Concordia Place

Celebrating 35 years of serving Chicago's children and families!


What started as a small community program out of a church basement has grown to a multi-generational organization that serves 800 young children, teens, adults and seniors each year. 
Here are a few of our important milestones on our journey:

 

1981

  • Rev. Nicholas Zook is installed as pastor at Concordia Lutheran Church
  • Concordia Lutheran Church responds to the request of 3 single mothers in the neighborhood and creates the Concordia Child Care Center to provide after school care for 12 children ages 5 to 12 years old


1986

  • Concordia Child Care Center grows to serve 40 children for ages 6 to 12 years old


1989

  • Concordia adds preschool for children ages 3 to 5 years old


1992

  • Concordia achieves accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) which helps grow enrollment to almost 100


2000

  • Local elected officials and civic leaders approach Concordia to help address the growing demand for quality early education in the Avondale community


2001

  • Concordia Church purchases the former St. Veronica’s school and rectory in Chicago’s Avondale community at 3300 N Whipple from the City of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools
  • Mayor Richard M. Daley’s Children’s Capital Fund selects Concordia Child Care Center to participate in its Early Child Care and Education Plan. This ultimately leads to a grant award of $5.5M for the renovation and development of a second center to serve 211 children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old

2002

  • Concordia Lutheran Church creates Concordia Avondale Campus as a separate nonprofit for its mission expansion of its second center


2003

  • The Concordia Child Care Center is merged into Concordia Avondale Campus


2003-2004

  • Concordia is awarded a $2M IllinoisFirst grant for the renovation and development of its second center
  • The Chicago Community Trust, LISC, and the United Way provide initial seed grants for Concordia Avondale Campus to facilitate a series of community dialogues and determine what other programs could be offered to support Avondale and the surrounding area
  • Concordia is selected as a demonstration model for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Childcare Bureau


2005

  • Concordia opens its second center in Avondale and serves all ages--infants, children, teens, adults and seniors
  • Concordia pilots enrichment programs for teens and seniors in Avondale
  • Thrivent Financial for Lutherans awards Concordia a $500,000 grant for its program startup in Avondale


2006

  • Concordia partners with Truman College bring English as a Second Language classes to area adults
  • Concordia launches Senior Wellness to engage the elderly in the community and help seniors avoid social, emotional, and physical isolation


2007

  • The early learning and preschool programs are 100% enrolled within 9 months after opening
  • Concordia launches Emerging Leaders, providing teens ages 13 to 18 years old opportunities to develop leadership skills for the future, learn about nutrition, ecology, and the social and civic skills needed to become active agents of change in their communities


2008

  • The original Concordia Place on Seeley increases license capacity to serve 99 children
  • Enrollment across programs grows to more than 300


2009

  • Concordia Avondale Campus changes its name to Concordia Place and names its locations Concordia on Seeley and Concordia on Whipple
  • Concordia on Whipple achieves NAEYC accreditation

 

2011

  • Emerging Leaders offers paid internships so teens build skills and real work experience

 

2013

  • North Park University awards Concordia Place the 2013 Alford Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence
  • Enrollment across programs grows to more than 700


2014

  • Concordia Place Early Learning and Preschool at both centers achieve the State of Illinois ExceleRate Gold Circle Award of Excellence
  • Concordia Place Emerging Leaders receives the 2014 Illinois Afterschool Network’s “Best Practice” Award
  • Concordia Place serves 800 young children, teens, adults and seniors each year

 

2016

  • Concordia Place celebrates 35 years of serving Chicago's children and families and launches Concordia Day as a social enterprise
  • Concordia Day on Ravenswood opens to address the shortage of child care and support the Concordia Place mission