AGC Families Send Water to Flint, MI

29 Jan


On Tuesday, Tameka Walton, mother of two AGC students and founder of Restored Hope shared with the AGC community her plans to pack her car with bottled water and drive down to Flint, Michigan to help distribute much-needed potable water to undocumented families who might not be able to access support from the Red Cross.

By Thursday afternoon, it was clear that Tameka was going to need a bigger car.

water in hallway

As soon as the word was out, AGC students, families and staff were immediately inspired to help, each in their own way. Amy Burns, mother of three AGC students and accomplished graphic designer design an eye-catching campaign. Maribel Ortega, co-president of the AGC Community Council (ACC) engaged her own design skills and the ACC’s networks to spread informational posters throughout social media, our parent website, and school buildings.

Teachers incorporated lessons of water security into packed days. Faculty, staff and parents took time throughout the day to answer our young students’ many questions about the growing collection of water bottles lining the hallways. Our next-door neighbors at UHaul, one of whom happens to be from Flint, provided a discounted rate for the rental of a moving truck. Students from our 1st graduating 8th grade class volunteered to load water into the truck.

AGC’s mission is to develop mindful leaders who take action to positively impact their communities and the world beyond, and this mission is something that unites our curriculum, culture and operations and drives the daily work of our students, staff and families. Empathy and positive impact are not limited to one’s immediate community.

Each member of the AGC community has their own personal understanding of what it means to be a “global citizen.” Whether your global citizenship is focused on protecting the earth, embracing multiculturalism, kindness, or community service, we can all agree that global citizenship is rooted in empathy.

From our community in Chicago to Flint, Michigan, Happy Friday.

Thanks to Middle School educator Jacob Deems for putting together this video of today’s load-up!

water tameka

Admissions Open House, 1.23.2016 | Attend AGC’s Free, Open-Enrollment Program

8 Jan

Are you interested in enrolling your child into AGC’s innovative and internationally-recognized K-8 program? We invite you to attend an open house on January 23rd.


Saturday, January 23, 2016

K-2nd Grade:

10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at 4647 W. 47th St.

3rd – 8th Grade

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at 4941 W. 46th St.


Telephone: 773-582-1100 Ext. 10

Application Deadline: March 1, 2016

Public Lottery for 2016-2017 Admission: March 31, 2016, 6:00 p.m.

The Academy for Global Citizenship is a free, open-enrollment public school for students living within the City of Chicago. There is no neighborhood boundary or preference given based on residential area and admission is not based on academic performance. 

Students applying for kindergarten must be age 5 by September 1st for the year for which they are applying.Students entering any grade level may submit an Intent to Enroll form with the year they wish to enroll clearly marked. The application is valid only for the marked school year. Complete and accurate applications are due by the designated deadline in order to be entered into the blind public lottery held each spring. Any applications received after the due date will be put on the waitlist compiled after the drawing.

Click to learn more about our process and access enrollment forms.


The Academy for Global Citizenship is an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Program school. An IB authorization means we share a common philosophy with other IB schools around the world—a commitment to high-quality, challenging, international education that AGC believes will give our students the knowledge and skills to be successful in the future.

We Teach Through:

  1. cycle of inquiry grounded in concept-based central ideas.
  2. Close collaboration among faculty, staff, and families.
  3. Research-based methods supported by relevant and ongoing professional development and sharing of practice with teachers in other schools.
  4. Holding all students accountable to high academic standards.
  5. Using formative and summative assessment data to drive decision-making.

Students Learn Through:

  1. A healthy, child-centered environment.
  2. A curriculum organized into interdisciplinary units of inquiry.
  3. Extended learning day with a balance of time spent on core academic subjects, physical activity, and enrichment.
  4. A place-based education approach which honors the neighborhood and city in which our school exists.
  5. rigorous and robust curriculum which challenges students to think deeply about what they are learning.

Our Community Collaborates Through:

  1. Sister school partnerships around the world including schools in Uganda and India. 
  2. Family engagement workshops centered around the school’s mission and vision and a plethora of volunteer opportunities.
  3. 70 parent engagement events each year.
  4. The intentional sharing of practices at speaking engagements and conferences in addition to welcoming hundreds of visitors each year.
  5. Partnerships with local organizations.

Environmental sustainability, whole student wellness, and global citizenship are woven into AGC’s curriculum, culture and operations. AGC students enjoy a nutritious, 100% organic, breakfast and lunch, scratch made onsite by a restaurant-trained in-house chef.

inspecting the garden in sunlight


Public Hearing Regarding AGC’s Sustainable Future Campus

6 Jan


Dear Neighbors,

The Academy for Global Citizenship will conduct a Public Hearing on January 14 at 5:00 P.M. at 4647 W. 47th Street, Chicago, IL, 60632. The purpose of this event is to engage our local community and collect public comments concerning our plans to build a sustainable school campus to unite our 450 students currently occupying two rented facilities on our city’s Southwest side. The proposed campus will be located near the intersection of W. 44th St and Laporte and will house students up to 8th grade. Members of the public will have the opportunity to ask questions and submit comments following an introduction to the project. Those not able to attend can submit questions or comments via email prior to January 18th.

