Our Story

One school at a time, Change for Kids (CFK) rallies communities to provide a broad range of essential educational opportunities at under-resourced public elementary schools. By creating inspiring learning environments at our partner schools, CFK enables students to discover their unique strengths and develop the confidence to achieve.

Realizing that just a small amount of money could have an immense impact on a child’s education, CFK Founder Ted Madara and friends established Change for Kids in 1994 to collect and fund supplies for public elementary schools.

In 2009, Board Member Colin Smith elected to put his investment banking career on hold to serve as CFK's Executive Director. Since then, we’ve expanded our mission to provide literacy, arts, health, and other essential programs that help set students on the path to a brighter future. We’ve added three new partner schools and increased our financial support over 1,500%. Our model, however, has remained the same: recognize and respond to the unique needs of each partner school.

Today, we partner with six incredible schools in Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx, with a goal to expand to ten schools by 2017.

Our Model

Our school change team model, recognized as one of the country’s “Top 10 Most Scalable Models” by Mutual of America, provides CFK’s partner schools with resources that help create transformative change.

Recruit

an under-resourced partner school with a visionary leader

Recognize

the school’s unique needs by working closely with the school community

Rally

a broad range of community support to provide sustainable and reliable resources

Respond

with dynamic, engaging and rigorous educational programs

Report

on the school's progress and how we can improve next year

Press

MRY Redesigns Change for Kids Website
Digital Journal
June 2014
The Art of Adding Value: Variety New York’s High Touch, High Impact Philanthropic Model
Executive Director, Colin Smith participates in panel discussion marking the release of the white paper
February 2013
A Change Agent for the City's Public Schools
Crain's New York Business
December 2012
The Giving Well: Change for Kids
Modern Ink
December 2011
Change for Kids: Interview with Colin Smith
The Journal of Cultural Conversation
April 2010

The Team

Meet the people whose passion, creativity and commitment make a difference for our partner schools.