More pre-K, 'earn and learn' offerings as CPS opens registration for summer programs, district says

Chicago Public Schools officials are encouraging families to enroll in summer programs which this year include more offerings for pre-kindergarten students and a new "earn and learn" program for incoming high school freshmen, district leaders said Wednesday.

Registration opened this week for hundreds of programs ranging from athletic and technical education summer camps to high school credit recovery and newcomer support.

A total of 253 schools are offering "preview to pre-k" and/or "kickoff to kindergarten" programs, an increase of 47 schools compared to last summer, according to Ali Muhammad, deputy chief of CPS’ Office of College and Career Success.

Another 81 high schools will hold Freshmen Connection orientation programs for kids entering high school, Muhammad said during a Board of Education meeting.


Thirty-three of those schools, in partnership with the nonprofit After School Matters, are offering "earn and learn" programs to provide stipends to students who complete the Freshmen Connection course. Those schools were picked based on "priority need," said Eugene Robinson, the district’s senior program manager for mentoring and out-of-school time.

CPS leaders said they’re also trying to connect more upperclassmen with jobs in the Chicago Public Library system and the Chicago Park District, especially for lifeguard positions that have been understaffed in recent seasons.

"From recreation to enrichment to summer jobs, there’s a summer program for everyone, every student in CPS," Muhammad said.

Programs run from June 26 through Aug. 4. Families enroll directly through their schools.

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