Our Children and Youth Program (C&Y) is dedicated to promote youth academic advancement and social-emotional development; strengthen youth identity-building and leadership; and facilitate inter-generational communication using academic tutoring and enrichment, support services for children and families, and school-based advocacy and referral services as needed.

We offer a variety
of enrichment programming
all year round


After-School Tutoring
and Enrichment Program

Tuesday and Thursday from 3:30pm to 6:00pm during the school year.

and family

Bringing children and their families together for activities focused on academics and arts.


Summer camp

Runs for 8 weeks during the summer break providing daily activities in literacy and reading skills enhancement, health and fitness, creative writing, and Cambodian arts, culture and history.

Peer mentor

Providing high school students with service learning hours while learning to be effective academics mentor, developing program management skills, and serving as role models for other youth in their communities.


Our program serves over 70 youth ages 6-24, some of whom are children or grandchildren of Cambodian refugees. Their families face multiple social and environmental risks, including poverty, substance use, and domestic violence, illiteracy, and language barriers.

CAI programs use a holistic family-centered approach, addressing personal and socio-economic issues from a community-specific, culturally-sensitive perspective. 

Khmer Support Giving Circle (KSGC)

The program objective is to educate youth and young adults about the Cambodian culture while capturing the experiences of Cambodian-American. The program goal is to create a network of professionals to serve the community. This is accomplished by hosting 3 session within the year:

  • Summer Session from July to August
  • Fall Session from September to November
  • and Spring Session from February to April

Each session will contain programming that includes workshops, civic engagement, field trip, guest speakers, and organizational partnership.

Program seeks interest youth and young adults between the age of 15-34 to join our bi-weekly meeting, which takes place at  CAI every Thursday from 6:00pm-7:30pm.

Learn more about our children and youth program

After-school tutoring
and enrichment program

Tuesday and Thursday (School Year from September to May) 3:30pm to 6:00pm

The program provides homework tutoring and academic enrichment for participants ages 6-12 years old. The program focuses on improving core subjects such as reading, writing, and math while also facilitating activities and building positive relationships to help students develop confidence, leadership and self-esteem. Program staff collects student report cards, engages in youth goal-setting workshops, and meets with parents bi-annually to track student progress.

  • Provide homework help and academic mentoring for youth (most enrolled at CPS schools) who may not often receive the individualized attention they need.
  • Provide a safe space for youth to engage in positive behaviors and develop life skills.
  • Engage in activities designed to build self-esteem, encourage positive development, strengthen community, and provide opportunity for creativity.
  • Expose youth to positive, motivated role models.
  • Create a safe space where youth feel safe expressing socio-emotional issues.
  • Engage with families around youth academic issues, study strategies, and school involvement.
  • Foster youth growth academically and socio-emotionally.

Youth and family day

CAI’s Children and Youth programs recognize the importance of the role of family in children and youth’s social-emotional development, academic achievement, and development of identity. The program's host quarterly Youth and Family Days where children, youth and their families participate in various activities together; including field trips, youth performance, and literacy event. Each program averages an attendance of 20 participants.

Youth and Family Days events included:

  • Family Field trip to Brookfield Zoo
  • Holiday Theme Cooking Workshops
  • Holiday Theme Arts and Crafts
  • Science Experiment Workshops
  • Team Creative Writing

Summer camp

Every year CAI’s Children and Youth Programs host an 8-week summer camp for children and youth aged between 6 and 12. FY’2017’s Summer Camp will have “Health and Culture” theme, which will provide youth with activities and workshops aimed at promoting fitness and health while teaching about different cultures and heritages.

Being a camp Counselor for my first time has helped me be a little bit to be more outgoing and be a little more fun and open. To the point to have fun. I also learned to be myself.
— M.E.

Summer Camp provides opportunity for youth employment aged 16-24, who plan and lead camp activities, supervise camp participants, mentor Junior Counselors, and engage in weekly leadership-development and career skills workshops. The Junior Counselor program provides youth ages 13-15 with enriching activities, including assisting Summer Interns with activity facilitation s and participating with special group project and field trip. Our goal is to create an inclusive program across ages whereby youth have an opportunity to be involved in the program from age 6 to 24.

Being able to have a strong connection and relationship with my coworkers.
— K.L.

In 2017, CAI ran an 8-week summer camp program for 31 camp participants; 4 Junior Counselor; and 6 Camp Counselors. Program also provided youth with nutritious breakfast and lunch through Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago Child Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). At the end of the summer, participants performed cultural dance, displayed artwork and projects, talent show, for the community through an “End-of-Summer Talent Show”. Summer interns felt the summer provide them with opportunities to develop leadership skills, made new friends, fun, and activities was enriching and educational.

This summer has proven to me how much I have enjoyed working with children for the past 9+ years of my life. This program shows that it can be a good fit for others as much as it was for me. I have been here to stick around and build my credibility with this Association. I have built many bonds with the children that come year round. Being a youth coordinator this year has many responsibilities and I couldn’t have been more appreciative to have received this job for my summer for 2017. I hope that my experience will help guide me to what I will become in the future.
— H.P.

Peer mentor

High school and college students earn service hours by serving as mentors to participants in After-School Tutoring and Enrichment program. Mentors assist with homework help and activity facilitation while gaining experience in program planning, leadership, and group management.

For volunteer opportunities, please complete our Volunteer Application form.