Academy for Global Citizenship students are wholly engaged in their school, their community, and the world around them. That engagement takes many forms, but two stand out: wellness and sustainability.
Wellness is an area of major emphasis at the Academy for Global Citizenship. Wellness wheel posters adorn the halls of the former barrel factory where the school is housed. The wheel is more like a circle divided into six pie slices, representing six categories of wellness: intellectual, physical, emotional, spiritual, social, and environmental.
There are three wellness teachers at the school: one who teaches a wellness class (which includes physical activity through students in grades K-2), and two work with students in grades 3 through 8. One focuses on physical and social wellness, the other on the other four categories.
Wellness extends to cafeteria food as well. AGC employs a full-time chef, who prepares meals from scratch using organic, locally sourced ingredients from organic farms in Illinois and Wisconsin. There’s always a vegetarian option available as well.
When we visited, lunch included pasta salad, a hummus wrap, green beans, a garden salad, and fresh fruit.
There’s a garden in raised beds, and chickens the students help care for. Solar collectors and a wind turbine help power the school. Students track the collectors’ energy collection.
Environmental sustainability is infused in the school’s curriculum, and the staff penned a 75-page handbook on how to create an environmentally sustainable school.
Plans are in the works for a new campus for the school, which is currently split between buildings a quarter-mile apart, separated by a high-traffic intersection. The new facility would be net-positive energy, meaning it produces more energy than it consumes.