September 12, 2012
Based on parent and community feedback, six additional Chicago Park District locations will offer full-day programming for Chicago’s students effective immediately and continuing until class is back in session. An additional 600 children will be offered a safe and engaging environment, meaning more than 200,000 children now have access to alternative options through Chicago Public School’s Children First plan.
“Our parents and communities are voicing their concerns and we are responding with additional options for safe environments as the teachers union continues to choose to strike,” said CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. “But this is not class – and we know that’s not enough to help our children succeed. We remain committed to reaching a fair deal that gets our kids back in school.”
The programming being added to the six new parks closely mirrors existing programming available at 78 parks across the city, including sports, games and arts and crafts in an adult-supervised setting, bringing the total number of parks sites with programming open to children to 84. Parents can register their children on-site for the parks program. More information can be found at www.cps.edu/childrenfirst.
Importantly, parents should know that full-day opportunities for their children are being provided by the following organizations:
- CPS Children First sites (150,000 students)
- Chicago Park District camp programs (10,000 additional students)
- Safe Haven sites (at least 2,400 additional students)
- Other non-profit partners (at least 5,000 additional students)
Parents can find all available programs and opportunities offered by partners and sign their children up for Children First sites at www.cps.edu/childrenfirst.
In total, approximately 28,300 students took part in safe and engaging programming offered through or in partnership with the Children First plan today. Children First plan sites have the capacity to serve more than 200,000 children.
- 16,000 students signed up for Children First school sites;
- 4,300 students at non-profit organizations;
- More than 1,500 children at 59 Safe Haven faith-based organizations;
- 3,800 at Chicago Park District sites; and
- More than 2,700 students at Chicago Public Libraries.
CPS continues to be prepared to provide both breakfast and lunch for students at Children First sites. The Greater Chicago Food Depository has provided thousands of healthy snacks for students as part of this effort.
In an additional development, Chicago-based non-profit Book Worm Angels will deliver 5,000 books to 19 Safe Haven sites between now and the end of this week. Book Worm Angels is Chicago’s only literacy program providing in-classroom lending libraries to public elementary schools where the majority of students read below grade level.
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is continuing to offer free rides to CPS students between 5:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. in support of the Children First plan.
Chicago Public Schools serves 402,000 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.