THIS. IS. NOT. NORMAL. Life right now is not normal for any of us--and certainly not for our participants. The pandemic prevents the very thing that makes Chicago Lights special--gathering together to mentor, to learn, to relate, and to grow.

Or does it?
Early on, the Chicago Lights team chose “connection” as our guiding principle during this time. It turns out we CAN still gather together (virtually) to mentor, to learn, to relate, and to grow. We CAN still deliver essential services and basic-needs support (from a six-foot distance). We CAN support Social Service Center guests through case management (virtually). We CAN still engage young people through arts and enrichment (virtually). 

So, our connection continues! Programming lives on and is needed, especially now. Please keep reading for updates on how Chicago Lights programming has been adjusted--and continues to evolve--as we stay committed to building brighter futures for Chicago's youth and adults.

Read more about our response to COVID-19 here .
Tutoring: Virtual Mentoring and E-Learning
virtual mock interviews tutoring
Chicago Lights Tutoring students in grades 1 through 12 and their tutor/mentors continue to meet through video chat. We're also offering virtual classes in career exploration, leadership, and college preparation, as well as resource support and advocacy for e-learning and other needs.

Staff are onsite two days per week to offer curbside school supply pickup and printed materials for families in need of these resources to complete remote-learning school work.
Social Service Center: Curbside Services
curbside services social service center
curbside services donations
The Social Service Center is providing safe, curbside services for our adult guests during limited hours on Tuesdays through Fridays so they can get the essentials they need, such as clothing, hygiene items, snacks, inclement weather gear, and Food Pantry pickup.

Want to help? Donate new items from any online retailer and have them shipped to ATTN: Chicago Lights Social Service Center, 126 E. Chestnut St., Chicago, IL 60611. We are not accepting any drop-offs of donations for the foreseeable future.  Please see the current wish list here.
Urban Farm: Virtual Learning and Online Plant Sale
plants sale urban farm greenhouse
urban farm city view
The spring session of Farm Corps teens (in partnership with After School Matters) continue to learn virtually about urban agriculture and healthy habits.

Employing the highest safety measures, the Chicago Lights Urban Farm team continues to nurture and cultivate our crops for a bountiful summer harvest.

Get plants from our Urban Farm for your home garden! Order online here by this Wednesday, May 13 and then pick up curbside on Saturday, May 16.
Dance Academy: E-Learning and YouTube Classes
Dance Academy April at home
Dance Academy Ramon at home
The Chicago Lights Dance Academy is providing e-learning dance instruction to students enrolled in our five partner Chicago Public Schools and our Saturday program. Classes in ballet, jazz, musical theater, yoga, and more are on YouTube here . Having this consistent opportunity for creative movement and an outlet for expression is especially important for young people at this time. 
Please continue to stay connected to Chicago Lights by reading our emails and following us on social media ( Facebook , Twitter , Instagram , LinkedIn , and YouTube ). Follow us to stay updated on programming, including summer plans--more to come on that.
In the meantime, let's take a break together. Join me and Samarja in the video above for a quick, 40-second meditation. Samarja learned this butterfly meditation at Chicago Lights Tutoring's Peace Club with leader Janice Lewis.

Wishing you peace, good health, and hope,
Stacy Jackson headshot
Stacy Jackson
Stacy Jackson
Executive Director
Chicago Lights builds brighter futures for Chicago's youth and adults through supportive relationships and life-changing programs.