About Free Lunch Academy
What is Free Lunch Academy?
Free Lunch Academy (FLA) is a non-profit organization currently working in Chicago Public Schools. We use the arts to teach conflict resolution skills, reduce youth violence and prevent bullying. The services we provide include live performances and theater workshops.
Our primary focus is working with students to further the message of love, peace, tolerance and inclusion. Workshops teach students theater acting, play writing and digital media skills. Students deal with anti-bullying themes based in their own language and experience. Our goal is to foster learning environments that are safe, positive, productive and truly inclusive.
Founded in 2012, Free Lunch Academy has completed over 350 classroom workshop programs. We employ youth and young adults who value creativity. Our youth employment program provides our staff with paid internships, educational training and mentoring. Our staff learn job skills and how to be a mentor as they grow toward their goals in life.
Mission and Values
Free Lunch Academy is an artistic outreach program that uses drama to prevent drama and help heal trauma throughout our communities resulting in improved outcomes inside classrooms, within careers and throughout communities. Since 2014 Free Lunch Academy has successfully merged the worlds of arts, culture and educational entertainment to help overcome the adverse childhood experiences endured by the vast majority of today’s youth and young adult populations. This approach is known as our ACES Over ACES model. We believe that a dedicated focus to cultivating character in program participants early and often throughout their developmental years produces better people who make better decisions as students, workers, business owners and citizens, which ultimately results in a better world for us all.
To date, Free Lunch Academy has successfully enriched, empowered and employed over 50,000 students, parents, educators and emerging artists throughout the Chicagoland area. Innovative live performances, interactive workshops, community events and creative youth employment programming have established Free Lunch Academy as the nation’s fastest growing provider of character development themed social emotional artistic learning services throughout its tenure. Our simple aim is to collectively impact the world for the better through a commitment to character development in classrooms, careers and communities.
About Our Logo
Our logo is a visual representation of our mission and is described by four areas: artistry, education, mutual respect, and community