Kidz Express Receives Community Bank Champion Grant

Oak Park, IL, May 22, 2012 … Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest is pleased to announce that Kidz Express is the recipient of Community Bank’s Champion Grant. The purpose of the Champion Grant is to assist organizations in providing community outreach programs for low or moderate income individuals. 

Kidz Express provides services for children and families in the South Austin community of Chicago.  Their objective is to begin working with children as early as possible, starting at the age of five, through adulthood.  Their goal is to develop innovative, affordable neighborhood programs that address many of the challenges facing low income at-risk youth and their families in difficult urban environments.  Their hope is that these programs can be replicated in other low income neighborhoods throughout Chicago. 

A grant in the amount of $1,000 was presented to Doug Low, Executive Director of Kidz Express, on Tuesday, May 15.  Bernard D. Headley II, Community Lending Specialist for Community Bank, presented the grant.  Kidz Express will use the Champion Grant to fund their Jobs Training and Employment Program, which has employed over 30 kids ages 14-22 over the past two years.  The goal of the Jobs Training and Employment Program is to increase the academic achievement, employment rates, and career readiness of urban poor youth in South Austin.  Statistics show that kids in the program achieve higher academic performance and complete school at higher rates than those not in the program.  Most importantly, many attend colleges around the country, an opportunity they would likely not have had if not for Kidz Express.  More information about Kidz Express is available on their website at

Through the Champion Grant, Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest encourages growth and support in economically challenged communities.  Champion Grants will be awarded to qualifying organizations throughout the year.  The Champion Grant application is available on the Community Bank website at   

During its fifteen year history, Community Bank has undertaken the sponsorship of many community-wide events and has donated over $2 million to various local civic and charitable organizations. Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest was organized in 1996 as a locally owned bank focused on creating financial solutions for individuals, professionals, owners of closely-held businesses and nonprofit organizations in the Oak Park, River Forest and Forest Park communities. Community Bank, which had assets of $320 million as of December 31, 2011, has two locations: 1001 Lake Street, Oak Park and 7777 Lake Street, River Forest.

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