Service Learning Community Partners
CPS Service Learning Community Partners
Service Learning Community Partners are community organizations that provide participatory research, civic action, and leadership opportunities for classroom-integrated service learning projects for Chicago Public Schools. Service Learning Community Partners provide project opportunities that meet the preparation, action and reflection criteria for service learning. Partners should complete the partner process and obtain certified approval status with the Department of Social Science & Civic Engagement.
Click here for Student Independent Project Community Partners.
The following organizations have completed the partner process and have been distinguished as certified Classroom-Based Service Learning Community Partners with the Department of Social Science & Civic Engagement. The Community Partner Application can be found at this link.
To conserve and restore the world's largest freshwater resource using policy, education and local efforts, ensuring a healthy Great Lakes and clean water for generations of people and wildlife.Allow Good: Patty Barbato, [email protected]
Allow Good connects collegiate chapters and local high schools to educate youth about the social challenges facing their communities, equip them with the tools to effect change, and engage them in taking action for social good. Our chapters at Loyola University Chicago, Northwestern University, and the University of Chicago train interdisciplinary student teams to facilitate lessons in philanthropy, civic engagement, and global citizenship in high school classrooms on a weekly basis under the supervision of high school teachers.
Our curriculum aligns with three sets of standards: C3 Framework (College, Career, and Civics), 21st Century Skills, and the National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC) service-learning practice standards. The program has been implemented in many high school classrooms including Advanced Placement courses and as part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program.
Classes begin with the high school students exploring their local community and its social challenges, philanthropic theory, organizational evaluation, and grantmaking. High school students then start the process, as a group, of narrowing to a single social challenge of importance to them. They research and vet organizations in their community addressing this challenge, issue an RFP, and review grant applications from local organizations. The class culminates with the high school students becoming grantors and making a donor-funded $1,000 grant to one organization. More info
Mission: To promote fellowship among Indian people of all Tribes living in metropolitan Chicago and to create bonds of understanding and communication between Indians and non-Indians in this city. To advance the general welfare of American Indians into the metropolitan community life; to foster the economic advancement of Indian people, to sustain cultural, artistic, and avocational pursuits; and to perpetuate Indian cultural values.
Our education coordinator has consulted with schools and teachers in the past. She may be available to come in and help a classroom develop a service project. A class might also be able to participate in a neighborhood walk led by AIC staff and volunteers. This walk would educate participants on Chicago history from a first voice Indigenous perspective.
Amnesty International is a global movement of millions of people demanding human rights for all people – no matter who they are or where they are. We are the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization. In Chicago, our refugee campaign introduces students to global refugee crisis and offers specific ways they can take action to help, such as:* Introduce welcoming resolution in your school or with city council* Sponsor a resource drive for a refugee organizations (e.g. backpacks & school supplies, coats, etc.)* Write welcome letters or postcards to refugees* Start an Amnesty International group at your school Sample lesson
The Borderbend Arts Collective presents boundary-pushing arts programming by connecting artists with communities to create year-round musical, literary and multi-arts programs involving new and unique arts practices. Our programs include site-specific events; arts education programs; collaborations among local, regional, and international artists and organizations; and work presented on web-based platforms -- all with the goal of building community.
Bridge the Divide is a political initiative that seeks to improve political and cultural polarization in America, exposing teens and young adults to new ways of thinking from people in the US and around the world. The organization will connect students with local policy think tanks and representatives informed on these issues to provide students with methods and channels to carry out their policy plans. Classroom projects include:
- Students will build and carry out a cross-partisan policy plan to address a community issue.2. Students will engage in conversations with students from different geographical backgrounds or settings on policy issues. Link to Youthquake Curriculum
Our mission is to empower residents to share in the responsibility of building community through resource development and collaborative partnerships. We will accomplish our mission by developing innovative performance-based practices and programs to address the need for Violence Prevention, Community Engagement, Economic Development, Education, Healthy Children/Youth and Families.
