Growing What You Eat

CME Group Foundation provided a $20,000 grant to support two urban garden initiatives at two different Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Michele Clark Academy High School used the grant to install an indoor aquaponics system and John Marshall High School was able to build raised garden beds.

Recently, CME Group Foundation Board Member and former Secretary of Agriculture, Dan Glickman, paid a visit to Michele Clark Academy in the Austin neighborhood. He joined Dr. Janice Jackson, CEO of Chicago Public Schools, for a demo of the school's new system and sat down for a Q&A with students interested in potential careers in urban agriculture.

"The students studied the impact of lead in the soil on urban gardening and then presented their findings during our visit. It was very impressive," said Kassie Davis, Executive Director of CME Group Foundation. "Having access to an indoor aquaponics garden is great for these students studying urban agriculture due to our short growing season in Chicago."

The food grown in the classroom with this new aquaponics system will be used in the school's cafeteria as part of the Eat What You Grow program. The program provides students with real harvest experience while exposing them to agricultural engineering and teaches them important facts about food safety.

"Michele Clark is both honored and humbled to be a part of this partnership," said Principal Charles Anderson. "I can't wait until we have salads on those plates!"


We are so grateful for your willingness to bring these enriching learning experiences to our students.

Francie Richards
CPS Chief External Relations Officer


CME Group Foundation strives to empower today's students who will shape future industries. Since its founding in 2008, CME Group Foundation has granted CPS nearly $2 million.

"Thank you so much for CME Group Foundation's support of CPS over the last decade," added Francie Richards, CPS Chief External Relations Officer. "We are so grateful for your willingness to bring these enriching learning experiences to our students."

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