Youth Get Set for Summer with Over 5,000 Citywide Learning Opportunities

Chicago City of Learning, Chicago Public Schools connect youth to mentors and plan for summer with interest-based learning beyond the classroom

(CHICAGO-JUNE 19, 2017) As youth leave their classrooms for the summer this week, Chicago City of Learning (CCOL) today joined Chicago Public Schools at Lovett Elementary to announce “Get Set for Summer” with over 5,000 in-person and online citywide summer learning opportunities available to youth and teens in the months ahead.

“All Chicago students should have the ability to personalize their summer learning, prevent their own ‘summer slide’ and arrive to school in the fall with a digital portfolio that tracks their interest-based learning experiences,” said Dr. Sybil Madison-Boyd, CCOL’s Learning Pathways Program Director. “CCOL is a citywide inter-agency network that allows youth to explore what their passionate about whether its space, coding or fashion design. There is something for everyone, and this summer all young people can get connected to programs and mentors that guide them down a pathway to success.”

CCOL connects families and young people (4-24) to diverse, interest-based and out-of-school learning opportunities at libraries, parks, city agencies and over 100 youth-serving organizations that offer everything from computer coding to piano lessons.

In addition to providing a valuable resource to Chicago families, CCOL also records the informal learning experiences of youth in online portfolios so they have a record of the skills and knowledge they attain over time.

“CCOL’s platform is something youth at Lovett have taken full advantage of, and I’m eager to see what they explore this summer before they return to school in the fall,” said Principal Dr. LeViis Haney of Lovett Elementary. “Each student is unique. Some want to be doctors and others want to be teachers or astronauts. They’re faces light up when they logon and discover they have a platform that recommends
opportunities just for them. What is more, the platform tracks this personalized learning and allows youth to demonstrate the skills they’ve achieved outside the classroom.”

CCOL’s mobile learning lab was also onsite today - a resource that allows digital learning and coding exploration to reach youth in communities where this programming is scarce. Sponsored by Comcast, Best Buy and the Chicago Housing Authority, CCOL’s mobile labs bring wifi, laptops and trained mentors to non-traditional learning spaces across the city. This summer the fleet will be hosting three-day FUSE
workshops that allow youth to direct their own Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning exploration.

A 4th grade student at Lovett Elementary shared, “this is cool because it tells you everything you have to do this summer. My mom wants me to have a stable career and I want to be a doctor. I put that in my portfolio, but I’m really good at basketball too and there are a lot of basketball choices.”

An initiative spearheaded by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the summer of 2013, CCOL is an expanding network that currently supports 80,000 CCOL portfolios that belong to Chicago youth. This summer all Chicago youth have the chance to access this network that will not only provide safe learning spaces, but will connect youth directly to caring adults and mentors who are invested in their interests and long-term goals.

Students who get connected with CCOL programming will also have opportunities to win prizes including iPad minis and tickets to Chicago sporting events throughout the summer. They’ll be celebrated at CCOL’s annual Back to School Jam on September 9th at Jones College Prep High School and they’ll be prepared for the academic year when they arrive back to school.

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