We envision today’s underserved communities becoming self-sufficient livable communities for individuals, families and organizations. Communities strong and nurturing in positive thought and behavior in the home, community and marketplace. Thus, our goal in partnering with Chicago Public Schools, is to build the capacity for our youth to have a strong infrastructure of person, fit, environment. And with this, our youth will be able to explore a realm of opportunities in their own cultural, historical, and environmental contextual framework. Link to curriculum
Mission: To promote and preserve the culture and history within the Black Metropolis National Heritage Area, through educational tours and outdoor recreational activities. We also focus on helping lower and moderate income residents with the skills and support to create entrepreneurial wealth and economic growth. Sample lessonBuildon: Francisco Ramirez, [email protected]buildOn helps students identify and address the needs of their communities and take control of their own lives. Students at one of our partner schools learned about issues of homelessness and root causes of people experiencing homelessness. They then went to Breakthrough Ministries, prepared a meal, and served it to the clients. Prior to going to Breakthrough, they helped in creating the menu. After serving the meal, students ate alongside the clients and interacted with them. Once clean up was completed, students reflected on their experience. Finally, on social media, they posted a "Did you know..." fact about homelessness to educate others. Sample lesson
Mission: To ensure that each American Indian and Alaska Native child within CPS has equal access to educational opportunities.
The community project component of our leadership program is designed for students to take action on an issue they care about. Students can use their background, experiences and knowledge to develop a community project that is meaningful to them and relevant to what they learn at school. Students will be the ones to design the project, but some possibilities are: hosting for a fundraiser for a specific cause or charity, a construction project for a community building/organization, creating public art or holding a teach-in to raise awareness on a topic.Center for College Access and Success of Northeastern Illinois University: Aaron Cortes, [email protected]
Northeastern Illinois University's Center for College Access and Success [email protected] is the largest school improvement organization in Chicago. Founded in 1978, we develop collaborative partnerships that engage the entire community to help students succeed academically and socially. Through these partnerships we seek to address real needs and improve educational equity and excellence.
Changing Worlds fosters inclusive communities through oral history, personal writing and artmaking that improve student learning, affirm identity and enhance cross-cultural understanding. Possible projects include:
- Peacemakers Program engages students in community research, interviewing local activists and determining creative project that could impact student body, and the community at large to become more aware of techniques to de-escalate violent situations in the area-Action planning circles engage students in reaching for possible solutions to social issues and creating a step by step campaign to meet one or more of those solutions- Oral history project with young people to capture the stories of recent immigrants and/or refugees using interviewing techniques, documentary techniques ( photo/video) and create a celebration of diverse cultures in the school. Sample lesson
Our mission is to build a positive brand and community for Chicago youth. Focusing on young African American and Latino men, Chasing23 offers school-based and community-based programs which focuses mentoring, work readiness, and civics. As an organization we focus our attention on curating thought-provoking content for our participants to engage with. Through this curated content we create lessons and themes that connect to course content and anchor students' learning. Once student have been made aware of a upcoming technology or societal issues, we prioritize facilitating youths’ ability to effectively impact or engage in whatever topic that interests them. Whether it be having a conversation about virtual reality and working with a developer to create new experiences, or learning how to collectively agreed on a agenda to solve an issue that will be the support of stakeholders. Sample Curriculum
Formerly known as the Chicago Architecture Foundation, the Chicago Architecture Center is a nonprofit cultural organization with tours, exhibitions, programs and events for all ages. Our mission is to inspire people to discover why design matters.
Our new graphic novel, No Small Plans, follows the neighborhood adventures of teens in Chicago's past, present and future as they wrestle with designing the city they want, need and deserve. This three-hour workshop will familiarize educators with the essential themes at the heart of No Small Plans, and provide a classroom-ready set of activities good for use across subjects and grades 4-12. Activities use our curriculum materials and are also customized by the teacher to specifically activate narratives happening in their communities/neighborhoods. Participants will be given a classroom set of 30 copies of the graphic novel.
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We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. Students that participate in Science First and College First will learn about projects they can do in the in their neighborhood or school. They will be exposed to the background content, lab and library resources, as well as experts.Sample lessonChicago Coalition for the Homeless: Veronica Cullinan, [email protected]
We organize and advocate to prevent and end homelessness, because we believe housing is a human right in a just society. We bring in the Speakers Bureau/listening session program to classes and from that take students to Springfield to lobby for different bills that help those facing homelessness. Sample lessonChicago Ideas Week: Rachel Graham, [email protected]
Created by Chicago Ideas Week, CIW YOU(th) is a dynamic program that provides approximately 500 Chicago High School Students in grades 9 through 12 with the opportunity to connect with the city's most influential leaders, CIW speakers, their peers and the broader community. Students will be inspired by hands-on experiences across the city through CIW Labs, attendance at CIW Talks and active participation throughout all CIW events. Access to CIW YOU(th) programming will empower students to seek new opportunities, pursue their passions and walk away with a newly inspired outlook on their own potential. Sample LessonChicago Park District Natural Areas: Forrest Cortes, [email protected]
The Community Stewardship Program connects neighboring communities to volunteer opportunities at local Natural Areas in order to inspire investment and care of these shared spaces.Chicago Public Library: Jennifer Steele, [email protected]We welcome and support all people in their enjoyment of reading and pursuit of lifelong learning. Working together, we strive to provide equal access to information, ideas and knowledge through books, programs and other resources. We believe in the freedom to read, to learn, to discover. Teen Advisory Council members along with Teen Branding Team participants will engage in deep research, survey development and distribution, investigation, and strategic planning, to understand the teen audience, literary communities, potential sponsors, and more to gain intuitive and documented insights into what will make a successful city-wide youth-led event.Chicago Votes: Rudy Garret, [email protected]
We believe in the potential of our generation to use organizing and advocacy to change politics as usual. We have a deep sense of community and have a higher rate of volunteerism than any generation before us. The Chicago Votes Action Fund aims to channel these fundamental qualities into the local electoral process. We’re creating young people power that allows us to work for the issues that matter to us.
Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a non-profit, nonpartisan, grassroots advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change. Possible SL Projects include:
- A workshop on citizen participation in government and public policies currently being considered to address climate change. Students may call or write a letter to their congressman. 2. A 3 to 4 week project where students learn about local government and compare and contrast current legislation considered by Chicago's City Council. Students may schedule a meeting with their alderman to brief them on a piece of legislation. 3. A 3+ month project in climate advocacy: students delve into the science and economics of climate change and relevant policy. Students will receive the training necessary to build the political will for climate action via community organizing, media relations, and lobbying. When possible, students will attend a meeting at their congressman's office regarding climate policy.
CodeCreate provides dynamic and creative experiences for young people, educators and families. We guide participants in the creation and appreciation of diverse and intuitively based technology and artistic expressions, especially within media arts, basic circuitry, robotics and computer programming, illustration and 3D design. We engage learners through innovative opportunities for learners to imagine, reflect, play and create, thus developing deeper appreciations for others' expressions and humanity.
Sample Projects:• puppet construction and deconstruction applies mathematical ideas (such as measurement, arithmetic and simple algebra (though use of Ohm's law)) as well as skills in engineering, sociology, psychology and art,• narrative production applies mathematical ideas (such as axis location, arithmetic and use of variables) as well as skills in writing, art, computer science and teamwork and• PSA production applies mathematical ideas (such as axis location, arithmetic and use of variables) as well as skills in writing, simple biology, computer science, sociology and art.Critically, every project presents "real-world" uses of these skills in understanding and engaging others.Common Cause IL: Trevor Gervais, [email protected]
Common Cause Illinois is a nonpartisan, political advocacy group dedicated to promoting open, ethical, and accountable government on the local and state level. Currently CCIL is working on passing Automatic Voter registration on the state level as well as instituting a public campaign financing program in Chicago. Sample lesson
Communities United (CU) focuses on developing people’s leadership. We work in issues of improving public education, violence prevention, promoting immigrant rights, preserving affordable housing, access to healthcare, and improved work conditions and a living wage. CU works with people from different ages, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, abilities and religion. Our goal is to work together with CPS to support students succeed in school and become their own agents of change through a comprehensive trauma-informed leadership development framework balanced with building young people's social consciousness. CU is able to help facilitate the partnership by engaging the teacher or department interested in spearheading the project. During this discussion, CU can help look at the existing curriculum that the teacher/department has and make the connection to the different campaigns happening in CU and craft a work plan with goals along with a timeline that fits all parties. Sample curriculum
We believe that learning should be joyful, social and purposeful and that when youth are engaged in solving real world problems that they care about, they are cultivating participatory agency, metacognition and ownership of learning. We also believe that citizenship in a democracy demands that youth have many opportunities to negotiate across differences and develop tolerance. Therefore we design experiences that help students to develop empathy and compassion, to persevere through obstacles, grow their ability to listen to multiple perspectives and critically analyze data, media and information in a complex world.
Our approach provides opportunities for youth to turn their passions and interests into projects of purpose. Often this involves using art, popular culture, music and digital media to bring awareness, mobilize communities or advocate for change around issues such as LGBTQ rights, anti-racism, community safety, immigration, girls equality, environmental justice and education reform. Sample curriculum frameworkCouncil on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)-Chicago: Gerald Hankerson, [email protected]
Defending civil rights. Fighting bigotry. Promoting tolerance. Our office conducts presentations and interactive workshops that aims to educate and bring awareness to issues affecting the Muslim American community.
