NEW ORLEANS—The Emeril Lagasse Foundation has announced it will open its newest Emeril’s Culinary Garden & Teaching Kitchen at the Academy for Global Citizenship in Chicago. The signature program is a national education program that integrates culinary gardens and teaching kitchens in schools to create interactive learning environments centered on food. “We are excited to bring our signature program to Chicago, an area with a burgeoning garden program already in place within the public school system,” said Emeril Lagasse. “With this sixth school partner,  the program will reach even more children, helping to enrich their lives through a fun, fresh perspective on food.”

The Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC) is a Chicago Public Charter School located on the underserved Southwest side of Chicago. The elementary and middle school takes an innovative and holistic approach to education which aims to foster systemic change and inspire the way society educates future generations. Since its founding in 2005, the AGC has been addressing Chicago’s educational, environmental, and racial healthcare inequities, where it serves 96% minority constituents. With the goal of providing an opportunity for children and families in the most under-resourced neighborhoods, AGC utilizes an innovative, whole-child learning model rooted in social justice, environmental education, entrepreneurship, and dual language wellness opportunities. In April 2022, the AGC broke ground on a six-acre demonstration site, Cultivate Collective, built at the world’s highest standard for sustainability in an area affected by decades of injustices. Cultivate serves as a new campus for the AGC, as well as an incubator for innovation in environmental conservation and community learning, including a health care center, urban farm, community wellness hub, and early childhood center.

To date, over 2,700 students have been engaged in the program, benefiting 4000+ parents, teachers, and family members. The Academy for Global Citizenship will join the list of the current five school partners: Belle Chasse Academy in Belle Chasse, Louisiana; Cunningham Elementary School in Austin, Texas; DC Bilingual Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.; Starlight Elementary School in Watsonville, CA; and Dr. John Ochsner Discovery Health Sciences Academy in New Orleans.

The program’s teachers report measurable impacts on the children enrolled in the partner schools. Ninety-six percent of teachers agree the program has improved the student attitude toward fresh fruits and vegetables, 88% of teachers report an overall improvement in student academic performance, and 100% of teachers confirm an improvement in student knowledge of nutrition and healthy eating choices.

Emeril’s Culinary Garden & Teaching Kitchen helps fulfill the Emeril Lagasse Foundation’s mission to create opportunities to inspire, mentor, and enable youth to reach their full potential through culinary, nutrition, and arts education. In addition to this signature program, the Emeril Lagasse Foundation has distributed $18  million to nonprofit organizations supporting children.

About Emeril Lagasse Foundation: Founded in 2002 by Chef Emeril Lagasse and his wife Alden, Emeril Lagasse Foundation is a 501c(3) public charity headquartered in New Orleans. The Foundation’s mission is to create opportunities to inspire, mentor and enable youth to reach their full potential through culinary, nutrition, and arts education with a focus on life skills development. Since its inception, Emeril Lagasse Foundation has granted more than $17 million to children’s charities to support culinary, nutrition, and arts programs. The Foundation accomplishes this through three programs. The Community Grants program provides program and capital support to nonprofit organizations across the nation. The signature program, Emeril’s Culinary Garden & Teaching Kitchen, is a national education initiative created to enrich the lives of elementary and middle school children through a fun, fresh perspective on food. The Aarón Sánchez Impact Fund, the newest program, will provide culinary arts education and human services programming for Latino youth. To learn more about the Foundation and its beneficiaries, visit Emeril.org, or follow on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.


Liz Bodet

504.583.5550; lizbodet@gmail.com


AGC is Hiring!


Calling all fellow world-changers and innovators! Please share the opportunities below with your networks to help us reach best-fit candidates for our unique school and community-centered organization.

The Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC) is reimagining the future of what’s possible in public education. As a non-profit Chicago public charter school, located on the city’s urban southwest side, we are constructing a “school of the future” that is trailblazing an unparalleled level of sustainability and new learning environment rooted in wonder. Our mission is to develop mindful leaders who take action now and in the future to positively impact their communities and the world beyond. Our innovative and holistic approach aims to foster systemic change and inspire the way society educates future generations through incubating, evaluating, and disseminating our best practices to the world. We value:

AGC Values

AGC is an internationally recognized laboratory of innovation in education, with a Dual Language program, an International Baccalaureate MYP and PYP program, and a progressive approach to multi-stakeholder collaboration. Please help us identify mission-aligned colleagues for the following roles! Click the links below for full job descriptions.

