April 3, 2014
CHICAGO—Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Barbara Byrd-Bennett today announced over 100 safe haven spring break locations that will provide students with a positive, safe environment, development workshops and meals for students during this year’s spring break.
“Whether it is after school, during the summer, or during Spring Break, we are keeping our kids safe, secure, and supervised with more of our kids in a church or a community center, instead of outside unsupervised,” Mayor Emanuel said. “The expansion of the Safe Haven program is part of our larger strategy to ensure our students can focus on their studies and not their safety and that we provide quality learning opportunities that will ensure the graduate 100% college ready and 100% college bound.”
In the 2014 budget, the City provided a $1 million investment to expand Safe Haven opportunities for an additional 1,500 of the city’s youth, providing students and families with access to educational activities after school, over the winter holidays, during spring break, and in the summer. With this expansion, the Safe Haven program serves approximately 10,000 youth at 100 locations across the city.
The Safe Haven Spring Break program returns April 14-18, offering a reliable, no-cost option for students and their parents while school is out of session. Each of the 100 locations will provide students free breakfast and lunch through CPS’s partnership with New Life Ministries. Safe Haven hours are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday.
“I want to thank our dedicated faith-based community partners for their commitment to keeping our children safe and filling their spring breaks with valuable activities and experiences,” said CEO Byrd-Bennett. “Everyone in the community shares a responsibility to keep our children safe and provide them with opportunities to succeed both inside and outside the classroom. We are grateful that Mayor Emanuel and our faith leaders have maintained an unrelenting commitment to this program and the children it serves.”
Housed in the Office of Faith Based Initiatives of Chicago Public Schools, the mission of Safe Haven is to eradicate bullying and instill practices to combat youth violence by engaging students in workshops that focus on positive conflict resolutions, anger management, anti-bullying, and anti-violence.
Safe Haven sites also include enrichment programs where students can participate in expanding important conversation of anger management and anti-violence through drama and other cultural arts activities. Each program is different, and CPS’ faith-based community partners provide a variety of services to children like reading programs, tutoring, performing arts and the opportunity work with college graduates and mentors from the church communities.
"The CPS Safe Haven program has kept Chicago's children engaged in productive, meaningful, creative activities over summer, winter, and spring breaks since 2009," said Reverend Renaldo Kyles, Director of Faith-Based Initiatives for CPS. "Whether engaging in the arts, conflict resolution, or mentoring programs, these children get to have a safe and well-rounded spring break thanks to this wonderful partnership between CPS and Chicago's vibrant faith community."
For a list of the 100 Safe Haven site locations and contact information, please visit: cps.edu/SafeHaven
Chicago Public Schools serves 400,000 students in 658 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.