Embarc’s goal is to drive student success with long-term social and cultural exposure. Through the transformative power of these journeys, we awaken students to the possibilities of their potential by dissolving the borders of the city and in their minds. We currently offer a wide range of service learning projects including: 1- Envisions: Students visit Envisions, which is an organization that supports adults with disabilities. While there, students learn about inclusion and they participate in and lead a variety of activities with the residents of Envisions. After that, as an extension of their learning, Embarc students are giving the chance to development school-wide training for their peers around inclusion and what it means to care for and appreciate all individuals. They then invite the Envisions community members into their school and have a day of awareness with the whole school community. 2 - Participatory Budgeting in Schools: Certain wards in the city of Chicago practice Participatory Budgeting to allow for a democratic allocation of funds that come out of the alderman offices. One year, Embarc recreated this process in the classroom. Students went through an intense inquiry cycle in which they identified the needs within their school community, practiced different research techniques to garner student voice throughout the building, determined a plan to implement, and used some funds that we were given by the school to implement their plan. This plan not only allowed for student voice to be heard from each individual in some way, but also drastically improved community within the building. 3 - Through the use of Embarc's Change Agency Unit, students at Bogan High School underwent an intensive Design Thinking process that resulted in the creation of two days of awareness focused on domestic violence. The workshops that were entirely student run included advisory PSAs, lunchtime outreach resources from The Domestic Violence Legal Clinic, student created resources, and donation raffles. They raised money to donate to Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, who serve many young people who are victims of domestic violence. Sample curriculumForest Preserves of Cook County Volunteer Resource Center: Kevin Kuhn, [email protected]
The Forest Preserves of Cook County Volunteer Resource Center staff will work with any CPS staff to prepare students for a quality outdoor environmental service-learning project. Field GuideFriends of the Chicago River: Mark Hauser, [email protected]
The mission of Friends of the Chicago River is to improve and protect the Chicago River system for people, plants, and animals. Friends administers the Adopt A River Program for schools wanting to do service learning on a classroom level. Students visit a site along the river, performing surveys of its physical, chemical and biological components. They then discuss the quality of the ecosystem and how it might be improved. Students can then make a return trip to work with stewards (usually FPCC or CPD) to remove invasives, collect seeds, plant, or pick up trash. The culminating event in the service process is a presentation at our annual Chicago River Student Congress, held every February. Sample lesson
Our organization will provide students with the history of Garfield Park and the Park Advisory Council and its mission.Each service day will begin with an "orientation" to prepare students. Orientation will include: identifying native and invasive species, discussing strategies to remove invasive species and/or plant wanted plants, and how to properly/safely use the appropriate gardening tools.Possible projects include:
- Participate in the Garfield Park Stewardship Program2. Park Asset Mapping3. Develop a Strategic Plan for the park and surrounding community. Sample lesson
Global Glimpse is an innovative non-profit that works to inspire America's next generation to become responsible global citizens through after-school programming and immersion in the developing world. We are committed to serving youth from all socioeconomic backgrounds. GG Curriculum
Goodman Theatre is committed to the philosophy that theater is more than the play, place or product, but a creative process that can be used to expand thinking and offer fresh perspectives. Through the work onstage and through programs in the community, the Goodman believes that the arts can serve as a catalyst for positive social change.
Service Learning Project Examples:
- Goodman's Youth Arts Council sponsors an annual event to engage their peers in thoughtful discussion of issues they identify. This event incorporates producing, facilitating discussion, and development of action plan for next steps. 2. Pairing youth and Third Agers (55+) for conversations, storytelling and devised performance around issues of identity and ageism. 3. Researching and writing articles on themes/issues from the productions on stage for the study materials created for students. Topics this season include protest and resistance, forgiveness and redemption, and the history of race in the US.