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We are looking for staff who:

  • Have a big heart to match a big brain
  • Want their work to define best practice
  • Respect and thrive in a dynamic, changing, and growing environment
  • Know extraordinary things can happen when people work hard together
  • Are excited to participate in a laboratory for innovation in education
  • Dream about reimagining what’s possible for the future of learning
  • Are (ideally) bilingual in English and Spanish

Working at AGC means:

  • Being surrounded by thoughtful, inquisitive students and hard-working, passionate, and like-minded colleagues
  • Thinking outside of the box to do what is best for our students
  • Promoting student profile qualities of the International Baccalaureate Program: inquirers, thinkers, communicators, risk takers, knowledgeable, principled, caring, open-minded, well-balanced, and reflective.
  • Having high academic expectations for every student in the school every day
  • Getting your hands dirty in our school garden and facilitating outdoor learning
  • Enjoying 100% organic, scratch-made meals prepared by our on-site chef
  • Working in an environmentally sustainable and health conscious school culture
  • Incorporating wellness, mindfulness, yoga and environmental education into your work

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AGC is currently seeking exemplary applicants for the following positions:

Early Childhood Program Coordinator

Kitchen Coordinator

Middle School Special Education Teacher (Bilingual in Spanish Strongly Preferred)

Special Education Teacher (Bilingual in Spanish Strongly Preferred)

Special Education Teacher & Case Manager (Maternity Leave)

Physical Therapist

Speech Language Pathologist

Please complete this form if you are interested in being alerted of additional position openings as they become available.

For hiring-related inquiries, please contact hiring@agcchicago.org or AGC’s Executive Director at sarahelizabeth@agcchicago.org with your cover letter and résumé.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, gender, age, national origin, or disability.




Elected officials and community members joined Academy for Global Citizenship leadership and community leaders to commemorate the launch of historic Cultivate Collective   


Tuesday, May 10, 2022


Caroline Wellford


CHICAGO, IL – Today, elected officials, community leaders, and Academy for Global Citizenship (or AGC) school leadership joined together to commemorate the groundbreaking of the Cultivate Collective (Cultivate), a new community learning, sustainability, and wellness hub which will spur economic development on Chicago’s southwest side. The first phase of construction will house AGC’s existing public K-8 school, an early childhood center, community health care center, three-acre urban farm, neighborhood marketplace, six teaching kitchens, and a range of community wellness programs and amenities. Cultivate’s development is slated to be completed and open to the public by the fall of 2023.

“Turning long-vacant spaces into thriving community hubs is one of the cornerstones of our Rebuild Illinois infrastructure plan, and I’m pleased to see the Academy for Global Citizenship mark another milestone in its journey to advance educational, environmental, economic and health justice for Illinois residents. The Academy is already proving itself a leader in ensuring the green economy is accessible for all communities, and I’m grateful for the organization’s partnership in bringing new jobs and opportunities to Chicago’s Southwest Side.”

– Governor JB Pritzker

Cultivate will create a holistic center of services for the community including minority workforce training focused on green jobs. Over 1,000 unionized Illinoisans will work on the project which is on track to produce more energy through clean renewable sources than it uses annually. The project is also expected to house 125 permanent positions upon its launch with a $58,350 median salary plus full benefits, in addition to providing skills-training and apprenticeships leading to economic mobility. Also notable is this development is the first in Illinois on track to join only 24 projects worldwide who are recognized by the International Living Futures Institute to achieve an unparalleled level of environmental sustainability and climate resiliency.

“School communities have a unique opportunity to foster the social-emotional wellbeing of students. This learning, sustainability, and wellness hub will do just that for students from our historically under-resourced communities. I’m grateful that the Academy for Global Citizenship continues to catalytically invest in our South Sides as well as the wellbeing of our city’s young people.”

– Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot
Left to Right: Sybil Madison, Chief of Staff, Mayor Lori Lightfoot; Michael Rodriguez, Alderperson, 22nd Ward; Sarah Elizabeth Ippel, Founder & Executive Director, Academy for Global Citizenship; Aarón Ortíz, State Representative. ©Charles Cherney Photography

Cultivate is a transformative project for Chicago’s southwest side set to serve a historically under-resourced, 96% minority constituency impacted by decades of disinvestment, social, environmental and racial injustice. The project is catalyzing neighborhood investment, focused on whole child wellness and environmental sustainability, which will generate local wealth, create jobs, and have a significant and sustained impact for generations. The project is located on six acres of the Chicago Housing Authority’s former LeClaire Courts site and will anchor the corner of 44th Street and Laporte Avenue in the LeClaire Courts neighborhood, just 1.5 miles north of Midway Airport. 

