To help keep children safe and engaged during spring break, CPS will once again offer all students a Safe Haven during their upcoming hiatus from school.
This week, CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett joined Mayor Emanuel and several of Chicago’s faith leaders in announcing a week of academic and recreational activities designed to keep students safe, happy and productive during spring break.
“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.”
A partnership between CPS and Chicago’s faith communities, Safe Haven is administered by the District’s Office of Faith Based Initiatives, the goal being to provide students and parents with a reliable, no-cost alternative after school and during winter, spring and summer breaks. The program maintains relationships with over 100 partners and serves approximately 10,000 students annually.
Safe Haven provides an opportunity for additional learning time, with students engaging in activities ranging from reading and math to educational games, performing arts programs, and the building of peer and mentor relationships that will help them stay on track once school resumes. Additionally, in keeping with its mission to eradicate bullying and combat youth violence, this program offers workshops in anger management and positive conflict resolution.
The Safe Haven Spring Break Program runs April 14–18 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. There is no cost to families, and all participants will receive free breakfast and lunch through the District’s partnership with New Life Ministries.
For complete details on the program, including site locations and contact information, click here.
Other spring break activities available to CPS families include the following:
- For those looking for a taste of spring, there are three no-cost opportunities for families. The North Park Village Nature Center is free and located on Chicago’s northwest side. The Garfield Park Conservatory includes a children's garden, housing kid-friendly plants and a play area. Not only is the park free, it also features free parking and now has free wireless service as well. Parking is also free at Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Lincoln Park, and Thursday is “suggested donation day” for Illinois residents.
- The Chicago Park District is ready for Chicago spring weather, warm or cold. Their calendar is full of free events and will be updated frequently. In addition, they offer many Spring Break camps and programs for as low as $3/day listed here.
- The Chicago Park District also operates 26 indoor pools and 13 Chicago Public School pools. You can find the list here with an offer for a free “Youth Learn” swim program session.
- Go bananas at the Lincoln Park Zoo this spring break – admission is always free. See how much baby rhino King has grown in the past few months and meet a variety of other animals new to the zoo, including cute baby white-cheeked gibbon Daxin in the Helen Brach Primate House.
- The Art Institute is free on Thursday evenings for Illinois residents, but under the Kids Museum Passport program, students with a Chicago Public Library card are eligible for free general admission anytime. Additionally, the Ryan Education Center is always free and includes free programs.
- The Chicago Public Library has great activities and events across the city every day of spring break.
School resumes for CPS students on Monday, April 21st. Have a safe, fun spring break!