A group of 34 local organizations in Chicago have banded together to form the Chicago Hive Learning Network, which recently received a funding boost of $2.2 million from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Burberry Foundation.
The money will go toward expanding the work of the hive, which aims to extend learning opportunities for students in Chicago by engaging them in critical thinking and digital skills development in after-school environments such as libraries, museums, and arts venues around the city. For instance, the organization is creating a cohort of youth leaders called "Hive Ambassadors" who will weigh in on the growing technological infrastructure of the Chicago Hive Learning Network—which includes badge systems, digital mentor programs, and online tools—as well as participate in leadership workshops around the city. An online community for Hive Ambassadors is also in the works, and the group's activities will culminate in a Hive Chicago youth summit.
The Hive concept was launched in New York City in 2007 with support from MacArthur's digital media and learning initiative. Chicago's Hive Learning Network was established in 2009.