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Success of All Youth

Success of All Youth (SAY) Community Care from Cradle to Career

What We Do: Engage, Align, Empower

SAY unifies the priorities, efforts and resources of our partners which enables them to increase the impact of their services to children and young people in our community. The SAY partnership addresses three areas of child development:

  • Social & Emotional
  • Health & Safety
  • Cognitive & Academic
Why is SAY Crucial for Children & Families in Oak Park & River Forest?

The challenges we face today cannot be solved working in silos. The villages of Oak Park and River Forest offer a range of resources for children and families: three public school districts, philanthropic and faith-based organizations, social services agencies, business and civic leadership, park districts, public libraries – as well as the children and their families. These groups and individuals are our partners in finding and implementing solutions to our biggest challenges as we work to insure that ALL kids are empowered to reach their full potential; particularly those who are historically marginalized.

Measurable, Adaptable, Accountable

The partnership has established measures as benchmarks for the three areas of childhood development. SAY measures these benchmarks as they relate to each initiative in order to determine our progress and drive improvement of the systems that serve our kids.

SAY’s stakeholders aim to help our communities meet the diverse developmental needs of our children - from infancy to young adulthood.

Visit our website and Facebook page for information about SAY initiatives, partners, and community resources.

Leadership Lab

Build Leadership Skills.
Grow Your Network.
Our Community.

Leadership Lab, a program of the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation, brings together committed citizens and emerging and current leaders, to build and practice transferable, valuable leadership skills, and to explore and assess the strengths and opportunities in our community, in a unique, hands-on curriculum. Learn the state of our community now, who is doing what, what the emerging issues of our time are, and how you can be engaged to address them.  Together, we will gain valuable insights into how our community works and will create stronger, more engaged leaders in a thriving and vibrant community.

Mentor-guided community panels, comprised of experts and leaders from local businesses, nonprofits, and village government, will offer their unique perspective on the current successes and challenges we face as a community.  Professional moderators and speakers will challenge participants to identify and refine the priorities heard throughout the day, and to discover and envision solutions. The Course Mentor will guide participants through this learning process, will inspire participants to THINK BIG about their effect in our community, and will help participants develop a personal plan for making a difference.

As an important experiential learning tool of the program, participants will work in small groups “in-the-field,” such as community tours and volunteer work, and will collaborate on group presentations. Small group work aims to broaden and deepen the leadership experience, utilizing skills such as visioning, motivational and collaborative skills, public speaking, goal setting, and innovative problem solving. Presentations will demonstrate the participants’ understanding of a community issue, with well-formulated ideas on how to tackle the problem. Final presentations will be presented at graduation to a public audience.

learn more

Learn more about Leadership Lab
and how to apply.


Environmental Sustainability

Communityworks gave rise to the creation and implementation of an environmental sustainability plan for Oak Park and River Forest. Communityworks commissioned PlanItGreen, and funded Seven Generations Ahead to do this work. PlanItGreen engages local and regional organizations and the communities of Oak Park and River Forest in developing and implementing a 10-year environmental sustainability plan.  Communityworks resources toward environmental sustainability have also supported:

  • Green Community Connections for the Energy, waste and water campaign for Oak Park and River Forest as well as for the Resilient Community & Youth Sustainability Leadership Program
  • Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest for the “New Home for History” capital campaign
  • Oak Park Development Corporation for its Green Business Project and for OPDC’s “Cooperative Marketing Campaign” to promote businesses that participated in the Communityworks funded “Growing Green: Green Business Program”
  • Oak Park District 97 Irving’s “School Yard” project
  • River Forest Parks Foundation for the Natural Lawn Care Residential Campaign
  • Triton College BizzItGreen - Business Green Certification program
  • Village of Oak Park providing rebates and incentives for the Residential Energy and Efficiency Program and Residential Water Efficiency Program, offering rebates to single family or condominium homeowners for low flow and distribute additional shower head/aerator kits.
  • West Cook Wild Ones for the establishment of a wildlife corridor of native gardens, plants and insects connecting Columbus Park to Thatcher Woods.

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