Clubs & Academic Teams

South Loop Elementary values the creation of teacher- and community-run clubs to cater to a myriad of interests and specialties. Students are encouraged and supported as they pursue a passion or develop a new interest. They are given opportunities that strengthen their learning environment, enrich their social life, and improve academic programs and the school itself.


Battle of the Books

The focus of Battle of the Books is teamwork, cooperation, developing the confidence to discuss a range of literature, themes and authors, and making reading a habit to promote life-long learning. 

There will be a maximum of 15 students to create two teams of 7 with one alternate. There will be a semi-final competition at the school level to see which team will represent our school at the city-wide competition in March. Space is limited, please reach out to Ms. Bonga to join.

  • Enrollment: 4th – 6th Grade Students, commitment from January – March
  • Fee: Book Purchases
  • Meetings: Mondays, 3:30 – 4:30 pm
  • Competition Details:
    • March 15: Online Qualifying Battle – The qualifying thirty teams from across the city will be invited to participate in the CPS City Finals.
    • April 23: CPS City Finals live virtual event

Contact: Ms. Bonga 

2022 Book List

Chemistry Club

Chemistry Club begins on Oct 25 and is open to all 5th – 8th graders who want to learn more chemistry concepts through fun, hands-on activities. Weekly attendance is extremely important.

  • Enrollment: October-April for Grades 5th-8th 
  • Fee: None
  • Meetings: 3:30-5:30 pm, Mondays from Oct 25-Nov 29, then Tuesdays from Dec 7 – Apr 30
  • Competition: You Be the Chemist Regional Challenge in April 2022

Contact: Ms. Heneghan 

The South Loop Elementary School Chess Team invites all ages and ability levels to join the team and have fun learning about and competing in chess.  We will have weekly lessons with Coach Isaac on Monday’s from 5pm-6pm, currently via Zoom.  We also encourage participation in the monthly chess tournaments hosted by the Chicago Chess Foundation.

  • Enrollment: Open
  • Fee: None.
  • Meetings: Monday’s 5pm-6pm, via Zoom

Contact: Maggie Uram

See Chess Team Page

The South Loop Elementary School Debate Club teaches students the fine art of formulating an argument and how to effectively debate both sides of an issue, even if they do not agree with the stance. It is a challenging club that will greatly enhance a student’s confidence in public speaking, understanding of current events, and analytical ability.   

  • Enrollment: September for Grades 5th – 8th.
  • Fee: None, students are responsible for obtaining certain materials (cases, files, folders, and copies) for participation.
  • Meetings: Club meets Wednesdays from 7:15 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
  • Contact: Rishi Agrawal
See Debate Club Page

South Loop has a long history of Girl Scouts with a number of active troops. Participation in Girl Scouts provides girl-led opportunities to learn leadership qualities, engage in service projects, develop friendships, and learn new skills.

  • Enrollment: Grades K-6th, contact troop leaders for available spots.
  • Fee: Yes, $25 fee for Girl Scout registration (required, financial aid available); troop leader(s) set fees for each troop, typically ~$50 per year.
  • Meetings: Typically meet twice a month; troop leader(s) provide dates and location.
  • Contact: Troop leader, click Learn More to view individual contacts 
See Girl's Scout Page

The South Loop Elementary School Math Club is a competitive Mathematics League led by several SLES Math Teachers. The students compete throughout the city in math contests, both as individuals and in teams. 

  • Enrollment: Open to students in Grades 5th-8th
  • Fee: Free
  • Meetings: Mondays 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm, Room 312
  • Commitment: Winter and Spring
  • Contacts: Ms. King, Mr. Philips, and Ms. Welch

The National Beta Club is an organization whose chief goals are the promotion of high academic achievement, rewarding and nurturing character, fostering leadership skills and, most importantly, encouraging service to others.  Student service projects are enacted to positively impact our school, community, and globe. 

  • Enrollment: Nomination process for Grades 5th-8th; no limit per grade level.
  • Fee: $15.
  • Meetings: Club meets bi-weekly on Wednesdays.
  • Commitment: Yearlong.
  • Contacts: Ms. Allababidi and Mrs. King
See National Beta Club Page

Science Olympiad

Students will enrich their knowledge of science through various experiments and discussions. Students will compete in events against other schools that put their science knowledge and the scientific method to use!

  • Enrollment: Open to Grades 6th-8th.
  • Fee: None.
  • Meetings: Club meets weekly on Mondays from 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Contact: Mr. Yang Xia 

South Loop Scoop Staff

Students will learn to come up with story ideas, interview sources, and write clearly and accurately about the people and events that make South Loop tick.  Members will attend meetings twice a month and will be responsible for writing at least one article per month.

  • Enrollment: Open to Grades 7th-8th in fall semester; Open to 6th Grade in spring semester
  • Fee: None.
  • Meetings: Meets weekly from 3:30-4:30 Mondays (subject to change)
  • Contact: Mrs. Garcia

Yearbook Club

The Yearbook Club produces the school’s annual yearbook. Students work collaboratively on all aspects of the yearbook development process. They learn how to take photographs and are actively involved in photographing the numerous activities and events occurring throughout the school year. Students learn how to edit photos and lay out pages, and learn about various compositions and styles.

  • Enrollment: Open to grades 7th and 8th, limited to 15 students (prior members have priority).
  • Fee: None.
  • Meetings: Club meets weekly on Mondays from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Contact: Ms. Garcia

Young Bankers Club

The Young Bankers Club is a partnership with Fifth Third Bank. It is a game-based program where students will work through digital interactives to learn about sales tax, estimating money, comparing unit prices, overspending, benefits of depositing money, and more. The students will have an individualized learning goal for each level of learning. At the end of the program, a volunteer from Fifth Third Bank will virtually engage with the students to discuss a banker’s education, career path, and end it with a fun trivia game!

  • Enrollment: Open to grades 4th and 5th, limited to 20 students (prior members have priority).
  • Fee: None.
  • Meetings: Club begins meeting in March, weekly on Tuesdays from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Contact: Ms. Chan