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to bring this innovative project to the southwest side of Chicago. Not only does it directly address community needs by expanding learning opportunities, increasing healthy food access, and adding public green spaces; it will also be a meaningful driver of economic growth through job creation and serving as a training hub.”

– Alderperson Michael D. Rodriguez, 22nd Ward

The project will ultimately feature:

  • A training hub for minority workforce as pipeline for the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) roll-out, including partnerships with: HIRE360, Black Contractors Owners & Executives, Hispanic American Contractors Industry Association
  • Early childhood Head Start facility and K-8 public, IB and Dual Language school 
  • On-site Federally Qualified Health Care Center serving the entire community
  • Teacher training institute for public school teachers from across the city and state
  • Environmental education center to host field trips for students across the city and state 
  • Fresh food marketplace, food pharmacy and neighborhood café enabling food access
  • Six teaching kitchens, green spaces, walking trails, and community wellness facilities
  • Illinois’ first net-positive energy/water, climate-resilient and fossil-fuel free demonstration site

“Today’s celebration is the result of nearly two decades of collaboration and dedication among thousands of individuals who have dreamed of a more sustainable and equitable future for all. We’re so thrilled to see our collective vision for cultivating a resilient, just and thriving community come to life.”

– Sarah Elizabeth Ippel, Founder and Executive Director of the Academy for Global Citizenship

Today’s groundbreaking celebration included a musical performance by AGC students, remarks from elected officials, land acknowledgement, yoga, and tree planting.

AGC students sang “I’m Going to Change the World, With My Own Two Hands” in English and Spanish at our groundbreaking ceremony. ©Charles Cherney Photography

AGC currently serves nearly 500 local Chicago Public School students with a mission to empower all students to positively impact the community and world beyond. Cultivate strongly addresses economic inequality through four key approaches:

  • Educational Opportunity (whole-child education, cradle-to-career and multi-generational community learning); 
  • Health Access (health care, fresh food, wellness facilities and programming); 
  • Economic Development (business incubation, job creation, skills training); and 
  • Environmental Justice (clean air, energy resiliency, neighborhood nature space, inclusive participation in the green economy).   

“As a former LeClaire Courts resident and someone who has lived in this community for 55 years, I am excited about AGC’s mission to cultivate the next generation of globally environmentally minded leaders who are making our world a better place. We look forward to working with you to see this transformational project bring benefits to our community for generations to come.”

– Joann Williams, President of the Hearst Community Organization
Left to Right: Brenda Alford, LeClaire Courts Right to Return Resident; Tom Baliga, President of Archer Heights Civic Association; Sybil Madison, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Chief of Staff; Alderperson Michael Rodriguez; Academy for Global Citizenship Founder Sarah Elizabeth Ippel; State Representative Aarón Ortíz; Reverend Tolliver, LeClaire Missionary Baptist Church; Jewel Robinson, Community Resident for 53 years. ©Charles Cherney Photography

About the Academy for Global Citizenship: 

The Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC) is a Dual Language and International Baccalaureate public school located on Chicago’s southwest side that serves a 96% minority constituency. AGC opened its doors in 2008 as a learning laboratory that has since scaled its innovative model to impact over five million students. Learn more about the Academy for Global Citizenship at https://agcchicago.org/

About the Cultivate Collective 

The Cultivate Collective is community-based non-profit that has worked hand-in-hand with an array of collaborators and local partners to develop a vision for revitalizing six currently vacant acres within a larger 40-acre Chicago Housing Authority project site into a thriving community wellness, learning and sustainability hub. Cultivate’s mission is to unite education, wellness, sustainability and economic vitality at the community level to drive meaningful, generational impact. Learn more about Cultivate Collective at https://www.cultivatehere.org/.


Left to Right: State Representative Aarón Ortíz, Alderperson Michael Rodriguez, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Chief of Staff Sybil Madison, Academy for Global Citizenship Founder Sarah Elizabeth Ippel. Groundbreaking for the new Academy for Global Citizenship – Tuesday May 10, 2022 ©Charles Cherney Photography
Coming this Fall – Early Childhood at AGC!

