Concordia Place’s award-winning* afterschool and summer program offers teens, ages 13-18, a comprehensive curriculum to develop the next generation of leaders and stewards. Our leadership program provides plenty of hands-on experiences and supports teens as they build a wide-range of ecological, creative, social and civic skills. They also perform community service projects that are essential tools for empowering teens to become active agents of positive change in their community. A dedicated staff provides a welcoming and safe environment for a diverse group of teens. Our goal is to develop confident and civic-minded teens that are able to give purpose and direction to their lives.
Free program, join at any time!
Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays 3:00 - 6:00 p.m.
New session starts on Tuesday, January 17 through Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Essentials of our Leadership Curriculum
Ecology—Being Earth Stewards
In our two teen developed and maintained gardens, a vegetable garden at the Carl Von Linne School and an herb garden here at Concordia Place, many teens make their first contact with growing. Concordia’s teens engage in preparing beds for planting, they also learn the importance of weeding, and how to sustain a healthy garden. Besides acquiring gardening skills, they learn firsthand about seasonal planting, amending poor soil and how to maintain compost and vermi-bins. Gardening enables teens to experience food as a wonderful journey that starts with a seed and ends on their plate.
Composting and recycling are fundamental activities that are part of our ecology curriculum. These actions instill in teens a sense of responsible citizenship and connect them to a variety of issues in their community and planet. Recycling and composting at Concordia Place usually leads to recycling at home, with teens teaching parents. Through these actions, we are creating the next generation of environmental leaders.
Nutrition & Culinary Skills—Teens Teach What They Learn
This aspect of our program is aimed at improving the health of teens through nutritional education. We encourage teens to take control of their health through knowledge and action. Teens develop hands-on experience with meal planning and learn cooking skills. Teens understand the connection between the food consumption and their health. It also introduces new and healthy food choices that they can incorporate into their diet and food preparation. Our teens teach what they learn—this is a vehicle to educate families and youth and neighbors on health and nutrition issues, including how food is grown, produced, processed and prepared.
Holistic Teen Health—Tools for making Positive Life Choices
Our program gives teens the opportunity to learn a variety of positive mental and physical health modalities. We provide classes in Yoga and Zumba, and the teens learn conflict resolution techniques and stress management skills. These activities are a creative vehicle for teens to develop flexible, balanced bodies and experience a quiet mind as well. Within these topics, the teens are given tools and resources to continue to make healthy life choices and learn well-being practices.
Since the teenage years are full of growth and self-discovery, providing time for structured adult and peer guidance helps teens to gain a solid footing in this changing world. Through Peace Circles teens learn to talk about relevant issues in small and large groups which are safe from judgment and help them to formulate their views and priorities. Topics that the teens choose to discuss are ever changing and range from personal [body image, sexuality, depression, suicide, etc.] to social [bullying, media influence, environment, etc.] depending on the session and their interests. Fostering healthy relationships with outside adults and their older and younger peers helps empower teens to find their voice and stand for what they believe in.
* The Emerging Leaders program won the 2014 Illinois Afterschool Network's IAN Award for ‘Best Program Practices.’ This award recognizes our innovative and exemplary practices that serve as a model for after-school and youth development programs across Illinois. We were singled out for our holistic program offerings, original and inventive curriculum, and strong teen engagement.