science, technology and communications programs for more than 7,500 teen-agers.
- The Chicago Park District will offer more than 2,700 programs at its parks and facilities this winter with about 48,000 young people expected to participate. These include basketball, boxing, cheerleading, swimming, indoor soccer and many others.
- The Chicago Housing Authority will offer its “Park Kids” after school programming for 500 CHA young people.
- The Chicago Public Library will offer after school and weekend story programs for young people and their families. Fifty-four CPL locations have the “Teacher in the Library” program, with a certified teacher offering free homework help after school and will continue to offer its groundbreaking “You Media” program for teens at the Harold Washington Library.
- The City’s Department of Family and Support Services and its partners will operate after school programs ranging from the arts to sports to technology and career exploration.
The “Safe Haven” program is offered Monday through Friday, from 3-6 p.m. Each participant is provided with a free snack and dinner courtesy of Catholic Charities.
Programming includes workshops on conflict resolution, positive communication, character development, anger management and employs practical exercises, group discussions and arts and crafts.
Safe Haven also includes parental involvement and encourages an atmosphere for families to positively interact with members of the family unit.
Faith leaders and other vendors who operate the Safe Haven sites work with the CPS Interfaith Office and local school communities to determine students who can most benefit from the program. Lead vendors chosen through an RFP process are HOPE Organization, New Life Pilsen and St. Mark International.
“Keeping our children safe is Chicago’s challenge and our shared responsibility.
Every community and religious group, every business and every parent must help keep doing their part and provide the safe havens and positive alternatives for our young people,” Daley said.
“If we all work together, we can make sure our young people remain safe and that both they and our city reach their full potential,” he said.
Churches and organizations participating in the “Safe Haven” program are:
Alliance for Community Peace, 509 W. Elm St.
Bethlehem Star M.B. Church, 9231 S. Cottage Grove Av.
Christ Centered Ministries, 1533 S. Drake Av.
Come Alive Ministries, 2206 E. 73rd St.
Corinthian Temple, 4520 W. Washington Blvd.
Gospel Truth Life Changing Ministries, 4118 W. Division St.
Grace and Peace, 2100 N. Kildare Av.
Greater St. John, 1246 N. Waller Av.
Inglesia Cristiana Manatial, 4300 S. California Av.
Liberation Christian Center, 6801 S. Ashland Av.
Mt. Ebenezer, 3555 W. Huron St.
New Birth Christian Center, 5335 W. LeMoyne St.
New Canaan Land, 5957 S. Peoria St.
New Dimensions, 4300 S. California Av.
New Landmark, 2700 W. Wilcox St.
New Life Covenant, 2704 W. North Av.
New Life Pilsen, 2512 S. Oakley Av.
New Memorial, 6844 S. Indiana Av.
New Spiritual Light, 7266 S. South Shore Drive
Promise Center, 13560 S. Indiana Av.
Sheldon Heights Church of Christ, 11355 S. Halsted St.
Sr. Mark International Church, 832 N. LeClaire Av.
Sweet Holy Spirit, 8621 S. South Chicago Av.
Trinity All Nations, 9600 S. Vincennes Av.
Truth and Life, 4146 W. Chicago Av.
True Light Church, 7302 S. Maryland Av.
West Point Baptist Church, 3566 S. Cottage Grove Av.
Additional information about after-school Safe Haven is available on www.cps.edu
or by calling the CPS Interfaith Office, 773-553-1528
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