Chicago HOPES for Kids offers four educational programs:


Our original program! The HOPES After School program has three main components: homework help, literacy support, and cultural enrichment. 

Homework Help

Volunteers work with students one-on-one or in small groups to make sure they have the resources and support needed to complete their homework. They help students organize their thoughts, manage their time, and provide lots of encouragement along the way! 

Literacy Support

At the beginning of each program semester, students are assessed to determine their reading levels and areas in which they are struggling. Each day, when students have completed their homework, volunteers provide additional literacy support at the student's level. This may come in the form of an educational game, a fun worksheet, or just simply reading a book together! 

Cultural Enrichment

Each day, students participate in a short activity planned designed to provide them with additional cultural experiences. The activities vary from day-to-day; however, in the past they have included lessons in art, science, creative writing, dance and movement, cooking, etc.

Literacy mentors

Our Literacy Mentors program is an opportunity to work one-on-one with a middle-school-aged to improve their literacy skills and academic confidence, while simultaneously developing a passion for reading. Volunteers meet with their students once each week and read a chapter book at the child's reading level. Afterwards, they will engage in a discussion about central themes and social issues related to the book. Mentors will also have an opportunity to facilitate enrichment activities and learning experiences that reflect each child's needs and interests. This is a great opportunity for volunteers who work a typical 9-5, as all the sessions take place in the evenings or on weekends. 

Summer Enrichment Program

We recently expanded our program to the summer semester. This enrichment program in particular help homeless students use the summer period to catch up on academics, rather than falling farther behind.

parent program

Each month, Chicago HOPES for Kids offers programming at the shelters for the parents of our students. Each session is slightly different, based on the needs and interests of the parents; however, general topics include: McKinney-Vento & the educational rights of homeless children, enrolling your children in school, the IEP process, the importance of reading with your child, how to help your student with their homework, etc. 

It is our hope that our parent programming will help make our work sustainable after the families have left the shelters.