Click here to read about our project.

Click here to read about our community engagement thus far.


Reflecting on 2015, Looking Forward to 2016!

21 Dec

This is truly a landmark year for AGC and the thousands of individuals who have made our growth possible. This year, AGC:

• Completed our growth from Kindergarten – 8th grade, a process that began in 2008

• Will graduate our first 8th grade class

• Was designated a “Level 1 School” by Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Notable achievements included student attendance better than 90% of schools in our district and literacy growth better than 80% of schools across the U.S. (click to read more) 

• Hired our first full-time Sustainability Coordinator

• Announced a collaboration with Adrian Grenier’s Lonely Whale Foundation (click to read more)

• Began working with Studio Gang Architects to design the Midwest’s most sustainable school building, a model that will be replicable by schools locally and nationally (click to read more)

• Engaged Copenhagen-based Rosan Bosch Studios and Wonder, by Design to work with Studio Gang to help scale this work around the world.

AGC is a free, open-enrollment public charter school and receives less funding from Chicago Public Schools than equivalent district-operated schools. AGC must raise nearly $1,000 per student to close our funding gap, in addition to a significant capital campaign to build our future facility. AGC is a 501(c)(3) and contributions are tax-deductible.

Please consider a donation to support our work, or as a gift in honor of a loved one.


AGC 2nd Graders Study Social Advocates Across History

10 Dec

AGC’s 2nd graders finished a unit of inquiry this week on social advocacy and “Making Our Voices Heard.” During each 6-week unit of inquiry, students master common core standards while exploring a central question using a 5 step process of inquiry: invitation and discovery, empathy and exploration, defining and engaging, ideate and representing and, finally, developing and reflecting – acting on what they’ve learned. For the last 6 weeks, students have focused on the central idea that, in a democracy, people create a better world through problem-finding and then organizing with others to make their voices heard. Students studied the responsibility of citizens in a democracy to improve their communities and learned about the many individuals and groups who have used their voices throughout history to make positive change and the methods they used. They studied the structure of Chicago’s government, important social movements throughout history, and interviewed social advocates within our community.

For their final project, students chose an advocate to research independently and then invited their peers and families to watch them present what they’d learned at a “living wax museum.” In addition to presentations including timelines of the advocate’s life and work, students dressed up as their advocate of choice and invited guests to press a “button” to hear a fact about the advocate. Our students did an incredible job representing advocates who changed the course of history, including Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, Jane Addams, Rosa Parks, Cesar Chavez and more. For videos and more photos from this project, visit AGC on instagram and facebook. We especially encourage you to check out this project on John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed) from one of AGC’s Diverse Learners.

Many students also chose to research contemporary advocates, who are still actively shaping our future, including Daryll Heller, a parent of one of our students, Malala Yousafazi, a young girl working for equality in education today,  Vandana Shiva, an anti-GMO activist, and Leonardo Dicaprio, the environmental advocate.




This 2nd grader invented a new hero for Halloween called the “Protector of the Arctic.” He chose to study an environmental advocate focused on climate change and the arctic, and discovered ctor/advocate Leonardo Dicaprio through his research. (Click to view presentation.)

“My halloween costume was actually the Protector of the Arctic, and Leonardo wants to protect the arctic because of the global warming heat pointed at the arctic, so I thought if he wanted to do the same thing as my character, I would really like to study him.”  – 2nd Grade Student I.


making our voices heard malala

This student chose to study Malala Yousafazi, who has been advocating for equal access education for girls since she was 12, just a few years older than this 2nd grader!



Insight and Wonder, Part IV: “Packing for the Future” Workshop with Parents

10 Dec

This is the third post in a series about the community engagement that is helping to define our future campus development. Click here to read the other posts in this series.

AGC’s parent and community engagement program, led by our School Culture Coordinator, our Parent and Afterschool Coordinator and the AGC Community Council, organize 70 parent and community facing events each year. To engage parents in the programming phase of our future campus design, Wonder, by Design organized two events, a presentation at a Parent Café, and a “Packing for the future workshop. At one of our monthly Parent Cafés, Trung Le, co-founder of Wonder, By Design, presented an overview programming work to date. In an after-school workshop with parents, Le facilitated an activity around packing for the future. The activity helps stakeholders think critically about the spaces, rituals and elements of our community that we would like to keep and what we are willing to leave behind.

