27 April 2010

Wild art from a ferociously big-picture school!

I bought this leopard (artist, please come forward!) for my office wall last month at an auction fund-raiser for the ACADEMY FOR GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP, a unique Chicago Public Contract School on the Southwest side. Yoga and two organic meals are part of the day, every day, for the K-2nd graders who are learning, inquiring and thriving at this International Baccalaureate candidate school. They state their mission best:

  • serving the whole child
  • modeling academic excellence
  • developing inquirers
  • cultivating international awareness
  • fostering environmental stewardship
  • facilitating collaboration within the community

It was THE place to spend Earth Day last week, which was Open House at AGC. Their sustainability director shows a visitor one of the many thoughtful details of AGC's own garden: their chicken coop (housing three beauties) is topped by an herb garden, with a gridded planting scheme that provides an arithmetic lesson as well as ongoing opportunities to learn about growing our food. We visitors got to help plant tomatoes and marigolds (see raised bins in the background? who says you can't grow flowers on asphalt?) and tend the worm composting bins where precious cafeteria scraps are converted to AGC compost (a tiny baby worm was a hit with the kids). Other highlights of the day were visiting the multi-station literacy class, where small groups of children work on literacy building tasks, with varying degrees of adult interaction; and - lunch! - the best school cafeteria food ever. Please visit their site and learn more.

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