Cool Classics! is an after-school program committed to improving literacy and reading comprehension among underserved elementary school students, expanding their sense of arts, humanities and culture, creating readers, critical thinkers and citizens while serving schools that have lost arts and culture programs and are overwhelmed by demands of test-driven curricula. Our curricula, designed around morally complex books, allow us to develop students' analytic thinking while teaching about the arts, humanities, self-discipline and constructive dispute resolution.
Cool Classics! is an after-school program that uses book-based, arts-integrated curricula to improve literacy, teach critical-thinking skills and introduce students in under-served communities to the arts and humanities. We hold our students to the highest academic standards and provide them with the tools for success. In our last decade, we have increased test scores among our participants and improved their academic achievements, social skills and behavior in their classrooms and homes. We build lasting communities of our students, their families, teachers and school administrators to insure success as they continue their education throughout their lives.
We are honored to be among 12 winners of the 2017 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award. The award is given to the nation's top after-school programs by the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, in cooperation with the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.
The video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6o0ytEjux_M&feature=youtu.be briefly describes our work. Our website at coolclassicschicago.org offers more information, galleries of our children's art and photos of their activities as well as an archive of our enewsletters.