HEART’s resources and professional development are designed to offer educators the tools needed for fostering empathy, stimulating critical thinking, and promoting empowerment while teaching about human rights, animal protection, and environmental ethics. Our aim is to assist educators in their ability to significantly impact the way young people think about their responsibility to one another, animals, and the natural world, and to learn strategies for making positive change. Sample lessonHostelling International Chicago: Janine Myers, [email protected]
HI’s mission: increasing understanding and tolerance through engaging Chicago youth in experiential cultural education experiences. CPS classes can participate in Cultural Kitchen, Exchange Neighborhoods, or Community Expressions:
Cultural Kitchen engages participants in identity exploration, both of their own culture and that of another country. In partnership with the host organization or school, HI USA staff explores the benefits of travel, the meaning of a hostel, and the mission of HI USA. The curriculum explores cultural norms and stereotypes all while engaging participants in self-reflection and teamwork. This program allows for participants to reflect on how their attitudes and beliefs can be similar and unique to cultures different from their own. As the program culminates, participants prepare a traditional meal authentic to the culture they studied and researched, share the meal with hostel guests, and present their research. Participants then spend the night at the hostel and reflect on their experience in the morning. As a result of this program, participants will: *Be inspired to ask deeper questions about cultures different from their own *Reflect on how their attitudes and beliefs are different from those of other cultures and communities *Exhibit curiosity about what can be learned from diversity of communities and cultures *Identify and explain multiple perspectives when exploring subjects within natural and human systems Community Expressions is a HI USA Cultural Education Program. The program provides youth ages 15 and above with an opportunity to explore aspects of their community and cultural identity. Participants of the program will also have an opportunity to consider how to make a positive impact on their community. The program culminates with group art projects that participants create to showcase important elements of their own communities. They then share their community expressions with an international audience of travelers at the hostel, and spend the night at the hostel to experience some of the benefits of cultural exchange afforded through traveling. It is the goal of the program for participants to leave with a strong sense of community pride and a willingness to work towards making a better world. As a result of this program, participants will: *Identify their own cultural rules and biases *Reflect on how their attitudes and beliefs are different from those of other cultures and communities *Demonstrate a desire to participate in civic contexts and structures to create positive change *Explore the global impact of their own and others' local actions impact on the natural and human world Exchange Neighborhoods brings together two schools from different neighborhoods to form relationships to inspire mutual understanding and respect. A foundational belief of Exchange Neighborhoods is that proximity to difference assists in dismantling misperceptions and ignorance. Norms and cultures from each neighborhood are explored with curiosity and participants are asked to suspend judgement as they listen and learn. To continue conversations that build comfort with complexities as opposed to sameness, the program culminates with a stay in the local HI USA hostel. During the stay, the participants cook and eat together, engage in team-building exercises, and are encouraged to engage with the international hostel guests. This experiential program sets participants on a path of continuously seeking understanding and respect for themselves, the communities around them, and the world. As a result of this program, participants will: *Recognize new perspectives on their own cultural rules and biases and begins to see multiple perspectives informed by experience and culture *Build comfort with complexities and unique features of people and cultures as opposed to seeking sameness *Ask questions and seek answers to deepen understanding of oneself and others *Exhibit curiosity while suspending judgement when engaging with cultures different from own *Demonstrate ability and commitment to engage as an active citizen to achieve a civic aim.
Students In Action helps youth build confidence in their ability to make a difference and the skills to do it well, in the process helping them grow immeasurably as individuals. Through Students In Action youth are given the tools to identify what they are passionate about and take action on those passions through in-depth service-learning projects in their communities. Projects take all forms, some examples of things that kids across the country did last year include creating a food pantry at school, revitalizing a town library, and fundraising for and packing Totes of Hope to provide children transitioning into the foster care system with care and comfort. OverviewKuumba Lynx: Kiela McNair, [email protected]
Kuumba Lynx is committed to the lives of youth using urban art and performance to cultivate strong communities built on a foundation of love.Lead2Feed Student Leadership Program: Debby Dodge, [email protected]Lead2Feed Student Leadership Program is a free leadership/service-learning initiative. We are a year-long Leadership program teaching students leadership skills to find the need in their community and then to act on a team project for creating change. We give students a voice and choice for what they are passionate about through a service project they can submit to win technology products for their school and up to $10,000.00 for their non-profit partner. Project Ideas
Making Democracy Work, through voter education, issue advocacy, and citizen participation. We will help coordinate students doing voter registration and voter information. Sample lesson
Young people should have the tools to transform their communities from the root to the tip! Via nutritional knowledge, farming opportunities, new ways of seeing the world, and opportunities to build with folks in new and exciting ways! Providing education regarding healthy eating as well as access to green goods creates a means to prevent food-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes. We want students' work to address the limited access to quality produce in food deserts and low-income neighborhoods through the creation of urban spaces dedicated to the distribution of produce. Service Learning Project Plan
The core values that center our impact are; self-responsibility, balance in relationships, partnership in diversity, and mission driven attitude. Life Directions promotes the powerful dynamic of “Peers Inspiring Peers” in
our neighborhoods, high schools, and middle schools. We developed an ongoing Monarch Butterfly Waystation Project at Bowen High School. We have worked with Loyola University to develop a five-year plan for the campus. The plan is attached. We will develop multiple service learning projects to connect with classroom curriculums. Sample projectLincoln Park Community Shelter: Jennifer Kouba, [email protected]
The Lincoln Park Community Shelter brings communities together to empower homeless men and women to make and sustain life changes.
