Ellen Hao

Kids rejoice! The last day of class for CPS is June 21. But with summer vacation just around the corner, where will students go when they’re not in school? Like everything else in CPS, the district’s summer programs, including summer school, will face significant budget cuts without help from Springfield, as the Sun-Times reported. So it’s up to nonprofits and private organizations to fill in the gap. In this list, the Weekly samples some of the programming available to South Side kids, featuring arts, science, sports, and other adventures.

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Red Clay Youth Dance Ensemble

Hamilton Park, 513 W. 72nd St. July 5th–August 11, Monday–Thursday, 9am–1pm. Ages 13–18. Audition required. Apply at afterschoolmatters.org. (773) 624-8411. redclaydance.com

Red Clay, a well-known South Side-based dance troupe with a focus on teen development, brings together talented dancers for a rigorous series of trainings and creative workshops taught in partnership with professional choreographers. Dancers will also participate in a full roster of performances at a variety of venues over the course of the summer. According to promotional materials, this program is meant to foster “artistic excellence, self-advocacy, and collaboration.” Red Clay generally receives a high number of applications for the camp. (Jake Bittle)

Beverly Arts Center Camp

Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. June 13–August 19 in two-week sessions, Monday–Friday, 9am–4pm. Ages 5–12. Starting at $379/session. (773) 445-3838. beverlyartscenter.org

The Beverly Arts Center has long been a mainstay of the Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood, offering a wide array of educational programs and events throughout the year. The Summer Arts Camp staff is well prepared to guide students aged five to twelve in a number of artistic and creative activities: from music and theater to fitness and filmmaking, campers experiment broadly. This year, new options for before and after care are being offered. (Corinne Butta)

Creativity Camp

Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave. June 13–September 2 in one- or two-week sessions. Monday–Friday, 9am–3pm. Grades pre-K–5. $325-$710/session. (773) 324-5520. hydeparkart.org

The Creativity Camp offers a variety of summer programs that aim to spark creativity and awaken imagination. No session is like the others, so every child is bound to find one they love. The “Special Topics Camps” (ages 10+) range from learning to make ceramics, to creating moving sculptures, to discovering how to shoot and develop film. Mixed media camps (ages 4+) introduce campers to visual and performance arts, and includes fun field trips all around Chicago. Early care and after care is available from 8am–9am for $15/day and 3pm–5pm for $30/day or $125/week. Campers must be pre-registered. Financial aid awards are available on a rolling basis and applications can be found online. An exhibition or performance is held on the last day of camp to showcase each camper’s work. (Camila Cuesta Arcentales)

The Revival

The Revival, 1160 E. 55th St. One week programs, half-day and full-day. Ages 4–12. Half day (4–7) $195 per week, full day (8–12) $295 per week. classes@the-revival.com

The Revival, a new Hyde Park improv comedy and performance venue that’s had a successful year hosting professional comics and student groups alike, now offers a series of weeklong summer camps focused on different aspects of comedy, improv, and performance. Class themes for the older group include the basics of improvisation, screenwriting, and puppeteering, while younger kids will learn about how to express themselves through acting, how to act the part of an animal, and more. Daily schedules are oriented on group learning and team building, and include daily reviews. The full-day classes include lunch, the half-day classes include a snack. (Jake Bittle)

Chicago on the Nile: Cultural Arts Program

eta Creative Arts, 7558 S. Chicago Ave. June 27–August 12, Monday–Friday, 9am–4pm. Ages 6–12. $750, with $100 deposit at time of registration. (773) 752-3955. etacreativearts. org

With the mission of preserving and promoting the work of African-American artists and creatives within Chicago, eta Creative Arts has long been a resource for educational and professional opportunities. Their summer arts camp, Chicago on the Nile, offers experimentation with an array of creative practices. Campers will experiment broadly: making music, dancing, journaling, and visual art-making are just some of the daily workshops aimed at helping youth aged six to twelve begin to develop their creative voice and tell their stories. The program ends with a showcase on August 12, open to all campers’ friends and families. (Corinne Butta)

