Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard joined members of Chicago’s faith community in announcing the “Safe Haven, Safe Summer” program, a partnership between Chicago Public Schools and churches throughout the city. Safe Haven, Safe Summer will provide an estimated 2,000 young people with various programs and activities following the end of the regular school year this Friday. The program launches Monday, June 25.
“Safe Haven, Safe Summer is an important partnership between CPS and our faith-based leaders that works to keep our children safe over the summer,” said CEO Brizard. “It gives me and our CPS parents peace of mind to know that our students have a caring environment filled with engaging activities – both creative and educational – while they are out of school.”
Sixty churches have been invited this year to partner with CPS under the Safe Haven, Safe Summer initiative, which will run from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. weekdays from June 25 until August 3. Churches and other faith-based organizations will be running the programs throughout Chicago this summer. Registration has started and the program is free to all CPS students.
“The Safe Haven program has been a safety mechanism for the children, as well as an educational opportunity,” said Pastor Johnny Miller of Mt. Vernon Baptist Church. “The program not only provides an opportunity for conflict resolution, a space to solve potential problems before they evolve, but it has also allowed children to continue their education while school is out during the holiday break.”
Safe Haven was established during the winter school break in December 2009, with 24 churches serving about 500 young people between the ages of five and 17.
Students can sign up through each individual church. Churches have adopted specific schools and sent fliers out within their neighborhoods to help promote participation.
While each program is different, churches will provide a variety of services to children including healthy meals in partnership with Catholic Charities, engaging activities, reading programs, tutoring and performing arts through the entire day. Each church program also will provide a daily workshop focusing on anger management, conflict resolution, and anti-bullying. College graduates and mentors from the church communities will be available to the students for guidance.