Coming this Fall – Early Childhood at AGC!

Now enrolling ages three and four in our tuition-free Pre-K program to join our whole-child, dual-language, nature-based, Reggio-inspired learning community!

As the Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC) prepares for the transition to our six-acre community wellness, learning and sustainability hub, we are excited to announce the launch of our Early Childhood program for ages three and four, which will commence this fall.

Early Childhood Education Reimagined

AGC’s tuition-free Early Childhood (EC) program will extend our comprehensive model to early learners and will be rooted in our nature-centric, play-based, whole-child, Reggio-inspired, dual-language, and International Baccalaureate approach.

The following core elements of the Early Childhood Learning Center will provide a hopeful, empowering and evidence-based learning environment:

  • Providing a Full-Day of Reggio-Inspired, International Baccalaureate and Dual-Language Learning
  • Producing Organic Food, Serving Healthy Meals and Elevating Nutrition
  • Promoting Wellness, Prompting Movement and Inspiring Active Play
  • Integrating Sustainability, Nature-Based Exploration and Environmental Studies
  • Engaging Families as Partners in their Children’s Education
  • Supporting Diverse Learners and Embracing Special Needs Students
  • Investing in Trauma-Informed Care and Social Emotional Learning

For program questions, families can contact AGC’s Director of Early Childhood Learning, Jesús Oviedo, at joviedo@agcchicago.org. To enroll a three- or four-year-old child, please contact Lesly Castro at lcastro@agcchicago.org. To be placed on AGC’s Kindergarten-8th Grade waiting list, Maribel Mares can be reached at mmares@agcchicago.org.

The Future of Learning at our New Campus

EC students will be provided the opportunity to continue their education at AGC’s visionary new campus in Southwest Chicago in an Early Childhood Learning Center (ECLC) designed by experts from all over the world who have helped us reimagine whole-child learning. The Early Childhood Learning Center at our new campus will have six learning spaces that are being specially designed with three- and four-year-olds in mind, optimizing for movement, encouraging active inquiry, and celebrating nutrition and well-being.

With our partners at Urban Growers Collective and child wellness experts, we will establish a campus learning barn and greenhouses, organic food production and on-site meal preparation, including a dedicated Learning Kitchen for pre-schoolers. The ECLC will also include dedicated outdoor learning, growing and nature-based playscapes that have been developmentally designed for our youngest students. The net-positive energy campus and community sustainability hub will also be home to orchards, apiaries, food forests, community gardens, a fresh food store, health care center, wellness facilities, learning barn, and a teacher training institute.

AGC’s Partnership with Start Early

AGC is honored to have been selected as a partner and sub-grantee of Start Early (formerly the Ounce of Prevention).

“From research among leading economists to education experts, the evidence-base for investing in high quality early learning is irrefutable”, said AGC’s Founder, Sarah Elizabeth Ippel. “We couldn’t be more excited to extend our innovative learning model to provide a strong foundation for our youngest learners.”

“We are thrilled to expand our presence here in our hometown and bring new partners and perspectives to our work serving families and communities in need of quality early learning and care,” said Diana Rauner, president of Start Early.

Start Early, as the grantee, will work alongside each partner to provide critical program supports, in key service and system areas, including implementation guidance, training, curricula, screening and assessment tools, data systems, monitoring and research-to-practice continuous quality improvement. Start Early will also engage leaders, staff, and parents in a robust network of shared learning, innovation, and mutual support.

For More Information

Click here to learn more about Start Early’s expansion of quality early learning opportunities. To learn more about AGC’s K-8 public education model, click here, and to learn about our future campus and community sustainability hub, click here. For press inquiries, please contact AGC’s Executive Director, Sarah Elizabeth Ippel at sarahelizabeth@agcchicago.org.




Contact:         Sarah Elizabeth Ippel, Founder & Executive Director

Phone:           773.744.8729

Email:            sarahelizabeth@agcchicago.org

The Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC) is excited to announce $100,000 in funding from the Cigna Foundation to support our next chapter of expanded impact through the launch of a three-acre urban farm at our new community wellness and sustainability hub. As part of Cigna Foundation’s Healthier Kids For Our Future® initiative, this grant will enhance existing nutrition, wellness, and environmental education programs through funding outdoor classrooms, expanding teaching kitchens, amplifying our urban agriculture capacity, and increasing our community’s access to fresh and healthy food.

