The Odyssey Project, which is offered in Chicago and Springfield by the IHC in partnership with the Bard College (New York) Clemente Course in the Humanities and several Illinois universities, was founded on the premise that engagement with the humanities can offer a way out of poverty. It provides a free yearlong course in five humanities subjects (literature, U.S. history, critical thinking and writing, philosophy, and art history) for adults at or below the poverty level. On the South Side, where classes are supported by the CKP and offered at the AKArama Community Center, University scholars create an intellectually engaging classroom similar to what students at elite universities experience.
Transportation, books, materials, and childcare are provided free-of-charge for Odyssey students. Students are expected to attend all classes and fulfill the course’s requirements. If students complete the course satisfactorily, they receive six credits from Bard College.
A second year “Bridge Course” is available to advanced students who want to continue. Students take semester-long classes in philosophy, literature, or both. This course meets once each week at the Illinois Humanities Council in the Loop. Tuition, books and bus cards are provided at no cost to students. Those who complete the course successfully receive four fully transferable units of credit per subject from Bard College, our academic partner.
Additionally, Spanish language courses in the Pilsen neighborhood. Taught in partnership with the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Spanish-language Odyssey Project serves native Spanish speakers and is offered at Gads Hill Center in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. Students take classes in literature, philosophy, Latin American history, and other humanities subjects. All reading assignments are in Spanish, as is class discussion. Classes meet twice a week from fall to spring. Tuition is free and all books are provided free of charge. Students who successfully complete the course receive four fully transferable credit hours from Bard College.
CKP is expanding its services at South Side elementary schools for students and their parents as part of its “The Educating Community” initiative by offering adult education course packages designed in collaboration with our community partners. We currently have several new features to this site for those who are interested in helping us to build a stronger, healthier community.
- An email listhost
- A website with an online calendar and a moderated blog
- A series of discussion forums at which experts and community members can exchange information and action strategies on various topics.
If you would like to be added to join our network, please email Erika Dudley at firstname.lastname@example.org. And please feel free to call us at 773/834-3929 if you have any questions about our work!
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