The Partners in Fieldwork Program, is a research based program, in which CPS students have the opportunity to conduct authentic research on urban wildlife around their schoolyard. Students are able to study biodiversity via camera trap images, bird surveys and acoustic bat monitoring, and use biodiversity data to create a conservation action project. For example, students can create an insect hotel to attract certain species of insects to their area, in order to improve the overall health of the ecosystem.
Our goal is to connect classrooms to ongoing sites of community struggle for liberation and policy change. Our style is to co-design a framework with our classroom partners (which includes teachers and students); and then come up with clear roles that each of us will take for the direction of the project. Often this has looked like LSNA staff designing a talking circle format where students and teachers and talk about the issues that most impact their lives as part of the exploration phase, then we take what themes came up and we work with the class to get clearer about the direction that is emerging between students' stories/lived experiences and the opportunity to connect the classroom to work on the ground that is meaningful and relevant. Sample curriculumMaker MOB: C. Meghan Hausman, [email protected]
The Maker MOB aims to reach families unfamiliar with the maker movement to create a community of makers in communities underrepresented in the STEM fields using students and Chicago institutions to lead STEM activities at neighborhood events.
Mandala's goal is to introduce and enhance students’ learning of cultural and community identity of the themselves, their community, and of the communities outside of their own. Students will consider the perspectives of communities that have migrated, either forced or at will, and how identity changes through the process. Sample Project
MPC seeks to engage CPS students and faculty in discussions around solutions for our regions challenges across a range of challenges- including housing, transportation, jobs, health, public safety and climate change. They can engage in this context by reflecting on some of the challenges they face in their everyday lives, as it relates to consequences of segregation and racial inequity in this region, and they can offer solutions that they think would be most relevant based on their experience. From there, we can engage in discussions about how these solutions can be translated into problem solving, policy advocacy, and ultimately policy and systems change. Cost of Segregation reportMikva Challenge: Meghan Goldstein, [email protected]
Mikva Challenge develops youth to be informed, empowered, and active citizens and community leaders. We do this by engaging youth in action civics, an authentic and transformative learning process built on youth voice and youth expertise.
The National Youth Art Movement Against Gun Violence: Janice Samuels, [email protected]
NYAM is a Chicago-based organization with a mission to foster artistic talent in youth impacted by gun violence, letting art give voice to their experience. NYAM’s has the twin-focus of raising marginalized youth to the position of thought leaders in gun reform by giving them the opportunity to use their talent to transform commercial spaces into grassroots, counter narratives while simultaneously serving as a vehicle to motivate more residents to take action. Sample Curriculum
The North Park Village Nature Center continuously hosts students to conduct service learning projects through environmental restoration which connect to ecology, climate science, and biology, and many more disciplines in and out of science. For example, students may work on processing seeds and learn about native plants, pollinators, history of the land. Etc. Sample lesson
Based in the North Park, Albany Park, Irving Park neighborhoods, North River Commission aims to further integrate students attending local schools into their surrounding community. To further civically engage students, to amplify their voices, and to motivate them to become involved in local, city and nation wide politics. We hope students will understand how to plan events. We hope students will learn more about the local government offices, and how to appeal to them. We hope students understand the importance of being politically engaged, and voting. We hope students will understand different legal definitions of immigration, ways in which to access resources for these different populations, and assist fellow students, friends, and neighbors in accessing them. We hope students draw on community knowledge in their learning, and connect to local community organizations. We particularly hope they learn about the service providers in the area and mental health resources they can use and recommend to friends and fellow students.
Openlands protects the natural and open spaces of northeastern Illinois and the surrounding region to ensure cleaner air and water, protect natural habitats and wildlife, and help balance and enrich our lives.
Through Building School Gardens, student volunteers will help to provide opportunities for school communities across the city to connect with nature daily. Through Birds in my Neighborhood (a partnership between Openlands and Audubon Great Lakes), student volunteers will develop leadership skills by educating students in grades 2-5 about birds. Birds in my neighborhood journalPark Manor Elementary School Alumni Association: Joycella A. Omerey, [email protected]
The Mission of the PMAA is to promote and foster a spirit of excellence, through our service as ambassadors for the Students, the Principal, the School and the Park Manor Community; providing wisdom, experience, stewardship, mentoring, and networking opportunities. Sample classroom product
Mission: To create a positive relationship between people and nature through collaborations, education, research and collections, exhibitions, and public forums to grow our region’s urban connection to the world of nature and science.
