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  • REGISTER | sopoFUNdamentals

    The FUN-genda! Peruse our full list of FUN programs below (click the photo to learn more or register) -or- use the orange "fast filter" buttons to quickly find just your faves! Programs for 0-5yo Drop-off Classes (5+) Afterschool (5+) "School's Out" Days Open Play (all ages) Programs for Adults Filter by topic

  • Southport Fundamentals | Community Center | 3827 North Southport Avenue, Chicago, IL, USA

    Welcome to TM A community center located on the north end of Chicago's Southport Corridor neighborhood dedicated to MAKING LEARNING FUN for kids of all ages (grown-ups too)! To sign up for your next fun learning experience, visit the REGISTER page or click "THE FUN-GENDA" button below! To learn more about PRIVATE RENTALS for birthday parties or baby showers, click "PARTIES" button below! THE FUN-GENDA PARTIES Our Approach to Learning At southportFUNdamentals, we believe that learning should be FUN. Our curriculum is designed to spark curiosity and creativity in our students. With a focus on celebrating progress, rather than perfection, our classes offer students of all ages (yes, even grown ups) the opportunity to explore and learn in a supportive and stimulating environment. Give us a try, you might just have a little fun! OUR SCHEDULE There are so many ways to have FUN! At southportFUNdamentals, we believe that learning should be a FUN experience. Our students engage in interactive lessons -- taught by funny, kind, engaging INSTRUCTORS -- that help them develop a love for learning. Please visit our ACTIVITIES page to learn more about the classes we offer. Contact News & Events News - Press Release Fri 08/25/2023 re: Ribbon Cutting on Tues 08/29/23 to celebrate our grand opening. Event photos linked here! ​ News - Feature Article in Block Club Chicago - this article was published on 09/28/23 and talks about the opening of Southport Fundamentals, and the all the services we are excited to offer!

