Children & Youth

Children & Youth

We work with young people from infancy through high school graduation to equip them with tools and resources to build a bright future, including educational programs and activities, mentoring, and family support. 

Early Childhood Education

In our Early Childhood Education program, experienced, caring teachers guide children from infancy through age 5 through these critical years. Children in our program build kindergarten-readiness skills, with a focus on language and literacy, math, and science. 

Our classrooms provide a safe, nurturing environment where each child is valued and encouraged to express their feelings, develop positive self-esteem, and make friends.

Our Commitment to Health and Safety

During the coronavirus pandemic, the health and safety of our students and their families is our highest priority. Learn more about how we’re staying safe through COVID-19 as our Early Childhood Education and School-Age programs are open for our families.

After-school Program for School-Age Students

During the coronavirus pandemic, we’re providing a safe, connected space for school-age students to attend virtual classes and get the support they need to succeed this school year. 

We serve as a second home for kids aged 5-12 during after-school hours, providing a safe space for students to explore interests, develop positive relationships, and build the skills and resilience they need to thrive. 

Our school-age educators help students with homework, assist with learning retention in the summer, and work with our kids to identify areas of improvement, set goals, and grow academically. We also create spaces for kids to dig deeper into subjects or activities they’re interested in learning more about, like cooking, art, sports, and more. 

Literacy Intervention for Grade School Students

Our READS program in Little Village provides after-school support for students in first through third grades to help develop reading skills that are critical for long-term success. Students receive one-on-one tutoring and participate in group activities that support reading comprehension, oral fluency, and a lifelong love of reading.

Youth Academic, Career Exploration, and Mentorship Programs

Youth aged 12-18 in our Youth Options Unlimited (YOU) programs not only get help with homework and have access to our computer lab, but have opportunities to explore interests and start thinking about what the future holds. Job shadowing, field trips, and service opportunities help our students make connections between classroom instruction and applied learning. 

A cornerstone of our youth programs — TEAM (Tutoring to Educate for Aims and Motivation) — students are paired with mentors who provide academic and socio-emotional support. Many TEAM mentors work in careers like engineering, law, computer programming, and more, and encourage or students to explore these and all possible paths. This is so important for our students, as Black and Latinx Americans are underrepresented in STEM fields.

Erie House STEM initiatives include math workshops, a pre-apprenticeship program with After School Matters, and a coding club. And in our Visionaries program — a multimedia apprenticeship at the intersection of STEM and the arts — students explore digital arts including graphic design, photography, and video production and develop the skills to share their personal voice with the world. 

Home Visiting for New Families

We offer two home visiting programs that support new families in Back of the Yards and the West and Southwest sides. 

Our home visitors help new moms and dads be better parents by assisting them in bonding with their children and learning how to be their child’s first teacher. We also teach these parents how their baby will grow and develop, how to keep their baby safe and healthy, and build good parenting skills. 

We also work closely with parents to help them set and reach personal, academic, and professional goals. 

Full Family Support

We offer parent workshops and family nights to help parents support learning at home and strengthen family bonds. 

Parents of our early childhood students have the opportunity to join our Parent Policy Committee to gain leadership skills and have a deeper involvement with their child’s education. Members of this committee help our staff make decisions for the program including attending interviews, reviewing expenses and budgets, and organizing family activities. 

And Aryabhatta foundation social worker and team of Family Advocates help our families access services available for their children, advocate for their children, and navigate CPS and Early Intervention systems when seeking services for their child. 

Mental Health & Wellness Support for Children & Youth

Individual Counseling

Students in our Early Childhood Education, School-Age, and Youth Options Unlimited (YOU) programs have access to our on-site clinical psychologist and team of graduate interns who provide those in need of socio-emotional support with individual, age-appropriate counseling to promote healthy growth and development. 

Early childhood students specifically have access to three dedicated clinicians, play therapy, and friendship groups, and parents have access to individual therapy and educational groups as well. 

School-based Supports

Working in partnership with CPS schools, our Proyecto Cuídate department offers youth Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) programs, violence prevention, intervention, and healing support, referrals, and workshops to support the entire school community. 

Little Village Youth Teams

In our cohort-based, youth-centered Proyecto Cuídate programs including mentorship, leadership development, support, and case management based in Little Village, we strive to build youth power, support, confidence, and positive identifies to inspire resiliency in our communities. 

And through our Youth Options Unlimited (YOU) programs, students also have the opportunity to join gender-specific groups to have a safe space for an open, honest dialogue on topics such as depression, sexuality, and managing stress. 

Healthy, Active Lifestyles

Children and youth of all ages in our programs learn about active play and exercise through our Super H initiative and get moving in our motor skills room, gym, and outdoor playground areas. 

Volunteer with us

Check out our list of volunteer positions with our programs — including virtual opportunities to get involved like tutoring and mentoring children and youth.

Support our work

You can help us continue and expand our critical work for children & youth to reach more students and families.