A Safe Winter Break 

CEO Brizard suggests safe alternate options for winter activities

December 23, 2011

As students and families prepare for the holidays, Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard and Chicago Park District CEO Michael Kelly are asking for students to be safe during the winter break.


“I want all of our students to have a happy and safe winter break,” Brizard said. “I encourage parents with children on a holiday break to get them involved with safe, indoor activities that will keep them busy and actively engaged.”


A safe and free alternative for students on winter break is the Safe Haven Safe Holiday program, an extension of the CPS Safe Haven initiative. Safe Haven Safe Holiday is designed to provide CPS students with structured and productive activities while out of school.  This year, Safe Haven Safe Holiday will operate in 40 churches across Chicago and will begin on Monday, December 26th, 2011 and will end with a culminating event at DuSable high school on January 6th, 2012. The program will run Monday through Friday from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm.  CPS has also partnered with Catholic Charities to provide breakfast and lunch daily for each child.


This season’s Safe Haven Safe Holiday curriculum and theme will focus on anti-bullying. Programming will include anger management workshops, conflict resolution exercises, group discussions as well as arts and crafts. For more information, parents can call 773.553.2500. A list of participating churches is below.


The Chicago Park District also offers many low or no-cost drop-in or holiday camp programs, December 27th – 29th, and January 3rd – 6th, at parks throughout the city. Program hours and locations vary. Check with your local park for details, or visit www.chicagoparkdistrict.com.  


“When children are out of school, we invite them to remain active at their neighborhood park,” said Supt. Kelly.


In addition to finding safe winter activities, Brizard also encourages parents to review these safety tips with their children during the winter months:


  • The holidays are a great time for the family to enjoy festive decorations, but make sure you remember to be careful when using candles.  Make sure all candles and lit fires are fully extinguished before turning in for bed. Children should ask an adult to light any candle for them.
  • It's winter, which means that it's cold outside.  If they do have to go outside, make sure your kids are dressed appropriately for the weather and encourage them to wear layers to help keep them warm. 
  • As the evenings get dark earlier, have your kids stay inside the house after dark. 
  • If they have to be outside, remind your kids that they need to be extra careful walking around, especially after the sun goes down. 
  • Make sure your kids know that drivers may have a difficult time seeing them particularly in snowy weather.   Remind them to only cross the streets using crosswalks.  Have them wear bright color or reflective clothing when outdoors after dark.


Winter break for most Chicago Public Schools students begin this Friday, December 23rd. Students who attend Track E schools began their break last Friday, December 16th.  Classes for all CPS students resume on Monday, January 9th, 2011.


Participating churches and organizations for Safe Haven Safe Holiday include:


Brickyard Bible
6334 W. Diversey
Chicago, Illinois 60639

New Life Covenant
2401 W. North
Chicago, Illinois 60647

1st Paradise M.B. Church
6736 S. Cottage Grove
Chicago, Illinois 60637

3542 W. 59th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60629

New Life Midway
4101 W. 51st
Chicago, Illinois 60632

Come Alive Ministry
2206 E. 73rd Street
Chicago, Illinois 60649

Mision Cristiana Familiar
1905 W. Schiller
Chicago, Illinois 

New Life Oakwood
710 E. 47th St.
Chicago, Illinois 60653

Faith Temple M.B. Church
6201 S. Wolcott
Chicago, Illinois 60636

New Dimension
6115 W. Fullerton
Chicago, Illinois 60639

New Life Pilsen
2512 S. Oakley
Chicago, Illinois 60608

Greater Harvest M.B. Church
5141 S. State
Chicago, Illinois 60609

Urban Vinyard
2145 N. Maplewood
Chicago, Illinois 60647

2500 N. Talman
Chicago, Illinois 60647

Holy Trinity Church
5416 S. Calumet
Chicago, Illinois 60615

King of Glory
2314 E. 83rd Street
Chicago, Illinois 60617

Pleasant Green, M.B.C.
7545 S. Vincennes
Chicago, Illinois 60620

St. James A.M.E. Church
9256 S. Lafayette
Chicago, Illinois 60621

St. James Industrial
8539 S. Racine
Chicago, Illinois 60621

St. Titus One M.B.  Church
12257 S. Emerald
Chicago, Illinois 60628

Tried Stone M. B. Church
1415 W. 104th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60643 

True Light M. B. Church
7302 S. Maryland
Chicago Illinois 60619

True Vine M.B. Church
6720 S. Stewart
Chicago, Illinois 60621

Original Mt. Pleasant
6614 S. Blackstone
Chicago Illinois 60637

WestPoint M.B. Church
3566 S. Cottage Grove Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60652

Brotherly Love M.B. Church
3801 West Cermak Rd
Chicago, Illinois 60623

Christian Love M. B. Church
535 S Spaulding
Chicago, Illinois 60624

Greater St. John M.B. Church
1256 N. Waller Street
Chicago Illinois, 60651

Launch Out Into the Deep
2223 S. Millard
Chicago, Illinois 60623

Mt. Ebenezer M.B. Church
3555 W. Huron
Chicago, Illinois 60624

Mt. Vernon M.B. Church
2622 W. Jackson Blvd
Chicago, Illinois 60624

New Home M.B. Church
4804 W. Polk Street
Chicago, Illinois 60644

New Landmark M.B. Church
2700 W. Wilcox
Chicago, Illinois 60612

New Mt. Pilgrim
4301 W. Washington
Chicago, Illinois 60624

Peoples Church of the Harvest
3570 W. 5th Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60624

Truth and Deliverance
5151 w. Madison Street
Chicago, Illinois 60644

Truth & Life
4146 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60651

Bethlehem Star M.B. Church
9231 S. Cottage Grove
Chicago, Illinois 60619

Rising Sun Baptist Church
820 N. Central Ave. 
Chicago, Illinois 60651

Greater Whitestone M. B. Church
3819 W. Ogden
Chicago, Illinois 60623