The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, in partnership with the Burberry Foundation, has announced grants totaling $2.2 million to expand the Chicago Hive Learning Network's efforts to help youth develop the skills and creative confidence needed to thrive in the twenty-first century digital economy.
The funds will enable the Hive, a collaboration among thirty-four local organizations working to engage youth in critical learning based on their interests, to provide additional learning opportunities for Chicago teenagers in libraries, museums, schools, and arts venues across the city. The grants of $1.7 million and $500,000 from the MacArthur and Burberry foundations, respectively, will be managed through a special fund at the Chicago Community Trust.
Current and future activities supported by the funding include Now Is the Time — an initiative of the Chicago Public Library, Facing History and Ourselves, and the Steppenwolf Theatre Company — and FUSE, a program led by Northwestern University to engage youth in science, technology, engineering, and math through hands-on exploratory challenges. The Hive concept was launched in New York City in 2007 as a project of the Social Science Research Council, with support from the MacArthur Foundation's digital media and learning initiative. The Chicago Hive Learning Network began to take shape in 2009 and today is hosted by DePaul University.
"To be successful today and in the workforce of the future, young people must be prepared to learn continually, collaborate to solve ever-changing problems, and quickly understand huge amounts of information," said MacArthur foundation president Robert Gallucci. "The Chicago Hive Learning Network is intended to demonstrate the value and support the full spectrum of learning experiences in a young person's life, from the classroom to museums, libraries, and online communities."
For a list of participating organizations, visit the MacArthur Foundation Web site.