AGC’s groundbreaking environmental education, sustainable food systems and health strategy has been designed to foster holistic wellness, eco-literacy, and healthier children and families. Since 2008, AGC has been responding to our community’s health disparities by delivering high-quality K-8th grade whole-child education and wellness programming to 96% minority children and families in a 46% medically underserved and food-insecure part of Southwest Chicago. Reimagining the role of school by serving as a health hub, AGC extends opportunities for community learning through cooking classes, gardening, health fairs and fresh food distribution.

“We’re excited to reimagine the role of schools in communities through developing a replicable model for creating healthy neighborhood hubs,” says Sarah Elizabeth Ippel, Founder and Executive Director of the Academy for Global Citizenship. “This will not only provide the building blocks of positive nutrition to our youngest learners but will cultivate a healthier community where all individuals have access to the wellness resources needed to thrive.”

As part of AGC’s overall growth strategy, the school will expand their current on-site gardening space over the next two years to a three-acre urban farm that will serve as a center for food production and a learning laboratory from which others can learn. Organic food grown on the farm will be utilized for 2,100 daily scratch-made school meals, and any excess food will be sold to the community at an on-site social enterprise Fresh Farm Café.

“Providing kids with healthy meals ensures they don’t go to bed hungry today, while nutritional education supports their wellbeing and growth in the future,” said Brian Marsella, Midwest market president for Cigna. “We are proud to support the important work that the Academy for Global Citizenship is doing to address food insecurity and other health disparities that affect too many children in our community.”

The Academy for Global Citizenship is a public Kindergarten through 8th grade school located in Southwest Chicago’s neighborhood of Garfield Ridge. They are working hand-in-hand with community partners to develop a hub for community wellness, learning and sustainability called Catalyst Southwest that will create a new home for the Academy for Global Citizenship, a three-acre urban farm, an early childhood center, a health care clinic, fresh foods café and six teaching kitchens. This project will be located on a six-acre plot of land at the center of a Chicago Housing Authority community and is slated to break ground in February 2022.

Exciting Summer Updates from AGC

Exciting Summer Updates from AGC

After four weeks of full-day summer enrichment programming, and robust back-to-school professional development with our teachers, we welcomed our students back to school on August 11th for our 14th school year! AGC’s innovative model is rooted in an extended school year and expanded learning opportunities that provide engagement and educational pathways for our students and families throughout the summer and beyond a traditional school day and year. 

Summer Enrichment

Our full-day summer programming combined academic enrichment opportunities with hands-on, project-based learning experiences, loads of fresh air and time in our schoolyard garden. We had four multi-age group pods that enjoyed a variety of opportunities for wellness, creativity, academic development, nature-based play and environmental education. At the end of every week, students led a farmers market for the AGC community and neighborhood where they harvested and sold organic produce from our gardens, and healthy and sustainable products that they prepared throughout the week. Activities spanned from theater to art, gardening to film production, and also enjoyed thematic learning about the Olympics! \

Mr. Jesús led art activities throughout our summer enrichment program where students of all ages learned how to work with clay.

Even our youngest learners contributed to our farmers market preparation by decorating reusable canvas bags.
Students practiced their entrepreneurship and math skills by pricing produce and engaging with farmers market customers.
Students enjoyed making recycled paper with Ms. Middendorf one afternoon!
On the final day of camp, our PreK – 1st grade pod showed off their hand-made Olympic medals!

Back to School

August 11th was the first day of our 14th school year at AGC! In preparation for a unique year of welcoming 100% of our students back for in-person learning, our faculty and staff came together for professional development, team building and planning. We also safely hosted parents, alumni and other neighborhood volunteers as it takes a village to cultivate a school community where all learners will thrive.

Leading up to our first day, teachers have been gathering each morning to collaborate, learn, and participate in wellness and mindfulness activities that mirror our whole-child approach to learning. 

