CFK Sponsors

CFK Supporters Come Together Citywide to Make Holidays Bright for Students

A whoopie cushion, light saber and pogo stick were just some of the items students at our partner schools had at the top of their wishlists this year.

While the holidays are a time to celebrate, they can also be an extra stressor for families across NYC. Every holiday season, Change for Kids hosts collection drives for our partner schools to ensure students have an extra reason to smile at the end of December.

Thanks to generous individuals and corporate partners, 2702 toys and winter essentials were delivered to students in December. Santa and his elves even made an appearance to deliver gifts, while other corporate partners personally handed the gifts to individual students.

Many thanks to the following supporters for making the holiday season so special for our students!

  • Apex Systems
  • Apollo Global Management
  • Blackstone
  • Davis & Gilbert
  • First Republic National Bank
  • Helm US
  • Jessica Scott + friends
  • Labaton Sucharow
  • Moda Operandi
  • Q5 Partners
  • Salesforce
  • Slack
  • Union Square Ventures
  • Yale Club
#WhyCFK, CFK Volunteers, Grant Avenue Elementary School

A Principal’s Vision Becomes a Reality at Grant Avenue

Teachers at Grant Avenue are kicking off this semester with a brand new space to collaborate and recharge. A year ago, Principal Kristin Erat shared a vision with CFK: What if we could turn a storage room into a teacher collaboration space?  CFK saw an opportunity to establish a relationship between the school, Gensler Design and Hillmann Consulting LLC to donate their time and design and construct the space. Recently, Grant Avenue hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the room, which is featured in the Bronx Times. Now, teachers can use this space to continue to inspire students and each other. Many thanks to Gensler Design and Hillmann Consulting LLC for making Principal Erat’s dream come true!



5th Annual Super Chefs Sets New Record

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On November 2nd, Change for Kids partnered with 11 nationally-celebrated chefs to raise more than $700,000 at its 5th annual Super Chefs benefit.

Christian Isaiah, Super Chefs student speaker, took center stage and spoke in front of hundreds of guests. This is something he could never have imagined doing a few years ago. “I used to be really shy. But that’s no longer the case thanks to the CFK opportunities I had in school, along with the support of the Brooklyn Landmark community,” he said.

Christian credits CFK programs and experiences throughout elementary school with helping him become the confident, articulate and self-motivated 6th grade student he is today. “I know I’m unique and I’m on the right path,” he said. “I take education very seriously and know it’ll lead me to success.”

Thanks to our incredible Super Chefs supporters, Change for Kids will be able to impact more students like Christian next year as we expand the network of CFK partner schools benefiting from the academic, social and emotional resources we provide.

 Check out a new CFK Video featuring Christian below!

Our New Look

Looking Forward with Change for Kids: Our Schools, Our City, Our Future
Since its founding in 1996, Change for Kids has encouraged students to dream bigger and achieve more. Recently, we felt that our messaging, visual identity and tagline did not clearly convey our ultimate goal of bridging the opportunity gap to give all our children access to quality education. That’s why we re-examined our messaging – to make it easier for you to understand and communicate #WhyCFK matters – because 75% of children who struggle with reading in the 3rd grade will never catch up to their peers unless they get the help they need in elementary school.


Our new logo has been redesigned as a pencil rocket to reflect Change for Kids’ approach of bringing critical resources into underserved elementary schools to prepare every student for success in middle school and beyond. Change for Kids’ model is designed to impact students’ academic achievement and social-emotional development by engaging them early on so they stay on track academically.

Our tagline, “Our Schools, Our City, Our Future,” speaks to citywide community engagement from energized New Yorkers–like you–who invest volunteer hours, money and resources in our partner schools. This special CFK community makes a difference in the lives of our children and ensures our city’s future remains a vibrant one.

Thank you for your continued support of Change for Kids. Together, we can build a stronger New York City by investing in our public elementary schools.


