Education Partnerships

Young Chicago Authors provides free 20-week (October-April) literary arts partnership residencies to select Chicago Public Schools.

Schools work closely with a YCA Teaching Artist to create inter- and intra-school programming in preparation for the school’s participation in Louder Than A Bomb, the largest teen poetry slam in the country, and a final school-wide performance.

During these residencies, YCA Teaching Artists visit the school to perform original work, lead a master class, and/or critique student work, depending on the needs of the teacher. Teaching Artists show students different approaches to writing, often using pieces by acclaimed contemporary poets and lyricists as a starting point, and give students writing prompts to begin the work of crafting individual and group poems.

Education Partner schools send a team of four to ten poets to compete at the Louder Than A Bomb Youth Poetry Festival (LTAB) in two preliminary bouts with teams from other schools, with the chance to progress to the quarter- and semifinal rounds and ultimately to the Team Finals competition. Most schools organize a field trip to attend one of the preliminary bouts to show school-wide support for the team. Poetry club members not competing in the team LTAB competition also have the opportunity to compete in ancillary LTAB events, including solo/duo poetry open mics and salons.

Please note that the application deadline for the 2017-2018 school year has passed. Any applications received will be considered for the 2018-2019 school year. 

Program Benefits

  • Free YCA Teaching Artist instruction in class and/or after-school.
  • Help in coordinating and recruiting for an after-school poetry club.
  • Assistance in preparing for the Louder Than a Bomb tournament, including instruction in both performance and poetry.
  • Direct student mentorship from YCA Teaching Artists.
  • Waived team registration fee for the Louder Than A Bomb tournament.
  • Networking and collaboration opportunities with two other schools in your region.
  • Access to Chicago Writes, a unique, Chicago-centered, CPS-approved literary curriculum.

Partnership Requirements

All Education Partnership schools must have:

  • A classroom teacher able to support literary arts curriculum delivery and host a YCA Teaching Artist.
  • The capacity to conduct regular curricular planning meetings with a YCA Teaching Artist to coordinate in-class and after-school curriculum.
  • A dedicated school staff member to recruit and coach an after-school Poetry Club and the Louder Than A Bomb team with assistance from a YCA Teaching Artist.
  • Space to run a Poetry Club on campus one day a week across the partnership.
  • The ability and capacity to host school-wide poetry engagements.
  • The ability to attend a Professional Development (PD) training at the start of the academic year.
  • The ability to bring LTAB team, club, and other students from the school to Louder Than A Bomb events every winter (February-March).

Applications for the 2017-2018 year are now closed. Any applications received now will be considered for the 2018-2019 school year. For more information about YCA's Education Partnerships, please contact Heather Roberts, Program Manager, at

Our 2016-17 Education Partners

  • Frederick Douglass Academy High School
  • Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy
  • Innovations High School
  • Jones College Prep High School
  • Lindblom Math and Science Academy
  • Michele Clark Academic Preparatory High School
  • Muchin College Prep
  • Noble Street College Prep
  • Northside College Prep
  • Olive-Harvey Middle College High School
  • Rudy Lozano Leadership Academy
  • Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy
  • Simeon Career Academy
  • TEAM Englewood
  • Walter Payton College Prep

Education Partnership Application

For more information about YCA’s Education Partnerships, please contact Heather Roberts, Program Manager, at heather/at/


Application Sucessfully Sent