Chicago Organization United to Show Youth What They Can Do This Summer and Beyond

CHICAGO —(ENEWSPF)–April 29, 2016.  Nearly 1,200 youth and family members from 71 different zip codes registered for a free and unique opportunity held last Saturday at Jones College Prep to sample summer programs offered by 30 Chicago City of Learning (CCOL) partner organizations. As youth completed hands-on activities, they earned digital badges reflective of their interest and participation, which unlocked chances to win prizes.

The multi-part event was dubbed #UpwithChi Spring it Out by the CCCOL Youth Council, who also curated the Teen Lounge, where 13-19 year olds tried their hands at fashion and jewelry design, app-building, soldering and more. For the writers and musicians among them, a lively Open Mic was hosted by Marwin “Stark” Williams of HUEY Gang.

In the Maker Party filled with drop-in activities, youth 4-12 created a butterfly garden with the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, made toys and beds for dogs and cats living at The Anti-Cruelty Society, programmed video games and robots with Center for College Access and Success at NEIU, built balloon-powered cars with Scientists for Tomorrow, used poetry and visual arts to create multimedia with Borderbend Arts Collective, and much more.

During an hour-long workshop hosted by Best Buy’s Geek Squad Agents, students explored the hidden code behind live websites. In another workshop, girls created light-up greeting cards with Digital Youth Divas, a program created by Digital Youth Network that links STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to interests like fashion, art and dance.

Participating organizations not aforementioned include: Adler Planetarium; Chicago Architecture Foundation; CodeCreate Technology Education; IMPACT Family Center; LevelUP; Microsoft; Mikva Challenge; National Veterans Art Museum; Play-Well TEKnologies; Project Exploration; Project Tech Teens; (PRO)jectUS; Scenarios USA; SkyART; Stamps for Kids; The Yellow Canoe; True Star Foundation; and YOUmedia at Chicago Public Library.

Young Chicagoans and the adults who care for them can explore and sign up for online and on-site programs offered by more than 120 CCOL partner organizations citywide at, where youth can also create their Chicago City of Learning accounts, which provide them with a digital portfolio – evidence of all they have participated in and achieved.