Service Learning

The Chicago City Day School has received recognition by entities ranging from corporate America to local and national agencies for its Service Learning Program. The Service Learning work conducted at Miami Woods Forest Preserve and St. Paul Woods Forest Preserve, which includes the North Branch of the Chicago River, is heavily integrated into the science curriculum.

The River Project

Middle grade and upper grade students do restoration work and conduct water quality tests on the North Branch of the Chicago River. Data collected by upper grade students is available on the Friends of the Chicago River website:

Students and teachers take part in the annual Chicago River Student Congress, sponsored by Friends of the Chicago River, where they present research findings to an audience of peers, parents, teachers, and environmental professionals.

I did community service on the Chicago River in high school too. The experience has changed my actions.
—Rebecca, 2012


In 2005, The Chicago City Day School began a relationship with the Shedd Aquarium and Reef Check (UCLA), unique in the United States among elementary schools. Each summer qualified students in the upper grades travel with City Day faculty and personnel from the Shedd Aquarium to Bimini, the Bahamas to spend one week aboard the Aquarium’s research vessel, Coral Reef II, working on coral reef and habitat assessment and beach restoration.

The Chicago City Day School is currently the only organization monitoring the coral reefs off the coast of Bimini. Data gathered by City Day students have been incorporated by noted oceanographer and environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau in his work to conserve coral reefs around the world.

The School’s intensive and exciting Marine Biology Field Expedition to Bimini is often reported by participants as a life-changing experience.