Chicago Schools Hope to Curb Youth Violence With Federal Grants

September 14, 2007

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Chicago Public Schools officials are hoping to curb youth-on-youth violence. The federal government has given the district $14 million dollars to expand after-school activities. Chicago Public Radio's Natalie Moore reports.

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The anti-violence grants are supposed to help create a safe environment for students once school lets out.

Mayor Richard Daley says early afternoon school dismissals mean too many kids end up with time on their hands, and that can lead to violence.

DALEY: Now most parent or parents work. They have to work. And so between those hours, those are very challenging hours. If you look at it, it's challenging to the safety of all of our children.

More than 30 CPS students have died from violence this year.

The federal money is earmarked for intramural sports, tutoring and work-force training. Officials announced the grants yesterday at Julian High School, where student Blair Holt attended. Blair died in gun crossfire earlier this year while on his way home from school.

I'm Natalie Moore, Chicago Public Radio.