DOWNTOWN — Hundreds of thousands of kids won’t be in class Thursday as a Chicago Teachers Union strike looms — but local groups are planning to help parents.
Chicago school buildings will remain open to children during their regular hours and kids will be able to get breakfast and lunch there, but after-school activities are canceled.
Chicago Public Libraries will be open, as will several Safe Haven sites.
Chicago Public Schools created a guide and map where people can look up places their kids can go during the strike:
The Park District, which narrowly avoided a strike of its own Wednesday, will have 18 fieldhouses open 2-6 p.m. weekdays for low-organized activities, according to a news release.
Parks with open field houses:
- Rosedale Park: 6312 W. Rosedale Ave.
- Margate Park: 4321 N. Marine Drive
- Riis Park: 6100 W. Fullerton Ave.
- Gompers Park: 4222 W. Foster Ave.
- Hamlin Park: 3035 N. Hoyne Ave.
- Warren Park: 6601 N. Western Ave.
- Taylor Park: 39 W. 47th St.
- Dvorak Park: 1119 W. Cullerton St.
- Columbus Park: 500 S. Central Ave.
- McKinley Park: 2210 W. Pershing Road
- Archer Park: 4901 S. Kilbourn Ave.
- Humboldt Park: 1400 N. Humboldt Drive
- Washington Park: 5531 S. King Drive
- Hamilton Park: 513 W. 72nd St.
- Ridge Park: 9625 S. Longwood Drive
- West Lawn Park: 4233 W. 65th St.
- Trumbull Park: 2400 E. 105th St.
- South Shore Cultural Center: 7059 S. South Shore Drive
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago will offer extended hours for members on Thursday and during the strike if it continues. The group hopes the effort will “ensure our young people have a safe place to go while school is not in session,” according to its website.
The group’s locations with extended hours during the strike:
- Carter Club: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at 5627 S. Michigan Ave.
- CC’s Little Village Club: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at 2801 S. Ridgeway Ave.
- Dr. Martin L. King Jr. Club: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at 2950 W. Washington Blvd.
- Linda and Bill Gantz Club: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. at 2915 N. Leavitt St.
- James R. Jordan Club: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at 2102 W. Monroe St.
- Kidz Express Club: noon-5 p.m. at 5221 S. Congress Parkway
- Pedersen-McCormick Club: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at 4835 N. Sheridan Road
- True Value Club: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. at 2950 W. 25th St.
- Valentine Club: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at 3400 S. Emerald Ave.
The YMCA of Metro Chicago will also offer its Schools Day Out program on Thursday and throughout the strike. The program runs 7 a.m.-6 p.m.
Kids aged 5-12 can participate in the program and will be taught things like math, science, arts and crafts and sports during the day, a YMCA spokeswoman said. They’ll also be provided with a lunch of healthy snack depending on the location of the Y.
The cost of the program varies, but parents or guardians can call to get a rate. It typically costs $35-60 and parents can sign up their kids for the program online.
YMCA locations with the program:
- High Ridge YMCA: 2424 W. Touhy Ave., 773-262-8300
- Irving Park YMCA: 4251 W. Irving Park Road, 773-777-7500
- Kelly Hall YMCA: 824 N. Hamlin Ave., 773-886-1220
- Lake View YMCA: 3333 N. Marshfield Ave., 773-248-3333
- McCormick YMCA: 1834 N. Lawndale Ave., 773-235-2525
- Rauner Family YMCA: 2700 S. Western Ave., 773-847-3115
- South Side YMCA: 6330 S. Stony Island Ave., 773-947-0700
- West Communities YMCA: 6235 S. Homan Ave., 773-434-0300
- North Lawndale YMCA: 3449 W. Arthington Ave., 773-638-0773
The Old Town School of Folk Music is also offering a “Day Off Camp” Thursday and afterward if the strike continues. The camp will run 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at 4544 N. Lincoln Ave., and students will rotate through classrooms during the day and have a chance to get outside, according to a news release.
Those interested have to sign up online. The camp is $90 for non-members and $80 for members and children must bring their own food.