FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, August 23, 2019
CPS Office of Communications
CHICAGO – The Mayor’s Office and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) celebrated today the culmination of the inaugural year of the Summer for Change program at Chicago State University. At today’s event, youth were recognized with certificates of completion and other awards for their hard work and dedication to the program throughout the summer.
“Empowering our young people means ensuring they have the resources and support needed to thrive,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “Summer for Change, in addition to all the summer programming provided by the City of Chicago, demonstrates an ‘all hands-on deck’ effort to keep our children safe and engaged during a time when violence can be most prevalent.”
Over six weeks this summer, at ten sites throughout Chicago, more than 400 youth from vulnerable situations participated in the Summer for Change program, which included individualized mentoring for four hours per day, group-based trauma-informed therapy multiple times a week, and enrichment activities such as field trips, community service projects and a variety of recreational activities. The program put a focus on recruiting youth who attend CPS Options Schools.
According to data collected by the Chicago Police Department, between July 15 and August 12, 2019, none of the students attending the Summer for Change program were identified as victims of gun violence.
“Summer for Change was an incredible success; it provided our highest-needs students with safe and supportive programming throughout the summer and opened up engaging opportunities that our students need and deserve,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “As a school district and a city, we are prioritizing the needs of our most at-risk students, and the success of our inaugural summer safety program for students in Options Schools shows the value and necessity of these efforts.”
Summer for Change was managed in tandem by Youth Advocate Programs and Children’s Home and Aid, with support from the City of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools and private donors. Each participant also received a stipend of up to $200 per week and a free lunch every day. Summer for Change programming and activities incurred no cost to participants or their families.
Throughout the summer, Mayor Lightfoot directed the city’s departments and agencies to collaborate on programming that would ensure a safe and engaging alternative for youth and families in every community. Summer for Change is just one of the many programs that took place this summer in parks, schools and community-based organizations throughout Chicago.
Chicago Public Schools serves 361,000 students in 644 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.