  • ABOUT | sopoFUNdamentals

    Oh, what FUN! Hello, and THANKS for visiting our website! Here at Southport FUNdamentals, we are all about making learning FUN! ​ We believe that joy is contagious and that learning from an engaging teacher just feels good! OUR GOAL is to provide a gathering place where students of all ages— babies, toddlers, big kids, teens AND adults —can learn something new in a fun and welcoming environment! ​ We invite you to check out our upcoming CLASSES/CAMPS and OPEN PLAY HOURS to see if anything looks like a match! We also love celebrating life's milestones with PRIVATE PARTIES , so please consider letting us host your next event! Video by Nneka Nwosu Faison Music & Dance At Southport FUNdamentals, we offer music and dance classes that are fun and good for both your brain and body. Our FUN-tastic instructors bring years of experience to your lessons, so you can learn the fundamentals of music and dance in a safe and supportive environment. We strive to create a space that is inclusive and welcoming to all, where everyone can develop their skills and express themselves through music and dance. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, southportFUNdamentals has something for you. Come join us and have some fun! Find Programs Cooking & Baking Which ancient Greek philosopher said "I'm just here for the snacks"? Just kidding. We just made that up to get a chuckle! Those of us with experience in the kitchen how much joy gets poured in when preparing a meal for someone else and we want to share that feeling with others. We believe that cooking and baking skills are learned best when elbow-to-elbow with someone who's done it before, so we provide a warm environment for our students to learn, grow, and connect with one another. ​ When working with young learners in the kitchen, we sneak in mini math and science lessons (it's never a bad time to talk about boiling points and the fundamentals of fractions, right?) and stick to very simple recipes to help our young chefs gain confidence! We hope you'll sign up to cook up some FUN with us. Find Programs Tinkering At Southport FUNdamentals, we believe that "tinkering" is a fun way to get young learners interested in engineering. When faced with fixing something that is broken, we take things apart, read instruction manuals, share ideas respectfully, watch videos of other people solving similar problems, and always focus on safety. ​ While sharing the sheer thrill of repairing something that wasn't working properly before, our instructors teach students the properties of materials and the importance of testing when designing and building. ​ Most importantly, we teach the fundamentals of creative problem-solving and hope to inspire the next generation of innovators. Find Programs Sewing, Knitting & Crochet Mending a loose button or a rip in your pants is a critical life skill, not to mention an absolutely awesome feeling! ​ We are here to teach adults and/or youngsters the fundamentals of sewing, knitting, and crochet (as well as how to fold a fitted sheet for anyone interested!) in a judgment-free and patient environment. The fun part is seeing the shining eyes of the student who holds up their finished project with pride! There is nothing like it! ​ We will be sew* very happy if you'll join us! *see what we did there? Find Programs Movement & Exercise At Southport FUNdamentals, we believe that moving your body is essential for both physical and mental health. We want to help you have fun and enjoy the process of getting fit and staying healthy. Our group workouts are designed to challenge your body while also providing a sense of community and support. We offer a variety of classes taught by skilled instructors who focus on moving your body through yoga, dance, and strength and conditioning classes. ​ We feel strongly that all our classes, especially those related to movement and exercise, are a safe space for our students to learn in a judgment-free environment. All are welcome to come join us and start moving and grooving! Find Programs Arts & Crafts Here at SopoFUN, we know everyone is an artist at heart. We provide our students the opportunity to explore and discover their creative potential in a fun and supportive setting. Our professional instructors will guide students through artistic adventures, such as turning something plain into something amazing, creating art out of everyday objects, and making ourselves laugh by attempting to recreate art projects seen in TikTok videos! Our mission is to provide a judgment-free and light-hearted environment where our students can express themselves and release their inner artists. We invite you to join us and discover yours! Find Programs Languages Learning a language is an exciting and rewarding journey and we want to help open those doors for members of our community. At Southport FUNdamentals, we offer group foreign language practice sessions that focus on the flow of conversation. Our language-focused sessions are meant to be a relaxed and fun environment for students to learn and practice with others. Whether you’re looking to learn the basics of a language or brush up on your conversation skills with others, southportFUNdamentals is here to help. Let's talk! Find Programs Personal & Professional Growth Southport FUNdamentals offers classes for adults that focus on a range of topics at convenient times that fit into busy schedules. We believe that learning is a lifelong journey and that kids shouldn't have all the fun--after all, adults also want to feel the ZING that comes from learning something new! ​ Our classes are designed to foster growth, curiosity, and understanding. We offer classes on a huge range of topics such as DE&I, art, history, leadership, business-focused legal issues, finance, and more. ​ Our classes are taught by experienced professionals who have an in-depth knowledge of their subject matter and are united in their goal to help students of all ages "level up" while having fun. Find Programs

  • PARTIES | sopoFUNdamentals

    Let's PARTY! Whether celebrating a birthday, a graduation, an upcoming wedding, or welcoming a new baby, we offer a party space that acts as a blank canvas for you to create the perfect party. Video by Dan Stepanian-Bennett LEARN MORE! We offer a 3,000 square foot party space on two levels that is fully customizable to fit your needs. Move what you need to move, and let us know how we can help make it a great day for the guest of honor AND the party planners. We keep our pricing simple. ​ We charge $250 for a 1.5-hour party, or $300 for a 2-hour party. ​ If you want a long er party, we'll simply add $50 for each additional half hour. All p rivate rentals inclu de t wo 30-minute buffers (before for set-up, after for break-down ). ​That means, you have the entire space for 2.5 hours in total if you book a 1.5-hour party. Those who book 2-hour parties, have the entire space for 3 hours in total. On the day of the party, you'll bring your own food/drinks/decorations/disposables to suit your theme and you can move our furniture (including folding tables/stools for seating) to your liking. W e keep the booking p rocess simple, too. You send an email to hello@southportfundamentals.com to ask about availa bility on your ideal times/dates. We will respond with the available times/dates that might be a match for you. You select the start/end time and date for your party, and we will email you the link you can use to reserve your spot with a $1 00 deposit ( you'll pay the balance closer to the date of the party). ​ If you aren't the "DIY" type, we are here to help! ​ Ms. Risa , your ultimate party buddy (and event planning compatriot), will be happy to brainstorm ideas or share contact info for people you can hire if you want something special such as balloon artists, face painters, art teachers, music teachers, karaoke jockeys, DJs, magicians, etc. But, that's completely up to you—lots of people have super fun parties at our space without hiring anyone at all, so just go with what works best for you! That's it. That's all there is to it. GET STARTED Want to see MORE pictures? 📷 Click here to see more pictures of our party rooms!

