CIS of Chicago Summer Institute 2014

Join us for our second annual Summer Institute on Wednesday, July 9!

This event is open to all school-focused programs and organizations who want to the opportunity to REFLECT on their practice, REFRESH their toolbox and RENEW their energy to work with CPS students.



The Day’s Agenda:

8:30 – 9:00 Introduction to the Day
Session 1:  “Onboarding Training for New Staff and Volunteers” “Collaboration and Social Emotional Learning in the Classroom” “Creating a Dynamic Presentation”
Session 2:  “Engaging Students through Common Core” “LGBTQ 101” “Creating a Dynamic Presentation”
12:15-1:20 Lunch
Session 3:  “Using Assertive Communication” “Amplify Your Connection to Classroom Teachers” “Playing it Out: Game-making and Interactive Strategies”
2:50-3:30 Group activity and wrap-up


LOCATION: Uplift Community High School (900 W. Wilson Ave.)

DATE: Wednesday, July 9

TIME: 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

COST: Free for CIS of Chicago partners, $30 for non-partners (lunch incl.)



Workshop Information: 

“Onboarding Training for New Staff and Volunteers” –Tovah Burstein and Angelo Santa Lucia, Working in the Schools (WITS)

Designed for: Program Managers

If you train new staff and/or volunteers on a regular basis and struggle with how to do it effectively, this is the training for you. WITS has a long and successful history of volunteer engagement and interactive training. Tovah and Angelo will share their lessons learned around how and how much information volunteers or new staff need to have to be successful stepping into a classroom. Participants will not only learn about what makes WITS’ program work, but they will also have the chance to work on developing their own training based on organizational needs.


“Collaboration and Social Emotional Learning in the Classroom” – Elizabeth Levy, Barrel of Monkeys

Designed for: Program Managers and Classroom Facilitators

This workshop will explore the ways in which collaboration, and the social emotional learning that corresponds to collaboration, can be applied to one’s teaching practice.  We will explore the opportunities to create room for empathy, collaboration, and self-esteem building in the classroom through up-on-your feet games and group writing activities.

Participants will:

  • Identify what encompasses social emotional learning
  • Practice methods for bringing collaboration and social emotional learning into teaching practice
  • Collaborate and analyze how to adapt social emotional learning strategies into their own teaching practice


“Essential Presentation Skills” – David Marcotte, Ovation Communication

Designed for: Classroom Facilitators and Program Managers

In classroom presentations, the messenger is just as important as the message. However, if there is a disconnection between what the presenters’ words are saying, and what their body and voice are saying, the audience is likely disconnected, too. Great presenters are able to simultaneously connect their bodies, voices, and personality to the message so that it is remembered and used by the students. In this workshop, participants will learn the essential skills that help make a great presentation. They will then learn how to leverage these skills in a way that motivates their audience to action. Through exercises, reflection and group feedback, participants will build confidence and skills for dynamic and interesting presentations.


“Engaging Students through Common Core” – Dr. Renee Wright, Triton College

Designed for: Program Managers and Classroom Facilitators

Common Core State Standards have become a high priority for schools. When community partners are able to show that they adhere to some standards, schools are more receptive to partnerships. This workshop is designed to make program managers more comfortable integrating Common Core aligned strategies into curriculum. Participants will understand general tenets of Common Core, learn basic standards-based tools and learn strategies to integrate the standards into their own curriculum.


“LGBTQ 101” – Sarah Casper and Rachel Marro, Response

Designed for: Program Managers and Classroom Facilitators

Anyone who works with youth is working with LGBTQ* youth, whether they realize it or not. This workshop will give participants a safe place to ask questions and get information about a topic that is increasingly important to be well-versed in. LGBTQ students are at a higher risk of being bullied, feeling ostracized, experiencing depression, and skipping school out of fear of safety. Creating inclusive curriculum is one step towards ensuring all students feel engaged and safe during programs and classes.

In this workshop, participants will:

  • Define some of the most common language/terms used by LGBTQ individuals
  • Practice crafting inclusive curriculum and materials
  • Learn to recognize and respond to homophobic or sexist language and/or comments
  • Identify at least 3 specific actions that they can take in their own program to create a safer and more inclusive environment

*lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and/or questioning


“Using Assertive Communication” – Christina James, LCSW

Designed for: Classroom Facilitators and Program Managers

Assertive communication can help to de-escalate potential arguments, build self-esteem, and get one’s point across in a concise and calm way. This skill can be helpful in any setting, but particularly in a school setting, where stress levels can be high.

Participants will:

  • Learn the definition (e.g., verbal and non-verbal aspects) of the four main communication styles – assertive, aggressive, passive, and passive-aggressive – and understand the difference among them
  • Discuss the benefits and challenges of assertive communication
  • Introduce and role-play “DESC” (Describe, Express, Specify, Consequences) assertiveness skill for improved communication


“Amplify Your Connection to Classroom Teachers” – Celina Petersen, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Designed for: Program Managers and Classroom Facilitators

As guests in another teacher’s room, classroom facilitators are often tasked with not only engaging their student audience, but their teacher partners as well.  In this workshop, participants will learn about the Nature Museum’s teacher engagement strategies as a way to increase program efficacy and staying power.  Using this model, participants will reflect on their current teacher engagement practices, brainstorm and workshop new ideas, and develop a plan for teacher engagement for the coming school year.


“Playing It Out: Game-making and Interactive Strategies” – Jacob Watson, For Youth Inquiry and Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health

Designed for: Program Managers and Classroom Facilitators

What is a game? Why use games for learning? What makes a good game? In this participatory experience, educators will work together to re-purpose existing schoolyard and theatre games as metaphors for health learning content. We will dissect the component parts of familiar games like “Tag” and “Red Rover,” in order to create a game-based learning experience for our students. Participants will walk away with simple tools for creating and facilitating educational game structures and the ability to use games to promote enjoyment, personal investment, and deep critical inquiry among students.


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