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Local establishments assist striking teachers in different ways

(Courtesy Photo )
September 12, 2012|Adam Lukach, @lucheezy | RedEye

The Chicago Public Schools teachers' strike might be keeping students out of school, but some of the striking educators are boarding school buses every day anyway.

While teachers have been picketing and marching since Monday, Reggies Chicago has been providing one group of them rides in the club's bus, which is--ironically--a vintage school bus painted black.

The NTA teachers are grateful for the rides to Chicago Teachers Union rallies in different parts of the city.

"Parking is really difficult. It's expensive, especially being on strike," said teacher Jenny Lynch, 30. "So a teacher went over to Reggies and asked if they could help. They've offered a lot of support."

Reggies owner Robert Glick, 49, said since the school is nearby, he wanted to help. He offered one of the club's two buses. Whatever Reggies bus driver is working that day simply adds the teachers' requests to his routes.

"If both of [the buses] were busy, they'd be out of luck, but if it's open, it's at their disposal," Glick said.

Glick flatly said "no" when asked if he had any concerns about perceptions Reggies is taking a side during the strike.

Lynch said the area's fire department has been helpful as well, offering teachers facilities to use since they are not allowed on school grounds during the strike.

"We're thankful that the community has sort of rallied around us, that they're willing to say 'thanks for serving the community, it's important, and you're an important part of it,' " Lynch said.

Other Chicago businesses and organizations have offered different kinds of support for teachers and kids. Bake and Destroy has compiled a list that includes discounts from restaurants and stores and a free day camp from Second City, for example.

Lynch said citizens have given them support of a different kind.

"We get people screaming out 'We're here for you.' We've had people run to the convenience store and get us pop or water," she said. "We've gotten a lot of support from passersby, which is great moral encouragement."

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