AGC’s Early Childhood Education Program

This fall, we are launching AGC’s first Early Childhood Learning program in partnership with Start Early and we couldn’t be more excited to expand our AGC community to three- and four-year-old children. Our Early Childhood Learning program is rooted in AGC’s dual language, International Baccalaureate and whole-child philosophy. Our youngest learners will learn through experience in small groups, with an emphasis on nature-based play and discovery. Our Reggio-inspired methods and materials will provoke inquiry, wonder and curiosity. Our program will be overseen by AGC’s new Director of Early Childhood Learning, Jesús Oviedo, and our Lower School Principal, Saskia Rombouts, and will consist of both home-visiting and center-based learning options. To learn more, contact Jesús at joviedo@agcchicago.org

Hannah’s Bretzel to Donate 20% of Catering Sales to AGC on August 11-12

Hannah’s Bretzel to Donate 20% of Catering Sales to AGC on August 11-12

A loyal partner of AGC since opening our doors in 2008, Hannah’s Bretzel, Chicago’s über sustainable sandwich company, is once again donating a percentage of sales to AGC. On Wednesday, August 11th and Thursday, August 12th, 20% of all catering business will go to supporting necessary greenhouse repairs and back-to-school planting in AGC’s schoolyard garden. Additionally Hannah’s Bretzel will match all proceeds from this effort with an additional donation, so please support AGC and Hannah’s Bretzel by ordering in for your family or team at work this week for breakfast, lunch or dinner on the 11th and 12th. Hannah’s Bretzel sandwiches, soups and salads feature whole grain nutrition, locally sourced ingredients and organic produce. 

AGC shares a common philosophy with our friends at Hannah’s Bretzel. Both organizations were founded with big dreams and firm ideals and have grown quickly but thoughtfully, while refusing to compromise on our collective vision for sustainability. You can place a catering order online at www.hannahsbretzel.com, or in person at one of the two Chicago Hannah’s Bretzel locations at 107 S. Franklin St, and 400 N. LaSalle St. Donations can also be made directly to our greenhouse repair and school garden fund.

Please join us in celebrating the kick-off of our 14th school year as we welcome our students back for another year of whole-child learning on August 11th!

A Reflection on Earth Week at AGC: Fostering Environmental Sustainability

A Reflection on Earth Week at AGC: Fostering Environmental Sustainability

One of AGC’s six foundational pillars is environmental sustainability. This means that everything we do from curriculum to building operations is infused with sustainable  practices. While this is an everyday approach at our campuses, we take the month of April as an opportunity to further reflect on our impact on the Earth and round out the month with Earth Week, planned by our student-led Green Team and Sustainability Coordinator, Ms. Gonzalez.  

This year, with the challenges of COVID and hybrid learning, we planned a week with both virtual and in-person events to ensure the safety of our community. The events were available for AGC families and the wider community and encompassed everything from learning about urban agriculture in Chicago to how to make sustainable skincare products and partnering with organizations to repurpose gently used art and school supplies for national and international NGOs. 

Earth Week – Day One: Event with Upcycling Colors

AGC families came together on the first day of Earth Week to volunteer with the organization Upcycling Colors whose mission is to rescue leftover art, craft and school supplies to transform them into like-new treasures and bring them to underserved communities around the world. Families joined a virtual meeting to organize their personal leftover art, craft and school supplies with the Upcycling Colors Founder, Mariela Bertorelli. 

Earth Week – Day Two: Urban Growers Collective & the Fresh Moves Bus

Through our ongoing partnership with Urban Growers Collective and their Fresh Moves Bus, on Tuesday of Earth Week, we collaborated to celebrate the planet! Urban Growers Collective spoke with our 4th grade students about their city farms in Chicago that provide organic produce for local communities. 

The Fresh Moves Bus also came to AGC, as it always does on Tuesday afternoons. We had a big turnout from the community and AGC families and Urban Growers Collective shared more about their farming work in Chicago to increase healthy food access.

Earth Week  Day Three: Cooking & Earth Day School Spirit

On Wednesday of Earth Week, the AGC Green Team challenged students, families and staff to wear green and blue in honor of Earth Day. Students also participated in a special Earth Week cooking session with Mr. Soto where they made “Nature’s Cereal” that consists of fruit, berries and coconut water. 

Earth Week – Day Four: DIY Facial Scrub

On Thursday, AGC students and families signed up to participate in a virtual session to create their own DIY facial scrub with honey, raw sugar and lemon which were provided to participants. Skin and body care items often are heavy with chemicals and use a lot of plastic, so our DIY facial scrub tutorial walked families and students through a simple recipe to create clean and glowing skin, while protecting the planet.

Earth Week – Day Five: Kiss the Ground Documentary Screening & Discussion

The Kiss the Ground documentary covers why soil health is important for us and our planet. By screening this documentary, we encouraged students and families to question the importance of soil in our lives as we learned what regenerative agriculture is and how this system of farming principles impacts the Earth. 

