What a summer it’s been at Chicago Lights! For many, its been a time to reconnect, to build relationships both virtually and safely in person. Students and their families did just that, taking advantage of creative hybrid opportunities to learn, play, and grow.
Fostering Summer Learning and Growth
Summer Day provided opportunities for continued academic growth throughout the summer with a variety of award-winning texts by authors of color and reviewing and sharpening math skills. Students also had outdoor experiences to engage in exercise, teamwork, meditation, arts, enrichment, and socialization. - Armedia Houston, Director of Chicago Lights Tutoring and Summer Day
Summer Day backpacks 2021
As students in Chicago get ready to return to school next week, theyre preparing to transition from virtual to in-person learning. Chicago Lights Summer Day was here to help.

The hybrid program tackled learning loss head on, engaging 80 students in virtual math and reading classes to make sure they were ready for school this fall.

Students also reconnected in person for enrichment classes at the Chicago Lights Urban Farm. From meditation to physical fitness to learning how to play piano (on super cool foldable keyboards!), students exercised both their brains and bodies at Summer Day.
Building Confidence and Creativity through Dance
Summer Dance Intensive ballet 2021
This program was important to me so that I can stay active and learn new dances. I felt so happy when attending class because I got to dance in person and see my friends and choreographers. COVID is not going to stop us from doing what we love. - Sol, 5th grade

Students put on their dancing shoes both virtually and in person, expressing themselves creatively and building confidence through the Chicago Lights Dance Academys Summer Dance Intensive.

For four weeks, students took to the dance floor, some at home and some in the Gratz Center at Fourth Presbyterian Church. They got a chance to show off everything they learnedballet, modern, tap, jazz, Afro fusion, contemporary, and Latin fusionthrough a virtual recital for friends and family.

Check out one of their pieces below, Little Voice, featuring in-person students performing ballet choreography by Annie Snow, Program Manager for the Dance Academy.
Cultivating Healthy Futures at the Urban Farm
Urban Farm Corps High School Eric Summer 2021
The Urban Farm has a special place in my heart. I personally wouldn't miss the chance to get outside and be here where Ive learned weeding, construction, planting, and how to rely on myself for food. I feel like I belong here. - Eric, 10th grade

What better place to learn and play this summer than at the Chicago Lights Urban Farm! High school teens and young students alike got their hands dirty learning all things urban agriculture.

From practicing customer service skills at the on-site Farmstand to planting and harvesting produce to constructing and painting outdoor benches and tables, students in Farm Corpsour high school job training programboosted their resumes while gaining a love of local, fresh food.

For elementary school students, the Urban Farm was their playground. Farm Camp brought together kids from Cabrini-Green for four weeks of gardening, exercise, music, arts and crafts, and mindfulnessfeeding their growth and potential for very bright futures.
As students get ready to go back to school next week, they’re bringing with them new and improved skills they’ve gained through Chicago Lights’ summer programs.

Thank you to the dedicated students, families, volunteers, donors, supporters, and staff who made hybrid summer learning possible during a time of constant change. Thank you for being a part of this caring community and for helping build brighter futures.
Stacy Jackson Headshot
Stacy Jackson
Stacy Jackson
Executive Director
Chicago Lights builds brighter futures for Chicagos youth and adults through supportive relationships and life-changing programs.

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