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Loyola Academy Recognized as Illinois Democracy School for Preparing Young People to Be Effective Citizens

The Illinois Civic Mission Coalition (ICMC) has recognized Loyola Academy as a 2017 Illinois Democracy School, an honor that will extend through the 2018–19 school year. Democracy Schools are recognized for providing students with authentic experiences in the rights, responsibilities and tensions inherent in living in a constitutional democracy. Through these experiences, participating schools strive to equip students with the knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary for informed, effective engagement in our democracy.
Loyola will receive a stipend and a banner for public display from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, which convenes the ICMC to invest in high quality civic learning initiatives.

"Becoming an Illinois Democracy School is a recognition of the great work we do across the curriculum in connecting our classrooms to the community,” says Social Studies Department Chair Jeff Dees. “At Loyola Academy, we are always challenging our students to use their gifts in service of others, and our partnership with Illinois Democracy Schools will help to create more opportunities where students put what is learned into action."

Democracy schools foster a school climate that nurtures and models civic dispositions and builds strong relationships within the surrounding community. They provide students with various opportunities to participate in the democratic process, such as engaging in current and controversial issue discussions, participating in democratic simulations and providing service learning opportunities. Through these practices, students see firsthand the critical role they play in shaping government and society.  

Loyola earned exemplary marks in the category of service learning for its structured Ignatian Service Learning program, which incorporates the service experience into the classroom and enables students to study social justice issues in academic courses across the curriculum. Class offerings include Honors Environmental Science, Justice Seminar, Honors Sociology in Action, Spanish Immersion, Studio II: Art as Advocacy and Hidden Voices in American Literature and expose students to a unique teaching methodology that combines classroom instruction with meaningful and relevant community service at fifteen nonprofit community partners. Through these opportunities, students complete impactful work with immigrant children, the homeless, the environment and more.  

Exemplary marks were also earned in the category of vision and leadership for Loyola’s strong mission statements and teachers and students who align their vision and work with the school mission. Other areas of strength include the school-wide mock election exercises; Solidarity Week and refugee camp simulation; Model-UN program; speech and debate teams; robust student involvement, with 94 percent of students participating in a club, activity or sport; student-led Revolution H20 project, which bans the sale of plastic water bottles on campus; and an active student newspaper.


About the Robert R. McCormick Foundation
Among the nation’s largest foundations with more than $1.5 billion in assets, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation was established in 1955 upon the death of Col. Robert R. McCormick, longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune.

About the Illinois Civic Mission Coalition
The Illinois Civic Mission Coalition (ICMC) is a broad nonpartisan consortium, which includes educators, administrators, students, universities, funders, elected officials, policymakers and representatives from private and nonprofit sectors. Formed in 2004 by the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago, the ICMC is part of the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, a national initiative to restore a core purpose of education to prepare America’s youngest citizens to be informed and active participants in our democracy.

The Robert R. McCormick Foundation has convened ICMC since 2010. To learn more, click here.
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To form women and men for meaningful lives of leadership and service in imitation of Jesus Christ through a college preparatory education in the Jesuit, Catholic tradition.
Loyola Academy admits students of any race, color and national origin or ethnic origin.