In 1976, busy California mother Joan Barnes wanted nothing more than to find a play place where she and her kids could enjoy age-appropriate, educational activities. Finding none, she developed her own innovative play environment within a developmental-based program structure now known as Gymboree Play & Music. Today, kids tumble and learn in more than 650 locations in 33 countries around the world, engaging in open play and classes designed to build cognitive and motor skills. As parents participate in their children's development, their kids learn to paint, play music, and interact socially outside of their preschool knitting circles.
As a leading Illinois family- and child-service agency, Children’s Home + Aid serves more than 40,000 children and families each year through its child-development and -care programs, family counseling, and foster-care-advocacy programs. The organization's roots extend back to 1883, when the Reverend Van Arsdale brought into his home a young girl whose mother was in crisis. The minister's umbrella of care soon spread throughout the country, as he established advisory boards and worked to improve child welfare. Today, Children's Home + Aid focuses on early childhood and juvenile justice, preventing child abuse, and garnering positive child development in strong families.
The organization’s Raising A Reader program helps children ages 3-5 get "kindergarten-ready" by developing early language and literacy abilities. Much of this work incorporates full parental involvement; facilitators encourage parent-child bonding through everything from bedtime stories to engaging, brain-building activities. Currently helping more than 350 children develop these necessary scholastic skills, the Illinois chapter is just part of a larger national trend; in 2011, the national Raising a Reader program touched the lives of almost 118,000 kids across 32 states.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
Metropolitan Family Services, a human-services agency, runs seven community centers throughout Chicago and the suburbs, including two nationally accredited children's centers that provide engaging early-education programming. Nearly 43,000 families and individuals receive counseling or other support services through Metropolitan's elder-care services, early-childhood programs, and other family-oriented programs and services.
With a database of more than a million caregivers nationwide, Sittercity helps you pinpoint the ideal babysitter to care for your child. As a member of Sittercity, you can simply search for a scrupulous sitter using your zip code and more than 40 matching criteria, or you can post a job and have care providers apply for the task. Each caregiver profile typically comes with photos, reviews from other parents, and employer references. Sittercity also helps you perform a four-step screening process and background checks on any sitter, so you can be sure you've found a safe, reliable match. In addition to babysitters, Sittercity lets you search for specific tutors, reliable dog walkers, pet sitters, and senior companions.
Every year, 826CHI publishes at least one book that draws from the collective imaginations of about 4,000 students from more than 150 Chicago public schools, spotlighting material crafted in a variety of creative-writing sessions. The best stories from 826CHI’s most recent writing programs and workshops will be compiled in the forthcoming 826CHI Compendium Vol. 3, a professionally published book that will be distributed to the student-authors and their families and sold to the public at the Boring Store on North Milwaukee Avenue. Each book costs about $5 to publish, and proceeds from book sales will help to fund and promote 826CHI’s programming, with the goal of engaging even more children in the art of writing.
Fantasy Kingdom is a Childrens Birthday Party and parent-supervised indoor play facility for children ages 6 and under. There are no scheduled classes to sign up for. Just drop in anytime during our normal business hours and enjoy our amazing environment for children and adults alike!
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