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Can You Dig It?


Oak-Leyden has been invited by Sugar Beet Schoolhouse to participate in their All Ages + All Abilities Garden on the grounds of the Park District of Oak Park’s Cheney Mansion.

Our participants are working with Oak-Leyden staff and volunteer master gardeners to plant, care for, and grow marigolds, herbs, and veggies in our Italian Feasting Garden. Tools, raised beds, seeds, and plants were donated to provide us with a season of learning, sharing, and relationship building. Stay tuned to our Facebook page and watch us grow!

CARF and Cavalcade Awards


Oak-Leyden Developmental Services has been awarded the highest level of accreditation by CARF International for our day and residential programs.


CARF accreditation is a public seal of trust and commitment to quality based on internationally accepted standards. Achieving this accreditation demonstrates Oak-Leyden’s commitment to exceptional, personalized care. An organization receiving the highest level of CARF accreditation has undergone a detailed peer review process and has demonstrated to a team of surveyors, during an on-site visit, its commitment to providing programs and services of the highest quality. For more information on CARF, visit www.carf.org.

cavalcadepic2Oak-Leyden Developmental Services was recognized for the beautification of its headquarters’ façade at 411 Chicago Ave. in Oak Park. The 2014 Cavalcade of Pride Commercial Building Award was presented by Oak Park’s Community Design Commission at the Nineteenth Century Club on Nov. 20. Opening remarks were made by village president, Anan Abu-Taleb, to a capacity crowd of honorees and supporters of the village’s 2014 Preservation Awards, Green Awards, and Cavalcade of Pride Awards.


The 411 Chicago Avenue facility houses Oak-Leyden’s management staff as well as playrooms for Oak-Leyden’s Children’s Services’ therapy program, and is one of 15 near-west suburban facilities operated by Oak-Leyden. The Oak-Leyden façade project was partially funded by a grant from Oak Park Development Corp.





Register Now to Make Music With Us this Fall

Parents and caregivers ~ treat your newborns through five-year-olds to a 10-week session of Music Together®!

MT71-30Music Together® is an internationally recognized early childhood music program for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarteners, and the adults who love them.

Musical participation is not based on talent, but on exposure and experience at a young age, bringing confidence in music throughout life. It’s fun, it’s interactive, and it’s social!

Our 10-week sessions begin the week of September 7, with three dates and times available. mt2

Mondays  ~  3:45 to 4:45 p.m.
Wednesdays  ~  10:45 to 11:45 a.m.
Fridays  ~  9:15 to 10:15 a.m.

Classes are held at Oak-Leyden, 411 Chicago Ave. in Oak Park.  Contact Rachel Wood at (708) 524-1050 x 107 or rwood@oak-leyden.org to reserve a spot today.

Thanks for Toasting Children’s Services

OaktoberfestpicHofbräuhaus in Rosemont hosted a one-of-a-kind “Dine for a Cause” Brewer’s tasting on Friday, March 20, to benefit Oak-Leyden’s Children’s Services Program. Hofbräuhaus’ chef Klaus and brewmaster Rob teamed up to invent a delicious four-course beer and gourmet meal pairing. A great time was had by all, with a silent auction and raffle, yodeling, a brewery tour, and a stein lifting contest.  Thanks to the Hofbräuhaus and our volunteers and guests for a memorable evening, supporting Children’s Services!

Danke to our silent auction, raffle, and in-kind donors:


A Red Orchid Theatre
Abt Electronics and Appliances
ACH Companies
Athenaeum Theatre
Carmike Cinemas/Muvico
Chicago Blitz Professional Indoor Football
Coach/Premium Outlets
Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare
deedee & edee
Derby Lite®
Elan Hair, Body & Sole
Famous Liquors
Good Earth GreenhouseHeritagegoodone
Greenline Wheels
Sen. Don Harmon
The Language & Music School
Lucky Strike Lanes
Lynfred Winery
Amanda Miller Design Studio
Museum of Contemporary Art ChicagoBBT-Logo-Vertical (2)
Naper Settlement
Nottoli & Son
O’Reilly Auto Parts
Pamela Penney Textile Arts
Planet Fitness/Elmwood Park
The Redhead Piano Bar
School of Rock
Smylie Brothers Brewing Co.hblogo
Kathleen Sweeney
Ten Thousand Villages/Oak Park
Top Golf/Wood Dale
Trader Joe’s/Batavia
Two Brothers Brewing
Vera Bradley/Premium Outlets
Whirly Ball
Windy City Limousine
Wines for Humanity
Wonder Works: A Children’s Museum in Oak Park
David Wood
Rachel Wood
Zanie’s Comedy Nite Club

Special thanks to our sponsors!


GBG1Go Baby, Go!

We’re driving a car pool of a different kind at our 411 Chicago Ave. location in Oak Park. Through a donation by the Kiwanis Club of Oak Park-River Forest, Oak-Leyden’s Children’s Services Program was able to purchase three battery-operated cars and a local State Farm agent sponsored a fourth that O-L volunteers have adapted for use by our Children’s Services Program participants.

After a trip to Toys ‘R’ Us, Dr. Cole Galloway, a professor of physical therapy at the University of Delaware, invented a less expensive alternative to electric wheelchairs for

GBG6physically impaired children between the ages of 18 and 24 months. Galloway realized he could retrofit battery-operated toy cars using creative materials like PVC tubing, swimming pool noodles, and kickboards. Thus, GoBabyGo (www.udel.edu/gobabygo) was formed.

To date, the program has retrofitted nearly 100 cars, many of which are customized to provide physical therapy for specific impairments. Galloway’s vehicles, which aim to increase mobility and bridge the “exploration gap” between abled and impaired children, have been shown to increase cognitive and motor skills in their drivers.  “It unlocks brain development and exploratory drive for the child, and ignites active, engaged play from adults and peers,” Galloway says. “When your main goal is mobility and socialization of young children andGBG4 their families, you can’t ask for better collaborators than Barbie and Mater.”GBG2

On Sept. 13, volunteers from Northwestern University’s engineering department, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Lurie Children’s Hospital, the Oak-Leyden Children’s Services staff, and Dr. Deb Gaebler from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, gathered to complete the retrofits. Thanks to all who donated and volunteered to help make this program innovation possible.

There’s no stopping our little drivers now, as program therapists and parents cheer them on to Go Baby, Go!


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Check Out Our Wish List

Looking for donation opportunities to help support our programs and services?


Click here for a list of options, and scroll down to see our wish list for new or gently-used items. We appreciate your support!


Save the Date


Our annual fundraiser will be held Friday, November 6, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. at Hofbräuhaus Chicago in Rosemont. Enjoy wonderful German fare, delicious onsite-brewed beers, and entertainment. Tickets will be $95 per person and available late this summer. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for deets — Prost!