Kidz Express expands opportunities for children and youth who reside in one of the nation’s most under-served and economically distressed communities, Chicago’s South Austin neighborhood. Our innovative approach to youth development envelops children ages 5 – 14 in a safe environment where peer mentors – young people hired from the community – serve as tutors and role models, providing leadership and love, and helping to guide our charges on a path to successful outcomes in school and life. Our free program operates after school and during the summer, offering meals, academic support, health and wellness care, as well as athletic and artistic pursuits, in a home-away-from-home that functions much like a family. At Kidz Express, our goal is to help every child in our programs unlock the potential within.
Kidz Express closed our physical center on Monday March 16, 2020 until further notice due to the Coronavirus pandemic. We believe this step is necessary to protect our kidz, their families, and our staff.
Our mentors are working to retain our tight community with our kidz and families through phone and online activities. We are also partnering with community organizations and volunteers to explore ways to provide food, essential items and tutoring in safe and effective ways.
Making A Difference
After School Programs
Learn, Relate, and Play
We provide 38 weeks of after school programming, including tutoring and academic support, computer classes, health and wellness, conflict resolution, and plenty of time for play!
Cross Age Peer Mentoring Program
Youth Become Leaders
We hire peer mentors - who grew up in the same neighborhood as our participants - to serve as tutors and role models, providing leadership and love, and helping to guide our charges on a path to successful outcomes in school and life
Continuing the Momentum
Kidz Express offers a summer program for children ages 5 through 14 that allows us to continue to provide our integrated service programs during the summer.