Students will investigate local sustainability issues and community needs with teacher mentors who attend a PD workshop at the Nature Museum. Student teams will then attend a symposium where they will meet with sustainability experts from the US Green Building Council Illinois (USGBC-IL) and other organizations, providing additional background information, expertise and mentorship. Student teams will receive online and in-person mentorship from USGBC-IL mentors as they develop sustainability-focused campaigns that will be posted on the web application, Municipal. Built by Civic ArtWorks, Municipal will serve as a platform for students to post ideas for positive change that can then receive validating support from a community of their peers, teachers, parents, neighbors, elected leaders and best practitioners. Teachers will receive additional support throughout the Challenge through additional PD workshops and online forums.
Learn the basics of financial literacy and community development by interacting with professionals in those areas as well as expose them to their career desires. The Opportunity Market Unit Plan
ReCAST is out of the Chicago Dept. of Public Health under the Office of Violence Prevention and Behavioral Health. The areas of focus specific to ReCAST include policy development, community participatory research, trauma-informed, restorative justice/practice, mental health awareness and community organizing. Other areas within the office include teen dating matters, teen substance use, health equity and police relations.
Student action might include:
*State of Youth Report - Gathering data through conducting interviews, hosting focus groups and research regarding Trauma and Resilience for youth ages 16-24.*Restorative Justice- Students will become circle keepers, host community circles and help evaluate effectiveness. Students will complete a community service outreach projects that focuses on common problems encountered by high school aged youth. *Resilience campaigns- Students help develop campaigns, conduct surveys and interviews, identify how to incorporate resilience messaging within school and curriculum. Students will investigate a social issue, then create a public service announcement addressing the negative effects of the topic and should demonstrate a method for positively resolving the given issue within the resilience and/or trauma-informed framework. ReCAST Overview
Red Clay Dance Company lives to awaken “glocal” change through creating, performing and teaching dances of the African Diaspora–change that transforms cultural, and socio-economic imbalances in our local and global community. Our goal is to provide a Community Building Toolkit to youth of Chicago to help them influence positive change in their communities through Artivism. Making the Artivist
The Teen Learning Lab is a space at Shedd Aquarium designed by teens for teens. Follow your curiosity about science, animals, art and the natural world. You are invited to use this free space to make new friends, work on projects and explore careers in aquatic science. Sample Project
Solidarity Studios is a project to connect and train “artivists” - artists/activists - in Chicago, Palestine, and South Africa who are all working to uplift themselves and their communities. Working with community partners, we train youth in the latest production techniques and organizing strategies so that they trade more than just art, they trade history, culture, and strategies for Justice.
We hope to support CPS teachers who are eager to leverage more cross-curricular, artistic activities in their lessons to create a more holistic, engaging experience for students. One project we have done with our community partners that we hope to carry to CPS includes a study of music's use throughout American and international civil rights movements and the creation of our own to suit local issues. Here we also emphasize to the students that "protest songs" do not need to take a specific, nice format, but that the most effective (and subversive) political messaging can come from "pop" tracks by artists such as Nina Simone, James Brown, and Kendrick Lamar. Sample Lesson Plan
Take Back the Halls gives teens the opportunity to examine issues such as domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment and sexual abuse, as well as the variety of social structures that support violence in our culture. It creates a space for students to talk about issues affecting their lives, to generate ways to raise public awareness, to speak out against violence, and to advocate for change in their schools and communities. In short, TBTH aims to empower teens to become community leaders and active participants in the movement to end violence. Sample lessonThe Anti-Cruelty Society: Elliott Serrano, [email protected]
To build a community of caring by helping pets and educating people. All of our on- and off-site Humane Education Programs expand upon the general ideas of proper pet care and respect for life that we try to instill though our service learning projects.The Field Museum: Aasia Castaneda, [email protected]
The Roots & Routes (R&R) Initiative is a shared vision of a healthy urban green space and collaborative programming that will inspire and educate neighbors of the Burnham Wildlife Corridor (BWC). The Chicago Teen Environmental Committee (CTEC) project is under the R&R umbrella and is tasked specifically to work with high school students on stewardship and environmental/community action-based research.
