Identifying a gap in services for military-connected children, our military family devised a plan to assist our kids in adjusting to their fourth duty station in little over just as many years, back in December 2011.
Recognizing that isolated workshops and episodic assistance can only play a limited part in their overall support, Kids Rank was established as a 501c(3) service-based organization to engage children in hands-on, skill building programming, projects, and volunteer opportunities designed to encourage resilience through our core pillars of CONNECT, LEAD and SERVE.
Built on strengthening community connections, Kids Rank successfully launched and sustained its first club group of 10 kids in the Great Lakes, Illinois area in 2012. Celebrating more than 10 years of providing programming for military-connected youth, we've served over 900 children who've since moved with their families to locations all over the world including Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, and all across the continental United States and outlying states and territories.
In 2017 Kids Rank expanded into the Englewood community in Chicago catering to underserved children of veterans and partnering with community organizations to ensure that the unique needs of these children were addressed.
Kids Rank is predicated on the foundational tenet that military children serve their communities just as their parents serve (or have served). Similarly, they too bear the burdens and sacrifice of service. Our programs are open to school-aged military children from all branches of service including active duty, reservists, retirees and Families of the Fallen.
Over the years our mission of empowering military children has remained the same but the vehicle for how it is communicated has evolved. We not only want to provide the kids with tangible acknowledgments but also encourage them to recognize their own strengths within.
Co-Founder & Executive Director
WHO WE ARE
Our model of comprehensive in-school and after-school in-person programing with trained group leaders bridges the gap by offering consistent, empathetic engagement and a network of resources to fortify their social and emotional well-being.
In peer-to-peer group formatting (called prides) engaging 10-12 military-connected children per group ranging from grades K-12, Kids Rank gives members an opportunity to connect with those who understand the culture and challenges faced by others in similar circumstances. In this group environment they have a safe space to share their accomplishments, disappointments, anxieties and excitement; develop their skills and talents; improve their mental resilience and physical stamina; and seek support for any issues without fear of judgments.
Kids Ranks Prides will support the social and emotional growth of military children through structured skill-building activities that encourage resilience. Awarding “Ribbons” in recognition of members achievements will build and reinforce those lifelong skills they’ll need to meet life’s future challenges. Kids Rank Prides were conceived in 2011 with the idea of gathering together as a military community to fulfill this mission.