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Today, Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel and Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle announced One Summer Chicago, a new partnership between the City, Cook County and the civic community to increase access to summer programs for young people across Chicago.
"Summer programs provide an incredible service to our children. They open their eyes to new worlds and they are safe havens from violence on the street," said Emanuel. "Working with the community and reducing crime are not conflicting goals. We need to build innovative solutions for our neighborhoods and our kids. And we need to start now."
To keep our kids safe, off the street and in engaging activities during this summer, the County has created thousands of additional summer program spots dedicated for Chicago's youth through the Sheriff's Office, Cook County Works and the Forest Preserve District.
"Public safety is one of the core functions of the County and is a critical area of collaboration with the City and communities throughout the region," said President Preckwinkle. "Increased coordination between the City, the County, foundations and community based organizations like this one will mean that we engage youth early to reduce violence and begin to rebuild communities."
The Chicago Community Trust and the MacArthur, McCormick, Field and Joyce Foundations aim to raise a total of $1 million to achieve the program's goals. Their investment will enable the City and County to scale up promising summer programs in four neighborhoods where kids need them the most: Garfield Park, Englewood, Woodlawn and Little Village. The University of Chicago Crime Lab will evaluate these programs, providing valuable lessons to guide summer programming in future years.
To sign up for summer programs across the Chicago region and learn more, visit http://www.onesummerchicago.org/.