Teen Arts Camp in Chicago Parks

Piotrowski Park, 4247 W. 31st Street, and Tuley Park, 501 E. 90th Pl. July 5–August 12, Mon–Fri. Ages 12–14. $124 for Chicago residents, discounted rates available. (312) 747-6608 (Piotrowski), (312) 747-6763 (Tuley). Leah.Woldman@chicagoparkdistrict.com

The Chicago Park District will offer a six-week arts camp, “Arts XIII,” for Chicago teenagers ages 12–14, beginning in July. The camp offers locations at multiple parks across the city, two of which are on the South Side. Teens will work alongside professional artists and performers from venues and studios such as Art Devour, Free Street Theater, and Inferno Mobile Recording Studio. Through weekly field trips to art destinations and cultural spaces in Chicago and collaborative activities with other young artists, the camp hopes to build skills in visual and performing arts, as well as in digital media. Participants will participate in a final showcase at the end of the six-week program. (Jake Bittle)

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CHA Summer Youth Employment Program

Chicago Housing Authority. Ages 16-24. (312) 786-6930. youth.thecha.org

Chicago Housing Authority residents ages 16 to 24 (as of June 27, 2016) have the opportunity to take paid jobs through the summer months, sponsored by the Department of Family and Support Services. The program will focus on financial literacy, job skill development, and will offer young adult mentors. Participants can choose from eighteen diverse career focus areas, including community building and revitalization, custodial and facilities maintenance, performing arts, and healthcare. Applications are due June 19, 2016, and must be completed online. (Carrie Smith)

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Project SYNCERE Middle School STEM Camp

Olive-Harvey College, 10001 S. Woodlawn Ave. June 27–August 5 in one-week sessions. Monday–Friday, 8:30am–4:30pm. $275/session; income-based discounts available. Grades 6–8. (773) 982-8261. projectsyncere.org

Underwater robotics, bottle rockets, and wearable electronics are just some of the engineering projects students can take on this summer. Founded in 2009 by three African American men with a mission to advance STEM education in underserved communities, Project SYNCERE is offering a six-session summer camp for middle school students with a variety of hands-on challenges designed to teach kids how to apply science and math skills to real world challenges. Applications are open until two weeks prior to the start of each session. (Carrie Smith)

BLUE1647 Youth Summer Coding Bootcamps

BLUE1647, 1647 S. Blue Island Ave. June 20–July 15 (session 1), July 25–August 19 (session 2). Monday–Friday. Age 7–17. Lunches not provided. $395-$500/session. Register at bit.ly/20QLR5K

Everyone knows how to use a website and play a computer game, but not everyone can make one. BLUE1647, a hub for entrepreneurship and tech innovation in Pilsen, plans to change that. The organization will offer summer youth boot camps on web programming, game design, photography and video, robotics, and fashion so you can learn how computer programming connects with your other interests. The camp schedule allows participants to double-up and explore two subject areas at a time. (Kristin Lin)

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Sacred Keepers Youth Council

Sacred Keepers Sustainability Lab, 4445 S. King Dr., 2nd floor. June 28–August 5. Tuesday–Thursday, 10am–2pm; Friday, 10am– 4:30pm. Ages 16–22. Apply at afterschoolmatters.org. (312) 869-9546. sacredkeepers.org

Join the Sacred Keepers Sustainability Lab for a summer of exploring the relationship between nature and human communities. Youth will learn about both art and urban ecology, taking part in projects to create a mural, build homes for monarch butterflies, and devise scientific investigations. Connect to your natural and urban landscapes and help reinvest in your community. (Hafsa Razi)

Urban Food Production Advanced Internship

The Plant Chicago, 1400 W. 46th St. July 6– August 13. Wednesday–Friday, 9am–1pm; Saturday, 9am–5pm. Apply at afterschoolmatters.org. (773) 847-5523. plantchicago.org

Aquaponics, leafy greens, healthy soil, hand-kneaded bread—be a part of urban agriculture and sustainable food production movement this summer, as an intern at The Plant Chicago. A South Side organization dedicated to sustainable food, The Plant is located in Back of the Yards and juggles a number of roles in the local food ecosystem, supporting its own aquaponics and outdoor farms, as well as running a farmers market and offering workshops and programming to the public. Interns will be a part of all parts of the production, helping with the farmers market, both indoor and outdoor farming, bread-making, and educational programming. If your thumbs aren’t already green, they will be by the end of the summer. (Kristin Lin)

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Investigative and Verse Journalism Summer Series

Young Chicago Authors, 1180 N. Milwaukee Ave. July 6–August 13. Wednesday–Friday, 3pm–7pm; Saturday, 11am–3pm. Apply at afterschoolmatters.org. (773) 486-4331. youngchicagoauthors.org

Make headlines as an investigative journalist this summer. Young Chicago Authors, the organization that runs the annual city-wide slam poetry extravaganza, Louder Than A Bomb, is hosting a summer series that will allow participants to explore the Chicago around them through multimedia—ranging from verse journalism, poetry, and prose to photography, collage, and audio. In particular, the workshop will focus on investigating the term “Chiraq” through interviewing city residents and reflecting on personal experiences. (Kristin Lin)


Volleyball Camp

South Suburban College Athletic and Physical Fitness Center, 15800 S. State St., South Holland, IL. June 27–June 30. Daily, 9am–10am and 10am–11am. Starting at $50. 3rd grade through high school. (708) 596-2000 ext. 2334. ssc.edu

Venture over to South Suburban College for a one-week volleyball camp, where you’ll learn all the ins and outs of the game. Elementary and middle schoolers will start off with the basics—serving, passing, hitting, setting—while high schoolers will move on to more advanced skills. Preregister by June 10 for a free volleyball or t-shirt! (Hafsa Razi)

South Side Junior Tennis Camp

University of Chicago Laboratory School Tennis JUNE 1, 2016 ¬ SOUTH SIDE WEEKLY 17

Courts, 1362 E. 59th St. June 4–July 9 (session 1) and July 9–August 13 (session 2). Saturdays, 10am–11am and 10am–12pm. $50/session. K through 8th grade. (312) 651-5015. southsidejuniortennis.org

Get a “5-star experience” at South Side Junior Tennis Camp nearly every Saturday this summer. For children ten and under, the camp provides “kid-sized” balls, racquets, and courts, all designed for an experience that’s low in intensity and high in fun. For older children, small class sizes and one-on-one training provide the skills and strategy students need to advance in the sport—a gateway program into the tennis world, so to speak. (Hafsa Razi)

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Morgan Park Academy Summer Camp

Morgan Park Academy, 2153 W. 111th St. June 27–August 5. Starting at $240. Pre-K through 8th grade. (773) 881-6700. mpasummercamp.org

Morgan Park Academy, a private school in Beverly, will offer a wide selection of summer camps with themes including academics, enrichment, fine arts, performing arts, sports, and just plain good old “recreation.” This means everything from tennis to yoga to Legos to long division. These camps run the gamut in terms of price and scheduling (some camps last one week, some last almost a month), but they’ll all take place at Morgan Park’s campus on 111th Street. There are over fifty sessions still available for registration, but they’re going fast. There’s even a “Kitchen Wars” culinary session. (Jake Bittle)

Little Hands Learning Center

Little Hands Learning Center Academy, 10126 S. Western Ave. June 27–August 5. Monday– Friday, 7am–6pm. $1125–$1985 (prices vary by age). Ages infant–12 years. (773) 445-1900. lhlcsummercamp.com

This Beverly school with two campuses— the “Academy” and the “Ma-Mere’s Institute”—will host two weekly summer camps for children ages six weeks to five years, and children ages six years to twelve years. The curriculum is focused on enhancing a love of learning, with weekly class themes that include “discovering matter” (through chemical reactions) and building your own machine. The cost of admission includes all meals, but excludes an extra fee for bus transportation to various optional field trip locations. (Jake Bittle)

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