  • Southport Fundamentals | INSTRUCTORS

    Meet the FUN-structors Our experienced instructors (aka FUN-structors) are dedicated to providing a nurturing and safe learning environment where kids of all ages (that means adults, too!) can enjoy trying something new, making friends, and celebrating growth! Just a few of them are featured below! Risa McMahon Chief Enthusiasm Officer & President of Shenanigans Risa ( she/her ), a proud mama of two, has been described as "a magnet for fun", is as zany as she is organized (very). With decades of vocal lessons under her belt, she often bursts into song and changes lyrics to suit her mood. She loves parties of all kinds and loves teaching others how to unlock their hidden gifts. Known best for her witty remarks and wacky dance moves, she also happens to be a notary public , a total whiz at Excel spreadsheets, an admirer of cool words, a member of ALA's DEI&A committee , and a relentless problem solver. She picked up a thing or two as the daughter of a seamstress, a Girl Scout, captain of the SPHS cheerleading squad, and VP of the USC Helenes ... and firmly believes she can do anything she sets her mind to! Learn more about Risa's career. ​ Photo credit : Brittany Welch ​ Jessica O'Connell Guest Instructor, Treats & Sweets Jessica (she/her) is known to some as "Dr. O'Connell"...and if you have a child who was born in the last few years, she may have even delivered your baby! What you may not know is that she can bake like nobody's business! This incredibly sweet mom-to-three will swap the scrubs for her best apron so she can guide budding master bakers on how fun it can be to mix, stir, frost, and sprinkle seasonal sweets! The littles in your life will beg you to sign them up again, and you may find yourself happy to oblige once you taste what's in those take-home containers! ​ Sign up for her next cookie decorating class by shimmying on over to our FUN-genda which you can find on the REGISTER page! Dan Stepanian-Bennett Guest Lecturer, Chess & Guitar By day, Dan is a senior marketing director : social media guru, videographer, strategist and brand storyteller. By night, Dan cherishes "Girl-Dad Time" with preschooler Ella - singing songs, playing board games, along with watching football and taking bike rides on the Lakeshore Trail on weekends. Fortunately, he also happens to be a joy-bomb and a fantastic guitar coach and chess teacher! Adults and kids alike will absolutely love learning from Dan's unique teaching style and soaking up his infectious good vibes. Michaela Williams Guest Instructor, Dance Michaela Williams (she/her) has been teaching dance, music, and theatre to children ages 3-18 for the past six years across the Midwest. She studied Musical Theatre and Dance at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, where she taught at the local dance studio. After graduation, she toured the Midwest with a traveling children's theatre company, and then moved to Chicago, where she’s been performing and teaching ever since! In addition to performing arts, Michaela is passionate about fitness and works full time at a local athletic club. She is a certified Barre instructor and loves to take all sorts of fitness classes. Bridget Walsh Guest Lecturer, Education & Counseling Bridget (she/her) has been teaching and working alongside families since 2004. She is the Founder of Bridge Academics and works at Francis W. Parker School as a Learning Specialist. Bridget has extensive experience coaching families through difficulties and encouraging students to advocate effectively while taking responsibility for their future. She integrates plans to meet clients' needs and identifies areas of strength to guide families towards paths where success builds confidence and independent skills. She has a wealth of connections and resources to help families overcome hurdles that may have prevented success in the past. ​ Candace Washington Gu es t Lecturer, Leadership Candace (she/her) is Founder & CEO of Pivotal Impact , a consulting firm focused on helping companies develop, engage and retain their leaders. As a product of under-resourced