Fair Features Free Summer Learning Programs

Fair Features Free Summer Learning Programs

Sybil Madison_BoydSybil Madison-Boyd, director of the Chicago City of Learning high-fives a participant.

Hundreds of youth and families from across the city recently attended Chicago City of Learning’s (CCOL) Spring Into Summer Fair at Jones College Prep, where they had the chance to explore, try out, and sign up for a diverse set of summer programs offered citywide.

Launched in the summer of 2013 by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, CCOL is a free, year-round initiative that helps youngsters discover and pursue out-of-school learning opportunities beyond school walls.

“Chicago has so much to offer young people,” said Northwestern University’s Sybil Madison-Boyd, a research associate in the School of Education and Social Policy and director of the Chicago City of Learning. “We want to make it easier for youth to explore their interests and ultimately pursue their passions by taking up these great programs all over the city. It’s especially important over the summer.”

CCOL is run by the Digital Youth Network at the Office for Community and Education Partnerships in the School of Education and Social Policy. The online platform currently hosts more than 100,000 youth’s digital portfolios. Through partnerships with over 100 community-based organizations and collaboration with the city’s parks and libraries, CCOL helps youth and families discover new options that align with their passions and that are close and free or low-cost.

The Spring into Summer Fair featured offerings from twenty-four of Chicago’s leading cultural organizations, ranging from juggling with CircEsteem and improvisation with The Second City to robotics with the Adler Planetarium and arts and crafts with the Art Institute of Chicago. By engaging in hands-on activities with the participating organizations, children discovered new interests and deepened existing passions, while adults learned how to access programs – both online and on-site – to meet those interests.

In addition to hosting the fair, the City of Chicago, CPS and CCOL are encouraging all youth and families to visit Chicagocityoflearning.org to explore the hundreds of summer programs and ultimately sign up for the ones that interest them most.  The CCOL platform makes individualized recommendations to youth, based on their interests, and allows them to text parents or guardians with their choices.

The following organizations participated in the Spring Into Summer Fair:

The Adler Planetarium | After School Matters | The Anti-Cruelty Society | The Art Institute of Chicago | Chicago Botanic Garden | Chicago Center for Arts & Technology | Chicago City Soccer Club | Chicago Jazz Philharmonic | Chicago Zoological Society - Brookfield Zoo | CircEsteem | Classroom Inc. | Important Little Games | INTUIT: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art | Mad Science of Chicago | NIU STEM Outreach | Project Exploration | Project SYNCERE | The Second City | SkyART | Smart Museum of Art | STEM Scouts and Boy Scouts of America | TechGirlz | Urban Gateways: Teen Arts Pass & Street Level | The Viola Project

For more information, visit www.ChicagoCityofLearning.org, email ccol@mkcpr.com or call 312.822.0505.

Photo courtesy of Katharine Hannah Photography


By Nora Mabie
Last Modified: 4/30/18