Fifth Third Arena School Field Trips
Dare to take your physical education outside of the classroom and engage your students in something challenging yet rewarding! Our mission is to introduce students to ice hockey and provide a unique, fun way to learn something new! Fifth Third Arena provides low-cost opportunities for schools, daycare programs, and camps within the community to learn the basics of ice skating. Take a private behind the scenes tour of the Chicago Blackhawks practice facility or receive interactive lessons on the science behind ice maintenance and hockey to enhance your trip.
Field trips are offered to groups of all sizes and can be scheduled throughout the weekday. Whether it's a small group of 10 or a large group of 300, our state of the art facility has the capability to provide groups of any size and age with a personalized and memorable experience! In addition, Fifth Third Arena has the unique capability to provide affordable lunch options for all field trips groups for a one stop shop.
Please contact the Event Coordinator, Megan Burciaga, at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your next field trip!
Inner City Education (ICE)
The origin of the Inner-City Education (ICE) Program is unique. In 2002, a Chicago team of 13-14 year olds began its hockey season with a “0 & 6” record. Through teamwork and persistence, the team finished the regular season with a winning record and went on to win the Illinois Northwest Hockey League, Division 3 Championship. Apart from its record, this team was special: nearly half of the team lived on the impoverished West Side of Chicago in some of the poorest neighborhoods in the city. One player lived with his three younger brothers and their mother in very difficult circumstances. Another player lived with his twelve siblings in a ramshackle building on the West Side. A third has been homeless on occasion and another was a ward of the state. All have a love of hockey.
Many of these players were introduced to ice hockey during the prior several years in a pick-up program in Garfield Park (Chicago). Several of those children quickly developed a passion for the game and were invited to play organized hockey by Coach Brad Erickson. While coaching this diverse group of student athletes, Brad recognized the need for, and first proposed the concept of, the ICE Program to Howard Birnberg. Ultimately founded in 2003, the ICE Program now has student athletes attending highly regarded high schools. It is our goal to provide funding for the education of many more disadvantaged players.
First Stride is the follow up program to G.O.A.L., allowing students with floor hockey experience a chance to take the ice. Schools visit Fifth Third Arena, the practice facility of the Blackhawks, and participate in a learn-to-skate class followed by a classroom session. In the classroom, students use the Future Goals Hockey Scholar program to master foundational math and science concepts as they apply to hockey. The program partners with Everfi, Chicago Public Schools and Durham School Services to get students to continue their floor hockey education from G.O.A.L and become Learn to Skate participants with First Stride. Chicago Public Schools within close proximity to Fifth Third Arena will experience the new practice facility and learn more about hockey on and off the ice.
The First Stride sessions are from 9:30-11:45am and 12:00-2:15pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Students participate in a 40-minute Learn to Skate session on the ice and a 40-minute classroom session. The program will serve about 120 students a day. Over the course of 16 weeks, First Stride will see about 5,760 students. The program utilizes the Chicago Mission Rink for ice and the Hyundai Multi-Purpose Room for classroom education. The program utilizes skate helpers and with a staff of experienced coaches, students can learn to skate in a safe, controlled environment. Any student can participate; Wheelchairs are allowed directly on the ice and we offer the chance to try sled hockey for students with disabilities.
Chicago Blackhawks Foundation Programs
The purpose of the after-school programs at the Fifth Third Arena is to provide a hands-on educational opportunity for kids in a unique space that exposes them to new ideas and experiences. The Chicago Blackhawks Foundation currently runs four programs out of Fifth Third Arena:
Building Champions: 7-week after school program fostering social and emotional learning through sports. During the first six weeks, students learn about key life lessons gained from being a member of a team through group discussions and physical activities. During week seven, students celebrate the completion of their program by skating on the ice.
Family Skate: Participating groups have the opportunity to attend a public skate session at Fifth Third Arena at no cost to them. The purpose of Family Skate is to give a memorable experience to under-privileged youths and families that will allow them to bond and nurture relationships while trying something new and outside of their comfort zone.
Healthy Hawks: one-day summer program consisting of two parts. One part of the program is in the classroom where students prepare a healthy snack. The other part focuses on physical fitness and takes place in the gym.
Summer Skate: one-day summer program that gives nonprofits the opportunity to have a free field trip to ice skate at Fifth Third Arena.