While local school hallways cleared out for Spring Break, the classrooms at several of Outreach’s youth programs filled up! Thanks to Outreach, families we serve have access to child care, fun and educational activities, and caring staff during school breaks—a crucial resource for parents who need to continue working to support their families. This year, Outreach offered events at Outreach Community Center in Carol Stream (OCC), Warrenville Youth & Family Services (WYFS) and Puente del Pueblo .

At OCC, the Superb Student (junior high) program had four days of fun with trips to the movies, the mall, an arcade and a skating rink. In addition, a group of students were invited to be in a special video shoot. The DuPage County Health Department’s Prevention Leadership Team (PLT), a community coalition working to reduce youth substance use and increase mental wellness, filmed a PSA featuring the students sharing a message of drug prevention. In the video, the students performed the step routine they originally performed at the MLK celebration in February. One student said, “It feels good [to perform in the PSA] because stepping is really fun. And to record something like this while doing something that I love—it just makes it even better.”

At WYFS, junior high students kicked off the week with team building games at Grace Church of DuPage, a church partner that hosts the Quest program. Later that week, students were also treated to roller skating and a trip to the movies. In addition, students who achieved a GPA of 3.0 or higher to date received a special outing: they were taken to dinner plus a night of fun at Dave & Buster’s.

At Puente, the Main Park Apartment’s community room was overflowing with elementary students. Teachers and volunteers led students in a variety of crafts, games and reading aloud. Pancakes and hot chocolate were served, then students settled in for a movie. “Spring Break can look a little different for our families, compared to more affluent families in the western suburbs. By creating fun opportunities like this craft day for the students we serve, we are not only building community—we are giving students memories they can share when they’re asked what did they do over the break,” says Matthew McNiel, director of Puente del Pueblo.