News / Community Voices

Learning is Social: CLX hosts first Happy Hour with Wade Berger

  • Wade Berger

Fellow CLX members, if you are like me, you sometimes need a break from your work with young people and you want space to focus on your own professional growth—to build your own interests, to cultivate relationships with your peers and to discover new opportunities to grow. Enter CLX Happy Hours!

Developed alongside other CLX professional development events (see the upcoming CLX field trip), CLX Happy Hours look to provide a low-key, informal atmosphere for CLX members to come together. CLX leadership and I (shout out to Kiara and Gina!!) are building Happy Hours to meet some of the longstanding challenges CLX members have identified. First, we know that networking can be hard, awkward and not for everyone. To help with this, we have included some informal activities, like maker activities and games, to help get past the small talk so you can make real connections.

Secondly, we recognize that the CLX network is already rich in resources—like you! CLX members have an abundance to share with each other, including content knowledge, teaching skills, neighborhood connections, technology access, and other resources that could help you reimagine your youth program, unlock the next big project, or solve a big challenge you’ve been facing. Many great programs serving young people in Chicago have started from partnerships which kicked off via informal conversations between CLX members. At CLX Happy Hours, we hope there are even more opportunities for this as you get to set the agenda and can bring your expertise to the table. Bring things to talk about, come ready to ask questions of someone who might be able to share their expertise, or simply hangout old/new friends! Either way, you are building the glue which holds the CLX network together.

We had our first Happy Hour in January at Helix Cafe where 15 CLX members played games, shared stories and enjoyed beers donated by Revolution Brewing. Special thanks to our gracious hosts Caitlin and Sean who helped make the evening a success (this is a TEEN-RUN cafe! Find more info about Helix Cafe here). In the future, we plan to have these Happy Hours every other month at different CLX organization's host sites. Got a space that might be good for a Happy Hour? Got an activity that you think will help us get to know each other better? Email Kiara or me to let us know. Additionally, I hope that these Happy Hour events will contribute to ongoing research on how we can better understand informal educator learning. If you are interested in hearing more about this research, definitely send me an email!




The next CLX Happy Hour is scheduled for March 13th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm at the Hyde Park Art Center. We are grateful to our hosts at the Hyde Park Art Center who will be on hand to talk about their teen programs and adult classes! You can register for the March Happy Hour here:

This Happy Hour will have some hands-on activities available as well as abundant free time. Drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and light snacks will be provided.