The Love Vote is a platform for the 50 million Americans who can't vote (due to youth, citizenship, or disenfranchisement) to share their stories and move others to vote on their behalf. It works like crowdfunding - but we don't raise funds, we raise votes. Our goal is to increase voter turnout with love. Students will understand and think critically about voting, immigration, gun violence, criminal justice reform, and a myriad of other issues. Be able to create their own stories, whether through video or writing, in a concise and compelling manner. The Love Vote
The Resurrection Project's mission is to build relationships and challenge individuals to act on their faith and values by creating community ownership, building community wealth, and serving as stewards of community assets.
The goal is to build youth leaders that can serve as catalyst of change in their communities and can influence local, county, state, and national legislation and decision makers. Our partnership with the High Schools will allow us to start fomenting a civic culture early in a young person’s life, especially in neighborhoods where civic participation and civic engagement is limited. Possible projects include:
- Putting together an outreach Voters Registration Plan for the School2. Developing a Civic Engagement and Civic Participation Plan: Legislative visits, legislative actions, policy advocacy, public forums, candidate forums, etc. 3. Creating a #IncreaseThePeace chapter to address peace and nonviolence: Cleanups, peace actions, public forums on non-violence, etc. Leadership Training Modules
Umoja offers curriculum and support services to secondary teachers in order to assist them through the stages of preparing for, implementing and assisting students in reflecting upon meaningful service learning experiences that are tied to urgent social justice issues in their lives, schools and communities. The Umoja curriculum offers students the learning experiences and background knowledge required to address issues such as food injustice, community organizing, literacy, and legacy/personal responsibility. Along with the content focus, each unit also develops students’ social and emotional literacy. Each unit additionally provides teachers with a handbook of resources to support students through the preparation, action and reflection stages of the project. To best implement the curriculum, teachers are offered the necessary professional development and support in areas such as experiential learning, facilitating deep discussions, circle keeping, and the workshop model. Social Justice & Service Learning Teacher’s Map
Our organization supports End Trafficking campaigns in Chicago classrooms. We will have our fellow give a presentation on the aspects of trafficking in a child-friendly manner, while providing the teacher with our lesson plan materials (like the one below). Typically, we will be invited to lead an activity when a school is talking about child rights, global issues, etc. We will then have the students conduct some tangible action, like writing a letter to their representative about trafficking or having them look up where their shirt is made and determine if child labor was used to make their clothes. These letter writing campaigns receive responses from the offices of elected officials. Other service learning focused activities that we provide are our Trick or Treat for UNICEF campaign, which allows children to help other children and learn about some of the problems that children face around the world. Educator’s Guide
The mission of the UIC Center for Economic Education is to promote high quality teaching of Economics and Consumer Economics at all levels of schooling (K-12 and college) in the State of Illinois. Students should become:Knowledgeable about the basic functioning of the economy;Responsible citizens;Savvy consumers;Prudent savers and investors;Effective participants in the global economy;Competent decision-makers throughout their lives. Sample lesson
We empower people to change the world, locally and globally, achieving transformative outcomes for themselves and others. The We Schools Program is a year- long educational program that nurtures compassion while developing skills for success academically, in the workplace, and as active citizens through service-based learning. For example, after investigating food deserts and equal access to healthy foods in their community, students in a CPS high school decided to organize and operate a pop-up restaurant for members of their community during the time one of the local soup kitchens was closed due to lack of funding. Sample lesson package
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice World Vision works in the US to create environments that improve child well-being. We multiply our impact by working with partner organizations and schools.
Artists, hackers, teachers, organizers, musicians, designers, and lovers of all kinds are invited to share ideas. Potential projects:
- Let's Build Garden City!: Learn how to transform the empty space in your neighborhood into community gardens! 2. Everybody Is A Support Liaison: A series on conflict de-escalation and personal accountability in our everyday lives. Curriculum covers communication techniques and de-escalation tactics. Can conclude with Let's Make A Plan: for student curators, organizers, and community leaders. In this series, we work towards developing policies and protocols for dealing with abuse in our spaces and communities.3. #UtopiaStories: Students collect stories from art and their communities based around the theme of a free world. Sample curriculum
Yollocalli Arts Reach is a youth initiative of the National Museum of Mexican Art. Our mission is to create an experiential learning environment that encourages youth autonomy through a progressive dialogue in urban and youth culture. Curricular materialsYouth Health Leadership Corp (CCHE): Denise Holman, [email protected]
CCHE seeks to eliminate new HIV transmission events over the next 30 years (from 2011 to 2041) by using network science to target and integrate prevention as well as create structural and community-specific interventions.
For more information about the Service Learning Community Partner certification process, please contact Shanti Elliott, Service Learning Manager: [email protected], 773-553-6147.