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families thrive on our commitment to the community.

It Takes A Village to raise a child.

ITAV’s founders include former Chicago Public Schools educator, Gwendolyn Harris, her daughter, Nakisha Hobbs, and their friend, Anita Andrews-Hutchinson. All three women had become disheartened by the failure of children in the local public education system and made it their personal mission to improve it by providing at-risk children with quality early childhood education to ensure their long term social and academic success.





It Takes A Village was founded in Chicago’s Western Humboldt Park community and began servicing forty-seven at-risk children and their families. In just a short period of time, the staff of ITAV developed a reputation for delivering a high quality program for parents and families that included relationships with community partners that allowed them to meet the physical & mental health, educational, employment, housing, and nutritional needs of all families served.



Anita, Nakisha, & Gwen

Community Partners

Our network

We couldn’t do it without our partners

Our tight-knit relationships with network partners allow us to provide the best opportunities and services available to ITAV students and families.

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Administrative Staff & Students

Our leaders

ITAV administration & staff

ITAV leadership puts children and families at the forefront of our mission.

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ABout our new look

It Takes A Village Family of Schools (ITAV) is proud to have developed organically to serve the needs of Chicago’s West Side community: from a standalone preschool in 2004 to a diverse, multifaceted, city-wide organization in 2021.


Throughout this growth and development, ITAV has continuously evolved our brand to best represent our programming for the families that we serve. With the recent addition of programs such as our Early Childhood Workforce Program and Illinois College Options for high school students, it was time to elevate and connect our organization through a new logo. Inspired by the African Adinkra symbols for dynamism and lifelong learning, we hope you will enjoy how our new look reflects all that ITAV has to offer the community.

Through the years

A brief look into itav’s history



It Takes A Village Child Care Services was founded.


Village Leadership Academy was founded in a classroom in the preschool building.


ITAV expanded to Chicago’s South Loop, & Village Leadership Academy was officially recognized as a private school.


Village Leadership Academy embarks on their first international World Scholars Program trip.


Takes A Village Early Childhood Workforce Program and Community Education Network is founded.


It Takes A Village Family of Schools is awarded Head Start delegate agency status.


After seventeen years of successful programming and growth, ITAV unites its Family of Schools, programs, and Leadership Academy under one new logo and website.

Frequently asked questions

Does ITAV offer financial services?

Does ITAV offer any other types of family support?

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it takes a village