Our Vision

IMAGINE A CHICAGO...

 
Where every child in every community has access to a world-class education—the kind that opens the doors to new opportunities in college, career, and life. These exceptional schools offer an array of unique and innovative programming, and 100% of our students not only graduate, but graduate with the skills to shape our city and the world for the better. 

 

In 2000, only one out of two students graduated from Chicago Public Schools—a disabling fact that had been true for nearly a century. 

At the time, Kids First Chicago, with the support of private sector and city leaders, dared to imagine a Chicago where four out of five kids graduated—an impossible feat, that was met with skepticism.  

After 15 years, and an investment of $100 million in contributed funds—we supported 81 schools, unique school leadership models, and high-quality opportunities for nearly 65,000 students—together, we achieved the “impossible.”

We’ve created a new system of school options for families and created better ways to measure progress. Graduation rates are at an all-time high. Yet, there is more to do. We still have 50,000 students who don’t have access to those high-quality options, and many of our highest achieving schools remain a step away from world class. 

We won’t rest until every Chicago child has access to a high-quality school.

Kids First Chicago has already proven that it can be at the forefront of dramatically improving Chicago’s education landscape. Support us as we give families the agency to design a world-class system of schools that serves all students. Together we will develop exceptional school leaders, and use parent feedback to shape policies that eliminate barriers to education.  

Help us take Chicago’s public education system another “impossible” leap forward. Together, we can create a system where every kid defies gravity—a system that ensures equitable access to quality, funding, and transparent information in all communities—a system that can change the world. 

STRONGER EDUCATION. STRONGER CHICAGO.

 
 

Daniel Anello
Chief Executive Officer, Kids First Chicago

  "My kitchen table was literally a school cafeteria table. My parents were teachers, and every night we would have our family dinner on this table that had been discarded by their school and brought home to us. As the mixed race child of two teachers, I feel deeply connected to Chicago's students, and to the educators, parents, community members, and district leaders that make decisions on their behalf every day." -Daniel Anello

"My kitchen table was literally a school cafeteria table. My parents were teachers, and every night we would have our family dinner on this table that had been discarded by their school and brought home to us. As the mixed race child of two teachers, I feel deeply connected to Chicago's students, and to the educators, parents, community members, and district leaders that make decisions on their behalf every day." -Daniel Anello