Skip to contents
Austin, Garfield Park, North Lawndale

Want To Help Chicago Kids Starting Remote Learning Next Week? These Organizations Need You

From Spanish-speaking volunteers to refurbished laptops and tablets, local kids could use your help starting this unusual school year on the right foot.

Supplies at Upcycling Colors.
Alisa Hauser/Block Club Chicago
  • Credibility:

CHICAGO — Classes resume next week for many students, but organizations on the South and West sides still need supplies and resources to support kids learning at home.

Block Club Chicago reached out to a few local organizations to learn about the needs of the students they serve. Our loyal readers have come through time and time again to help our newsroom. We hope you will help make a difference for the kids these groups help by donating supplies if you’re able.

Telpochcalli Community Education Project: Spanish-Speaking Volunteers Urgently Needed

Tcep is a nonprofit in Little Village formed in 1998 to bolster social, cultural and educational resources available to families in the neighborhood and at the Telpochcalli School.

Telpochcalli — Nahuatl for “house of youth” — is a small school “dedicated to integrating the Mexican arts and culture into an innovative academic and social experience and development of fully bilingual/biliterate students in English and Spanish,” according to its website.

Tcep is looking for Spanish-speaking volunteers to mentor children and parents, teaching basic skills and concepts, navigating email and assisting with digital literacy needs.

Volunteers will be asked to commit to two to three hours per week for at least three months and must be at least 18 years old. Hours are flexible and can include weekends and/or evenings. 

Tcep is also accepting donations for refurbished laptops and tablets. School computers are often damaged or the chargers may stop working. It can take several days, sometimes weeks, for them to be replaced.

If you’re interested in volunteering, or donating refurbished laptops or tablets, please contact Irma Ruiz, Family Computer Literacy Coordinator, at or 708-885-9388.

Gads Hill Center

Gads Hill Center is a 122-year-old organization based in Pilsen that provides early childhood, youth, family and mental health services for thousands of Chicago children. Gads “creates opportunities for children and their families to build a better life through education, access to resources and community engagement.”  

The groups is asking for community support to boost their mental health services. Block Club curated an Amazon Wishlist that includes three mental health resources to assist children during this difficult time.

Brown Books and Paintbrushes

Brown Books and Paintbrushes is a Hyde Park-based organization that provides arts and literacy programs for young children.

“At Brown Books and Paint brushes, we hope to empower, develop and educate ALL young children through art, literacy, social justice and civic engagement programming; pertaining to the African American culture and healthy racial identity,” according to the group’s website.

You can donate free books for children at a back to school event 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at the Quarry Event Center in South Shore.

The organization is asking for donations to help support children’s physical, mental and cognitive needs. You can donate balance balls, sitting steppers, and mindfulness cards through this Amazon Wishlist. These items will be handed out to their students during the event and sent directly to the organization after the event concludes. 

Mothers Against Senseless Killings Englewood

Mothers Against Senseless Killings was established in 2015 as a way to put eyes on the streets, interrupt violence and crime, and teach children to grow up as friends rather than enemies.

M.A.S.K. is asking for donation to help kids who attend the M.A.S.K. Block Academy in Englewood. You can donate crayons, pencil sharpers, papers, shampoo, socks, underwear and other necessities through this Amazon Wishlist.

The items will be distributed at organization’s 5th annual Back To School Fair from noon-2 p.m. Saturday at the school at 75th and Stewart.

If you have questions, want to partner or have an idea for collaboration, reach out to Maple Walker Lloyd, Block Club’s director of Development and Community Engagement, at

Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Already subscribe? Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation.