Building Connection in the Classroom through Common Interest

Songwriting Group, South Side

Student Supports Manager Kenya serves students at an arts-focused school in South Chicago. After one student mentioned having her own YouTube channel where she raps and sings her own lyrics, Kenya got the idea to create a group centered around songwriting. She connected with the Lynx Project, a nonprofit program that walks students through the process of creating their own poetry and music, and she launched the group for ninth and tenth graders.

Anime Club, North Side

Emma, a Student Supports Manager at Hayt Elementary, launched Anime Club before the pandemic began. When students returned to in-person learning, they started asking when Anime Club would return as well, and Emma realized that it would give students exactly what they needed — some less structured time to just be together, bonding over a similar interest.

GSA, Northwest Side

Megan, a Student Supports Manager at CICS West Belden, leads Genders & Sexualities Alliance (GSA) for fifth through eighth graders. Last year, GSA was held virtually due to the pandemic, but this year, GSA is in person and provides students with an affirming space where they can build connection and community. During the first session, Megan asked students how they wanted the space to feel and how they wanted to be in the space, and students said they wanted it to feel accepting, inclusive, and respectful.

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Communities In Schools of Chicago

Communities In Schools of Chicago

Our mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.