“Designed to go deeper into the core values and mission of AGC, we asked parents to pack a travel bag for the future of AGC. What aspects of the current program and culture must we be sure to take with us? What are the things that no longer work for this ideal future, and that we must therefore leave behind?

We walked away from those conversations with a set of four living questions we must embrace and address going forward: How can space honor the power of community? How can we continue to power the spirit of volunteerism at AGC? Given the constant challenges schools face, how can we sustain the positive energy and push forward?” – Wonder, By Design

Adrian Grenier’s Lonely Whale Foundation to Partner with AGC

8 Dec

This weekend, actor and environmental advocate, Adrian Grenier — or, as our kids call him, “Mr. A” — announced the launch of the Lonely Whale Foundation, which utilizes the powerful narrative of 52, The Loneliest Whale, to educate people of all ages about ocean conservation and promote creative and collaborative conservation efforts.

Adrian kicked off the launch of the Lonely Whale Foundation this weekend at Art Basel with a curated show of multimedia art projects inspired by the Lonely Whale story, including a virtual reality program from Dell, who has engaged Adrian as their first ever Social Good Ambassador. AGC’s founder and Executive Chairman, Sarah Elizabeth Ippel, joined Adrian onstage.

Adrian and SE in Miami

Educators from AGC will work with The Lonely Whale Foundation ​will create common core aligned curriculum for K-2nd grades that utilizes the sympathetic and friendly character of the Lonely Whale as a vehicle to engage students in units on empathy, communication, and ocean and environmental science. Lonely Whale lesson will build on AGC’s place-based approach and use of empathy as a teaching tool to meaningfully engage younger elementary school students in environmental education. In younger grades, students are invited to fall in love with nature through place-based exploration in our garden and community. Kindergarten, for instance, begins with a study of the ecosystem of the classroom, encouraging students to understand how they are responsible for shaping their learning environments – the power of their individual questions, conversations, and actions on the group. The year ends with a unit on ecosystems during which they develop a similar understanding of the relationships between creatures and their habitats around the world.

Learn more about the Lonely Whale Foundation through the Press Release below and their newly launched website,


Lonely Whale Foundation Announces Launch

Non-Profit Foundation to Focus on Ocean Education, Awareness and Health

NEW YORK, NY (December 1, 2015) – Inspired by the heartfelt story of an enigmatic whale – the 52 Hertz whale – actor, filmmaker and social advocate Adrian Grenier, along with Producer Lucy Sumner and Director Josh Zeman, has launched the Lonely Whale Foundation (LWF) in hopes to generate global change. The Lonely Whale Foundation will serve as a home for ocean health awareness through accessible conversation and education.

The project first began as a focus on the 52 Hertz Whale, a whale that has spent its entire life in solitude – resulting in feature film 52: The Search for the Loneliest Whale, produced by entertainment and media company Alldayeveryday and Reckless Productions. The team behind the film realized a need to transform the positivity generated by 52 into something greater with real, tangible results.
“The Lonely Whale is not only a real animal, swimming in the pacific, looking for companionship but a symbol of our lack of ocean awareness, and how that disconnect is affecting these beautiful life forms,” said co-founder Adrian Grenier. “The mission for this foundation has been years in the making, and we hope the result will be greater understanding of our oceans, as well as mobilize our society to ensure that these creatures do not disappear from our oceans.”

LWF operates on the belief that on order to achieve a healthier ocean and environment for marine wildlife, humans must assume the roles of global citizens and work together as stewards of the planet to make positive change in the fragile and complex bodies of water that make up over 70% of the planet.

The first step to LWF bringing people closer to the world’s oceans will take place through education and awareness, hoping to inspire empathy and action for ocean health and the wellbeing of marine wildlife. Education will primarily take place through a program developed for Kindergarten through second graders by their partner school, the Academy for Global Citizenship in Chicago.

In addition to early-childhood education programming, LWF hopes to bolster public awareness through global mobilization and collaboration. This will result in programming designed by the Lonely Whale teamed aimed at highlighting the oceans, while also supporting the Foundation.

To celebrate the foundation launch, Adrian Grenier, in partnership with Dell, will unveil a new virtual reality experience, “Cry Out: The Lonely Whale Experience” on Friday, December 4 during Art Basel Miami. An underwater VR expedition created by 3D Live, Dell Precision Alienware technology, the film will travel to United Nations Paris Climate Conference (COP21) next week and then other events around the world to help educated and inspire empathy and action from ocean health and the wellbeing of marine wildlife.

For more information on the Lonely Whale Foundation, please visit


Lonely Whale Foundation

Emma Riley


Brittney Le Roy

Megan Schachtebeck


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