communities, she immediately connects with her audience through her authentic, infectious personality and her highly energetic and empowering delivery. Her students appreciate her relatable experiences that allow them to see themselves in her, and immediately take action to elevate their outcomes! Jaime Elaine Raglow Guest Instructor, Yoga, Dance & Painting Jaime (she/her) is an Ohio native who has made Chicago her home. She studied theater and dance at Loyola and is a painter specializing in colorful, floral pieces. She is also celebrates the arts as a dance, theatre, and music educator. Jaime is the Founder of The Jaime Elaine Creative and will be joining us as a fitness instructor for adults (hip hop and yoga classes), and a music instructor for kiddos through our partnership with The Music Playhouse of Chicago . In a few months when her schedule allows, we hope she will lead our students in some painting and art classes as well! Sarah Zimmerman Guest Instructor, Art Sarah (she/her) has served her community as a librarian and archivist at the Chicago Public Library team for two decades. In her roles, she's managed the Chicago Theatre Collection, developed engaging programs for the public and now leads the Arts & Music and Social Science & History Departments at the Harold Washington Library. In her spare time, Sarah is also an art and music lover (and sometimes baker) and will be joining us for fun classes for all ages to enjoy! She will guide us on paper-centric arts and crafts as well as on paper marbling adventures! Olivia Sobieraj Guest Volunteer Lecturer, Chicago History Olivia (she/her) grew up hearing stories of Chicago buildings and has been studying Chicago history in her spare time for nearly a decade since she graduated from Indiana University with degrees in Marketing and French. ​ She will be regaling us this Fall with the myths and truths behind the Great Chicago Fire. ​ When not working as a Marketing Manager for a Big 4 firm, she enjoys learning about architectural preservation and equitable access to resources. In her humble opinion, there is nothing more joyful than sharing a good story about her home! Dana Linney Guest Instructor, Benefits & HR Dana (she/her) brings decades of experience leading benefits and HR teams and wellness initiatives for some of the Chicago's top companies. Her relatable, easy-going approach makes it easy to grasp even the most challenging subjects. Whether teaching students to rewrite their resumes to land their dream job, or evaluating employer-provided insurance offerings to best suit their needs, her students always walk away smiling! Angel Casas Guest Instructor, Fitness & Movement Angel Casas (he/him), Founder of No More Fear Coaching , is a fitness professional and passionate advocate for mental health and body respect. He is a Certified Personal Trainer, Zumba® instructor , and Eating Disorder Coach. Through his journey of self-discovery and transformation, he discovered the concept of Health At Every Size and learned that health isn't confined to a specific body shape, and that true well-being goes beyond the numbers on a scale. Angel genuinely loves helping people on their journey towards healing and self-discovery. Sookie (The Robot Vacuum) Vice President, Carpet Maintenance Named after the protagonist in the song "Groove Me" by King Floyd, Sookie is SopoFUN's loyal robot vacuum. Sookie works tirelessly to suck up crumbs and dirt to make sure our guests have a fabulous bottom-of-foot experience. Our first floor carpets are dreamy, and Sookie takes the same level of pride in her work as Wrigley Field's lawn mowers. She was recently given googly eyeballs by Xavier (age 8) which helped her see that her true love was right in front of her the whole time. In early 2024, Sookie exchanged vows with a white stick vacuum in an intimate ceremony officiated by Madison (age 9). The children decided he should take her (first) name, so he now goes by "Mr. Sookie". The motto emblazoned on her paper-plate-nametag is, "Sookie is my na me, cleaning dirt is my game".

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