CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Public Schools students on Thursday were celebrating a successful end to the Safe Haven program, in which churches across the city provide kids with summer activities to keep them off the streets.
WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports Rev. Renaldo Kyles, director of faith-based initiatives for CPS, led the effort to provide safe summer programming for public school kids.
Approximately 5,000 students took part this summer, and many of them attended a party at Marquette Park on Thursday to commemorate the end of this year’s program, which was scheduled to wrap up Friday.
Kyles said the kids were doing more than engaging in fun activities, they were learning about conflict resolution and other practices to combat youth violence.
“They were doing conflict resolution, anger management, anti-bullying,” he said.
Pastor Leonardo D. Gilbert, of Sheldon Heights Church of Christ in Roseland, said it was study first and fun second.
“The skills we give them today will help them solve the problems they will have tomorrow,” he said.
One girl who attended the Safe Haven program said kids still had fun, while learning on summer break.
CPS officials said 110 churches took part in the free program. More than 300 churches are on the waiting list for Safe Haven.