Parents, Students Look Forward To End Of Strike

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Empty Classroom

(Credit: Adam Jan/AFP/Getty Images)

Mai Martinez Mai Martinez
Mai Martinez co-anchors CBS 2 Chicago’s weekend evening newscasts and...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – It’s been a week of teacher-less school, and an end to the strike can’t come soon enough for parents and some students.

Instead of books, it was bingo cards at Crown Community Academy on Friday.

With teachers on the picket lines, classrooms sat empty and students were left with only games and activities instead of lessons, CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports.

It’s tough.  We’d rather have them in the classroom working with their teachers, teaching and learning,” principal Lee Jackson says.

After five days, parents are also ready for classes to resume.

“It hard not having this, knowing my kids just having fun all day in school. They’re not learning anything,” parent Dominique Brown says.

The strike is also taking a financial toll on families.

Enix Daniels just started a new job and took two weeks off anticipating a long strike.

“I’m very worried,” he says.

As parents picked up their kids today, rumblings of a possible deal calmed some nerves, but not all.

“I have to see it to believe it first, because one minute they say it’s alright, next minute it’s not alright,” grandparent Jacqueline Collins says.

Students also are looking forward to the possibility of returning to class.

Eleven-year-old Ausar Alexander spent time Friday —  as he has every day since the strike began — studying with his father.

Ausar hopes he’ll be back in real school Monday.

“I like learning, it’s fun,” he told CBS 2’s Mike Parker.

During the past week, all the Alexanders, including Ausar and his two younger sisters, were out in front of Coles Elementary, picketing against the teacher walkout.  Dad Leon is a retired Chicago firefighter.

“As a fireman,” he said, “I did not strike because  the lives of the city of Chicago meant more to me than a contract.”

According to Chicago Public Schools, 18,000 students were signed up to use the 147 “Children First” locations as of Thursday. CPS opened the buildings for students to do activities and eat meals during the strike.

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