A Safe Spring Break 

Programs like "Safe Haven" are available for CPS students during the break.

April 14, 2011

With spring break beginning for most CPS students on Monday, April 18, Mayor Richard M. Daley outlined a wide variety of programs and activities for young people that are offered by the City of Chicago, its sister agencies and other partners during the CPS spring break.


The Mayor said one of the most important spring break programs is the “Safe Haven” partnership between the City’s Department of Family and Support Services, the Chicago Public Schools and the faith-based community.


“Safe Haven” began during the winter recess in 2009 and provides lunch, security, transportation and a variety of activities centered on the theme “Stop the Violence, Stop the Silence.”


This year’s Spring Break Safe Haven will include 100 churches throughout the city and will serve about approximately 3,500 students from kindergarten through 12th grade ( View the list of participating churches).


“As we move into spring and the weather gets better and children are outside the house for more time each day, we need to give them every chance to be involved in positive activities and away from violence,” Daley said in a news conference held at Navy Pier.


“This is a welcome break for parents, students, teachers and administrators. But as we all know, this extended period out of school gives our young people time on their hands, which can be dangerous,” he said.


“Safe Haven” includes programming for students in the performing arts as well as conflict resolution. High School students in the program can gain service learning hours by helping tutor elementary school students.


The program operates from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day but Thursday next week. On Thursday the 21st at the UIC Forum, “Safe Haven” participants will engage in a culminating event that provides students the opportunity to showcase the skills they have learned throughout the program including dance, group sing and spoken word performances.


Other spring break programs include:

  • The CPS Track Meet and the CPS Windy City Relays will be held April 22nd and 23rd at Hanson Stadium. 
  • The Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) program will also continue to offer a variety of programs during spring break that are designed to provide positive experiences and teach life skills. These include sports and music seminars, movie days and safety workshops.
  • The Chicago Park District Opens in a new window icon offers a variety of programs and events for youth at more than 200 parks throughout the city. This week and next, the Park District will offer its Spring Break Camps for children at more than 40 locations around the City. In addition to Spring Break camp, the Park District will also offer a number of Earth Day and Easter activities during April.
  • The Department of Family and Support Services will offer a range of out-of-school time opportunities in cooperation with more than 150 community-based organizations. These will be offered from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day during the break at many locations around the city.


The program offerings include Arts and Culture, Sports and Fitness and Computer Science and Technology

  • The Chicago Public Library Opens in a new window icon 73 branches are open six days a week and the Harold Washington Library Center, Woodson Regional Library and Sulzer Regional Library are open seven days a week. There is something for all ages during spring break and April, including story times, book clubs and “Poetry Month” events.
  • The Chicago Housing Authority Opens in a new window icon offers activities exclusively for CHA youth. During spring break, the activities will include the College Resource and Scholarship Fair and the Youth Health Awareness Day.


For more information on Spring Break Safe Haven call the CPS Interfaith office at 773-553-1528.  And to read more about programs being offered by the City of Chicago and its sister agencies, please view the Spring Break 2011 Flyer.


Finally, as a reminder, all CPS students return to class on Monday, April 25.


Have a fun, and safe, spring break!