Kids Off The Block, Inc.

Kids Off The Block, Inc. Logo

Basic Information

Address: 11621 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60628
Phone Number: 773-995-9077
Fax Number: 773-264-3912

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Kids Off The Block, Inc.
Kids Off The Block, Inc.

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Additional Information

Focus: To provide at-risk low income youth positive alternatives to gangs, drugs, truancy, violence, and the juvenile justice system
Director: Diane Latiker
Schools Served: Curtis Elementary, Songhai Elementary, Corliss High School, Julian High School, Harlan High School, Fenger High School, and Carver Academy
County: Cook
Schedule: 4:00pm to 8:00pm during school / 1:00pm to 5:00pm during summer
Ages: 12-19
Membership/Pricing: Free

Kids Off The Block, also known as KOB, was founded in July of 2003 by Diane Latiker. "Ms. Diane" as the youth refer to her, started out with ten kids from her neighborhood. She offered them a safe place and music in her home.

Program Highlights:

o Kids Off The Block travels to Washington for the Inauguration
o Kids Off The Block featured in Time Magazine in January 2009 (twice)
o Kids Off The Block Founder has been chosen for the Lewis Hines Award
o St. John Baptist Church Hosts Kids Off The Block Day in February 2009
o Kids Off The Block featured in Time Online Magazine in February 2009
o KOB Partners with Public Allies to offer youth community organizing workshops
o Kids Off The Block Founder Diane Latiker receives Parent Hall of Fame Award
o Organization featured on NBC-5 regarding Youth Violence in March 2009
o Kids off the Block Memorial Tribute to youth killed by violence featured on front page of the Chicago Defender Newspaper.
o KOB became a coalition partner in the Roseland Community Collaborative (RCC) to combat recidivism among youth returning from the juvenile justice system.
o Kids off the Block CEO and family traveled to New York to receive the Lewis Hine Award in March 2009.
o Kids Off The Block hosts Candle Lighting Ceremony for families of Youth Killed at KOB Memorial Tribute site in April 2009
o KOB featured in Sun-Times Newspaper, Chicago Tribune, and on ABC-7 News, CLTV, WGN, and NBC-5.
o KOB featured on CNN “Children Killed in Chicago” in May 2009
o Kids Off The Block featured on Anderson Cooper 360 in May 2009
o Diane Latiker featured on CNN’s Don Lemon in May 2009
o KOB Teens Create Safe Sex Ringtone “Strapless” for Aids Foundation of Chicago’s New Campaign “With Me Comes A Cure”
o KOB interviewed by AL-Jazeera TV in May 2009
o KOB featured in Guardian News Magazine/TV special in June 2009
o KOB starts it’s summer job training program in June 2009
o Kids off the Block get approved for Summer Nutrition Program in June 2009.
o KOB attends rally at Thompson Center to protest cuts to human service programs in June 2009
o KOB is part of Roseland Safety Networks trip to Springfield, IL to rally against cuts to service programs in June 2009

Support Services:

Tutoring / Mentoring, Music, Drama, Sports, Community Service, and Local/Out of Town Travel


Tutoring, homework assistance
GED Preparation
Financial literacy
Physical education, health & nutrition
Male & female mentorship
Community Service
Local/Out of Town Travel
Career Development/Workshops
Job Referral/Training Programs

Field Trip Destinations: O'Hare Airport, McCormick Place, UIC Pavillion, Memphis, TN / Birmingham, AL / Detroit, MI / St. Louis, MS
Program Information:


KIDS OF THE BLOCK, INC. (KOB) is a non-profit corporation founded by Diane Latiker in 2003. It is recognized by Internal Revenue Service under code 501(c)3 and is in good standing with Internal Revenue Service, Secretary of State and the Office of the Attorney General.
KOB serves primarily the Roseland area - a low-to-moderate income community located on the far south side of Chicago. KOB programs provide diverse youth development programs which build character and enhance academic ability of its participants. Youth who live in Roseland are generally labeled as “at-risk” youth. The crime rate is high. The socioeconomic status of families in the community is severely low. Human service organizations and recreation centers are either far in-between or non-existent.
The mission of KOB is social change – an offer of alternatives to gang violence, drugs sales/usage, school truancy and the juvenile justice system. KOB provides services to over 300 youth in the Roseland Community (inner-city Chicago) on a yearly basis through after-school programs.


94.8% of the Roseland population is African-American
·         12.5% have a college degree
·         20.2% have not completed high school
·         43.1% are unemployed
·         37.5% of the population is below poverty level
·         26.3% of the families are headed by women
These statistics show why the Roseland area is a breeding ground for at-risk youth to be involved in negative behaviors. During the past 5 years, the level of violence has increased to the point where it is impossible for youth not to be affected – either directly or indirectly. 
Youth from the ages of 12 through 19 years are targeted for the programs; however no one is turned away or denied benefit of KOB programs. As of December, 2008 KOB had an active membership of 252, with a waiting list of more than 100 youth. Youth enjoy being involved in KOB activities.
                                                                                    Our goals are:
·         To increase awareness and understanding of violence prevention
·         To develop and apply violence prevention skills
·         To increase self respect, self awareness, and pride
·         To give youth the opportunity to become caring and successful adults in their communities
To accomplish these goals, the KOB board of directors plans to provide a safe haven for the youth to congregate and enjoy learning. From its inception to date KOB activities have been held in the home of its founder – Diane Latiker.
Kids Off the Block operates five days a week, on average, 25 to 35 attend daily, we service young people between 12-19 years, for 42 weeks a year and from 4 pm-8 pm in the evening Monday thru Friday. In the summer, KOB provides 2 months filled with various activities (sports, workshops, field trips) from 2 pm – 6 pm. KOB’s volunteer staff recognize the importance of being there for the youth in the community. Our program offers the tutoring needed to improve grades and test scores. Featured speakers expose the youth to information concerning careers, the environment and issues on handling life skills topics.

Due to the consistent interaction with the youth, the participants grades have improved, ex-gang members have returned back to school and have received awards (“Heroes In the Hood”—DuSable Museum), and many have received perfect attendance awards.

Slogan: "If you can believe it, you can achieve it"