CHICAGO -- Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Public Schools launched a program aimed at helping students over summer break.
The mayor and CPS CEO Janice Jackson announced the new program called "Summer For Change" at Percy L. Julian High School Wednesday morning, to help those who are most vulnerable to neighborhood gun violence.
They are mustering up $1.4 million of public and private money to fund the six-week program, which will offer mentoring, mental health resources and a $200-per-week stipend to steer teens away from deadly violence. City officials say there are only 400 slots, but no at-risk teens will be turned away.
Lightfoot says the "Summer For Change" program will be monitored to ensure it does bring change.
Meantime, all Chicago high schoolers are getting summer safety guides. The mayor ordered city departments to collaborate in putting it together so kids can readily find summer activities, and even where free meals are being offered at more than 200 public schools.
Thursday is the last day of the school year for CPS kids.
Despite drops in enrollment, Chicago remains the nation’s third largest district with nearly 400,000 kids.
For many, violence is a year-round problem with heightened concerns over the summer months.
Ahead of her first summer as mayor, Lightfoot joined in the St. Sabina peace march and rally last Friday and she called on communities to make a commitment to work together in holding people accountable.