District will keep six schools open from 2-8 pm during April break

The effort to open schools during break is part of a broader plan to keep youth positively engaged and safe in the wake of recent gun violence
Mayor Toni N. Harp, Superintendent Garth Harries, Police Chief Dean Esserman and Fire Chief Allyn Wright gathered with community, school and city partners to announce a plan to keep six schools open during April break next week so that young people have somewhere to go to be safe, eat a hot meal and engage in positive activities. The effort is a major component of the latest outreach plan to positively engage youth in the wake of recent gun violence that took the lives to two local teens.
The following schools will be open from 2 to 8 p.m. Monday, April 14, through Thursday, April 17, (Friday is a city holiday):
·         Clemente Leadership Academy, 360 Columbus Avenue
·         Martinez School, 100 James Street
·         Troup School, 259 Edgewood Avenue
·         Ross-Woodward School, 185 Barnes Avenue
·         Wexler-Grant School, 55 Foote Street
·         Hillhouse High School, 480 Sherman Parkway
Each school will have youth programming ranging from Parks and Recreation Department-sponsored sports and activities to workshops facilitated by local community organizations committed to youth empowerment, youth voice, and nonviolence. New Haven Public Schools Food Service Department is arranging to provide hot dinners for young people at all six locations from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
“The connection to be made between idle time and troublemaking is not automatic: many, many people convert idle time into amazingly productive time," Mayor Harp said. "We think by keeping these schools open next week and providing some structure and some programming we can help more young people in New Haven learn that idle time is an opportunity for growth and development and productivity, and we’re looking forward to that.”
“By keeping schools open next week, we are giving our young people a safe place to gather with friends, a hot meal and a chance to interact with each other through workshops exploring non-violence, youth empowerment and the arts. These are the kinds of positive experiences that will help our kids grow and rise to success in everything that they do. I encourage as many of our students as possible to take advantage of these opportunities next week,” said Superintendent Harries.
Workshops will take place each day from 2:15 to 4:15 p.m. facilitated by New Haven youth and community organizations, including: Community Action Agency, CT Center for Nonviolence, the Teaching Peace Initiative, FAME, Driven2Inspire, The Future Project, SpeakLife, Ice the Beef, and Walk in My Shoes. Parks and Recreation will be doing board games, kick ball, dodge ball, speed ball, wiffle ball, touch football and baseketball.
To get the word out to parents and students about the Open Schools plan for next week, the school district will send an automated phone message home to all families this evening. A letter will be sent home on Friday with a full schedule of events and we will post all information on the district website and Facebook. Internally, the district will reach out to students through teachers, guidance counselors and student leaders.
The following is a description of some of the organizations that will be presenting workshops in schools next week:
Community Action Agency of New Haven offers a variety of programs designed to educate, motivate, and support our clients on their pathway to prosperity. CAANH is committed to delivering excellence by helping those in poverty change their lives. This change is achieved through attaining the skills and knowledge necessary to overcome the challenges that stand in their road to success. Our hope is that the passion and vibrancy in which we offer these services is reflective of our commitment to the community.
The Connecticut Center for Nonviolence (CTCN) is a leader in Nonviolence education. We are dedicated to bringing people from diverse communities together in dialogue and creative expression to explore the root causes of violence and to learn constructive methods of developing and applying alternative solutions. 
Driven2Inspire strives to uplift and empower individuals so that they will be equipped with the essential tools necessary to conquer the obstacles of life mentally, physically and emotionally. 
FAME – Youth empowerment group that stands for Fortitude, Aspiration, Multiculturalism and Empowerment. We do workshops and programs on cultural diversity through performing arts and dance.
The Future Project - At The Future Project, we're fighting to revolutionize the education system, transforming schools into places of inspiration, passion, and action. We do this by bringing Dream Directors into High Schools. Our Dream Directors work hand-in-hand with principals, teachers, and communities to help inspire students to believe in themselves and to start taking action towards their dreams.
Ice the Beef - We are a Team of brothers and sisters coming together to ICE THE BEEF! Our mission is to aim to break the cycle of anger in our community by bringing friends, families, enemies, and the community together to sort out their differences. We focus on youth empowerment by providing mentoring programs, motivational speaking, mediation and much more!
The Teaching Peace Initiative will be leading a workshop for high school students centered around teaching nonviolence, conflict resolution, and tolerance in communities. TPI will lead the high school students through empowerment and visioning activities, teach them to engage peers and younger students in conversations about nonviolence and safe communities, and train them to teach TPI's award-winning peace curriculum. The workshop will culminate with the high school students teaching a lesson about nonviolence and conflict resolution to a class of middle and elementary school students.
Walk in My Shoes Program is dedicated to teaching young urban females the importance of positive self image, and complete wellness. This is done by educating them about the history of fashion and fashion icons, introducing them to successful women in their community, and discovering what makes/made them successful as well as making sure the participants begin thinking about how they will leave their mark on the world.