CHICAGO (CBS) — The first Chicago teachers’ strike in 25 years has left parents and students scrambling to find alternatives for their children.
The Chicago Public Schools is opening 147 schools that will provide children with various activities–including reading, art and computers–from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The children can eat lunch and breakfast because most of the 402,000 students qualify for free meals, because they are from low-income families.
In addition, 59 faith-based organizations will provide safe haven sites. Registration is free and available on a first come first serve basis.
Space is limited. For additional information please call 773.553.2500.
Examples of alternative programming include:
• 59 faith-based organizations will continue programming through the Safe Haven program to provide CPS students in their communities with structured activities and a safe environments while out of school;
• More than 90 community-based organizations will provide engaging activities and a safe environment;
• 78 Chicago Public Libraries locations will maintain their operating hours and offer a safe environment for students where they can access books, magazines and online learning opportunities; 84 Chicago Park District sites will also provide programming.
The 59 churches will continue the “Safe Haven, Safe Summer” program to provide CPS students with structured activities in a safe space while out of school.
• Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
• Staffing: Church pastors and volunteers
• Programming: Assistance with college applications, arts and crafts, and social and emotional learning programs.
• Registration: Parents must register their children on site.
• Food: Breakfast and lunch will be provided by Catholic Charities.
Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said the Police Department has been planning for weeks for a possible strike. He said the department’s plans include three areas: providing security at school sites and other locations open for activities for students during the strike; providing security at any teacher protests; and deploying extra officers in uniform to ensure safety for children who are not in school.
The Chicago Transit Authority announced Monday that it will provide free rides to Chicago Public School students during the strike.
The free rides on CTA buses and trains–which will be offered on weekdays between 5:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.–are intended for students traveling to and from the 147 “Children First” site locations as well as other sites.