News / News + Updates

Thousands of Learners and Families Celebrate Remake Learning Days Chi

  • Sana Jafri

Chicago is a city of neighborhoods and festivals, but didn’t have a festival celebrating hands-on, innovative learning that happens in our diverse ZIP codes — until now.

Last month from May 16 -19, 2019, the Chicago Learning Exchange (CLX) presented Remake Learning Days Chi (RLD Chi), Chicago’s first festival for the future of learning and work.

CLX collaborated with founding partners WTTW Kids, Project Exploration, Chicago City of Learning, and EvanSTEM, and over 70 events hosts from Chicago to Evanston to make the vision a reality. Together, through Remake Learning Days Chi, we turned Chicago neighborhoods, particularly on the South and West sides, into a learning laboratory.

Chicago is rich with opportunities for youth to explore and discover their interests. Remake Learning Days Chi highlights the opportunities and organizations across the city that work with children to help express their amazing creativity and talents. I applaud the Chicago Learning Exchange and Project Exploration for presenting and organizing Remake Learning Days Chi. This is a great example of working better together, and I’m grateful to additional founding partners Chicago City of Learning, WTTW Kids, and EvanSTEM.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot

More than 130 activities took place over the four-day future-ready celebration, including DIY STEM Intro to Aeronautics with the Boys and Girls Club of Chicago, outdoor learning with WTTW Kids’ Nature Cat, a Neighborhood Photo Safari with Shine On, Chicago!, and hands-on making at Lakeview High School Innovation Lab and much more.

RLD Chi was designed to spotlight the learning ecosystem (i.e. all types of learning spaces) including museums, schools, libraries, parks, community-based organizations, and more. It was also designed to connect parents, families, and caregivers with students’ interests in learning by raising awareness about learning assets in their own neighborhoods.

“The growing use of technology in all facets of 21st Century life means that young people absorb and use information differently. It also means they learn anytime and anywhere,” explained CLX Executive Director Maria Hibbs. “We recognized that hands-on, relevant learning experiences must reach beyond the classroom. So it’s up to us—educators, nonprofit leaders, public agencies and the private sector working together—to encourage learning that instills innovation and confidence in our youth, preparing them for life and careers in a rapidly changing world.”

Throughout the year, CLX works with a network of over 200 youth-serving organizations, schools, libraries, museums, universities, and companies who share its urgency to advance racial equity in remaking learning.

“From digital badging to STEAM-based activities, CLX and our partners are already working both in and out of schools to connect children with the future of learning,” said Sana Jafri, Director for CLX. “Remake Learning Days Chi provided a way for us to showcase these innovations and reach more children and families with connected learning opportunities that weave together students’ interests with career, academic, and civic relevance.”

RLD Chi was inspired by Pittsburgh-based Remake Learning’s network; CLX and event hosts made the festival their own by investing deeper into areas like Evanston and the Austin neighborhood with founding partners EvanSTEM and Project Exploration. Remake Learning Days Chi was also part of a national movement entitled Remake Learning Days Across America, a nine-city festival that seeks to upend traditional ideas about education and, in so doing, to bridge the achievement gaps that exist among our many neighborhoods.

“We were excited to host Remake Learning Days Chi neighborhood hub in Austin because it’s an opportunity for us to change the narrative of what happens on the West Side. We are ‘Redefining Community. Reclaiming Austin, and Remaking Learning” said Project Exploration’s Executive Director, Natasha Smith-Walker.

Chicago’s new First Lady, Amy Eshleman, joined the Remake Learning Days Chi kickoff and proclaimed that “Remake Learning Days Chi should be a new Chicago tradition.”

Join us to celebrate this year’s accomplishments by reviewing photos and social media stories!

Let’s continue to power our children’s future through the summer and school year.