Cool Learning




The mission of the Cool Learning Experience is to foster the well-being of the whole child in healthy relationship with family, community and the natural world.

Why Cool Learning Experience?

Cool Learning Experience, CLE, is a non-sectarian, hands-on summer learning program conducted by the First Baptist Church in Waukegan, IL. CLE offers an eight-week summer learning program to fourth through eighth graders of all income levels in the Waukegan area. This nature-based environmentally focused summer program uses science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum and provides hands-on learning to help children become aware of the local and regional biodiversity while they experience the awe and wonder of nature. For more information click here.

How can you help:Cool Learning people

Do you love to spend time outdoors enjoying nature, gardening, bird watching? Are you a curious person who loves to learn? Love to garden, play tennis or maybe you know the joy that reading brings? Are you knowledgeable in the fields of science, math or engineering? How about those technology and computer skills that come so easily to you?  How about spending an hour or two sharing whatever excites you – with kids! Eager to learn, children will be grateful for whatever time and gifts you are willing to share. Help expand their knowledge. Enrich their lives and, quite possibly, end up enriching yours, as well. There’s just no end to the Volunteer Possibilities in the Cool Learning Experience Summer Program.

Prospective volunteers must be 14 or older. Volunteers 18 and older will be subject to a background check.

CLE is looking for high school or college age volunteers to serve as classroom assistants, nature guides, tutors and coaches. Whether you can give a few hours or are able to make a weekly commitment, CLE would love to help you share your enthusiasm with Waukegan’s children.



CLE is located at 401 N. Genesee St., Waukegan.  It is an easy walk from the Metra North train line and is housed in First Baptist Church.  Alternatively, the drive there is easy and parking is plentiful.

Cool Learning Map


For more information, please contact Christ Church member Christine Peterson at 847-835-9261,

Or feel free to directly contact CLE Director Barbara Waller at 847-707-4544 or

Cool Learning Group

Christ Church Comments:

“Cool Learning Experience is a fabulous and flexible opportunity for a high school or college student to make a difference in the lives of other children. Its location a few blocks from the Waukegan Metra North line train station makes independent transportation for students easy, and the flexibility of this opportunity means that volunteers can tailor their service experience to fit their own interests and schedule.”

Christ Church Experiences:Cool Learning Keenan

Jenny Smith, Regarding her son, Keenan Hillerbrand’s, experience: “Barbara Waller was really wonderful and the kid’s were great too and made him feel at home. I think CLE is really a great opportunity for young people. Someone entering ninth grade could definitely do it.”