Back to School Update


Welcome from Our New Executive Director, Katrina S. Huffman

I am humbled to exercise my servant-leadership as Change for Kids’ new Executive Director. For the past month, I have been impressed by the staff’s unbridled commitment to invest in NYC’s neediest public elementary schools. I am in utmost awe of our community—from our board, business leaders, principals, and funders—who recognize the importance of bridging the opportunity gap for youth in vulnerable communities.

In my past role as Chief Program Officer at Youth INC, I participated in empowering youth-serving nonprofits through leadership development programs that indirectly affect public school students. I look forward to making a direct impact on NYC’s youth at CFK. Colin Smith did a remarkable job as Executive Director by growing CFK’s community and impact. My focus in the next few years is to develop our network of schools, measure our success, and deepen our influence at our schools.

An investment in our youth is an investment in our future as a city and a nation. As a product of New York state schools from Kindergarten to college, I am eager to work with you to continue this critical work of providing enriching opportunities to NYC’s youth. Together, we will help thousands of students become lifelong learners who excel emotionally, socially, and academically.

Katrina S. Huffman

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CFK Highlight: Two New Partner Schools from the Bronx to the Sea

While students enjoy the last of their summer days, CFK is preparing to welcome two more schools into our network this year—P.S. 6X in the West Farms neighborhood of the Bronx and P.S. 329 in Coney Island, Brooklyn.

  • Principal Tiawana Perez has created a collaborative culture at P.S. 6X with the belief that it takes a village of stakeholders—from parents and staff, to partners like CFK—to educate students. She is teaming up with CFK to meet the social, emotional, and academic needs of her students.
  • Principal Salema Marbury has established numerous student-led initiatives at P.S. 329 to combat absenteeism and help students discover their unique talents. She is partnering with CFK to further expose students to diverse, engaging experiences that prepare them for middle school and beyond.

We cannot wait to start the school year and work with our new and returning partner schools!

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School Spotlight: RBC Volunteers Prep P.S. 142 for Back to School

This summer, more than 200 RBC Capital Markets Interns stepped away from their desks and volunteered their time to help P.S. 142 get ready for the first day of school. To make the day even more special, RBC announced a $25K grant to P.S. 142 for the upcoming school year, which will fund CFK programs and resources. Principal Daphna Gutman reiterated to RBC staff and interns that they are making a tremendous impact on the school community.

RBC interns participated in a variety of projects—from leading arts and crafts with summer camp attendees to creating personalized pencil cases for every student at P.S. 142. The interns left behind the cases filled with all the back to school essentials, including a hand-written note of encouragement.


Welcoming Our New Executive Director


On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am thrilled to share exciting news. After an extensive search, we have named Katrina Huffman as Change for Kids’ new Executive Director! Katrina will officially join CFK at the end of this month.

Katrina brings a wealth of expertise, enthusiasm, and vision to lead Change for Kids into our next stage of growth. She is currently the Chief Program Officer of Youth INC, a venture philanthropy organization that provides leadership development programs and grants to 75 NYC youth-serving nonprofits. Prior to Youth INC, she served as a Program Director at Harlem Children’s Zone and Groundwork.

As a native New Yorker, Katrina is passionate about ensuring that all NYC students receive a quality education. We firmly believe that she will inspire the CFK community to achieve even greater impact in the years to come.

I look forward to introducing you to Katrina soon, and to Change for Kids’ bright future under her leadership.

– Nicolas Koechlin, Board Chair

#WhyCFK, P.S. 81, Uncategorized

P.S. 81 Students Get Moving

In NYC, 1 in 5 kindergarten students are obese, and almost three quarters of elementary school children did not receive the state-mandated minimum amount of exercise last school year. That’s #WhyCFK hosts family fitness events at our partner schools—to get even our youngest students into a habit of physical activity.

P.S. 81 in Brooklyn recently held the school’s Community Wellness Fair. While parents scoured the auditorium and met with multiple community organizations that offer health and wellness services, students participated in fitness activities to get their bodies moving. Some students tried yoga for the first time, while others tested their backward jump roping skills. CFK Board Member Laura Farah joined in on the fun and encouraged students to test their limits!

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