Teaching in the Outdoor Classroom: A Practical Guide to Teaching in the Outdoors Through a Pandemic and Beyond

Teaching in the Outdoor Classroom: A Practical Guide to Teaching in the Outdoors Through a Pandemic and Beyond

Join Us on May 5th for a FREE seminar hosted with our partners at the Illinois Green Alliance.

On May 5th, from 4 – 5 p.m., we are hosting a collaborative seminar that aims to be a practical guide to the nuances and best practices for teaching in the outdoor classroom. See below invitation for more details. CPDU credit is available.


The Institute at the Academy for Global Citizenship & Illinois Green Alliance proudly invite you to a free collaborative seminar for elementary and middle school teachers and administrators.

Today’s pandemic challenges make teaching in the outdoors a more vital resource than ever before, but a seamless transition to moving outside the classroom is not always as simple as it sounds. Join us as we delve into realities and best practices of teaching outdoors, including tips for designing low-budget, simple and effective spaces.

Hear from the talented team at Site Design Group, the visionary designers of AGC’s new outdoor learning spaces, and join a conversation with the teachers who are putting that space to work. This seminar will be of particular interest to teachers and administrators who may not have the most ideal outdoor teaching space but are looking for creative ways to make the most of what they have to work with at their campus. This free seminar will equip educators with strategies for effective outdoor teaching that will enhance student engagement and increase access to fresh air.

A Regenerative Future: AGC’S New Living Campus

A Regenerative Future: AGC’S New Living Campus

As AGC makes strides towards breaking ground on its new campus of the future, it does so with a continued commitment to achieving the full Living Building Challenge (LBC) Certification — the most rigorous environmental sustainability standards on the planet. AGC is currently on track to be just the 25th project in the world (and the 1st in the Midwest at scale) to receive this cutting-edge certification. According to the acclaimed architecture and design critic Alexandra Lange, AGC’s new campus plan is:

“The most architecturally ambitious design I’ve seen in the U.S.”

Not only will this new campus be a leading environmental sustainability demonstration site, but it will be, first and foremost, an invaluable teaching and learning resource for our students, their families, and the entire community, acting as a lever for locally-driven community development. We also hope this multi-purpose campus will draw visitors from around the globe and serve a showcase for the values put forth in the Living Building Challenge framework, which is organized into seven key performance areas:

PLACE: We will devote half the six-acre campus to sustainable urban agriculture, community green spaces and food forests, and have a farm shop that will provide access to fresh fruits and vegetables for our neighbors.

WATER: We will achieve net water positivity by capturing precipitation, purifying water via natural processes and recycling used water on-site. 

ENERGY: We will achieve net energy positivity by generating 105% of our energy needs via solar panels, geothermal wells and wind power.

HEALTH & HAPPINESS: We will provide a healthy built environment, including access to fresh air and daylight and connectivity to nature. 

MATERIALS: We will use construction materials that are safe for all species through time and contribute to improved air quality.

BEAUTY: We will collaboratively develop a community-centric architectural design that will uplift the human spirit and generate pride for the southwest side.

EQUITY: We will address social and racial inequality in the world through providing health access, addressing environmental justice, enabling educational opportunity and spurring economic development.

At the heart of it all is the immersive educational opportunity this campus will offer the next generation of environmental leaders. Imagine young minds exploring the Energy Trail, for example, beginning in the transparently designed mechanical room, tinkering in the Solar Energy Learning Lab, and then heading out to the geothermal field with glass manholes for students to experience the inner-workings of renewable energy in motion. Energy dashboards will show students real-time energy usage, and motivate responsible action by connecting our behaviors to the power of our individual and collective impact. Bilingual educational signage throughout the building and schoolyard will call attention to eco features and will inspire children and visitors to carry sustainability into their homes and lives. Hosting tours, conferences and learning summits will motivate other schools, communities and policy-makers to adopt similar innovations and practices through learning from our model. 

We hope you will stay tuned and continue to look for more information about the innovative ways this new living campus will work hand-in-hand with the community to elevate social justice, educational justice, and environmental justice while cultivating health, wellness, and food security for us all. 

To learn more about our new campus and its dedication to a net-positive future, please visit: https://agcchicago.org/our-future/project-net-positive/