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Chicago Teachers Strike: Lakeview moms open 'strike school'

Thursday, September 13, 2012

As the Chicago teachers strike enters another day, a group of parents in the Lakeview neighborhood created their own school to keep kids learning.

Class is in session at the so-called "strike school." Parents are doing the instructing after divvying up the courses- which range from math to science and art to history.

"The bar was set very high. We are not just trying to get the kids out of the house. It really has become an educational process," Kelly Ketchum, parent, said.

"We still need our kids to get up in the morning and know they have lessons, and know they have to learn and know they are going to do things fun and interactive," Laurie Anne Plax, parent, said.

The older kids read to the younger kids. There's homework. One day, these kids even learned about the mars rover during a Skype chat with a NASA scientist.

"Every night I tell the kids when they're watching the news, 'Don't worry about the strike because we'll just keep going.' So maybe one thing they've learned is you have to adapt to different situations and make the best of it," Jane Adams, parent, said.

The students have recess- and field trips. But the kids and parents all hope the teachers strike ends soon.

"This week has been fun but it's more fun to see all your friends and teachers at school," Sydney Varga, 11, said.

These Lakeview parents view themselves as the silent majority. They're not picketing or protesting. They love their school and their teachers. However, they feel stuck in the middle- and frustrated- as the days add up.

Only about 5-percent of the 350,000 students displaced by the strike are attending Children First centers that were set up by CPS. A lot of parents are relying on friends, family and neighbors to get by.

(Copyright ©2014 WJRT-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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