Christopher House is a family of schools that helps children and families succeed in school, the workplace, and life.

Our Family of Schools.

 Our unique model combines a continuum of personalized education and immersive family support, which extend well beyond the classroom:

Parent School

Parent School engages every parent of each scholar in the Infant & Pre-School, Elementary School and After School to create a healthy and stable learning environment at home that will further their child’s success. The Parent School provides access to on-staff social workers and family advocates, in addition to educational workshops and career guidance, individualized and family counseling, and resources to achieve stability at home, like our food pantry and one-time emergency assistance funds. 

Infant & Pre-School

Infant & Pre-School annually prepares nearly 400 children for kindergarten. All three preschools are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and have received the Gold Circle of Quality—the highest possible ranking—by ExceleRate Illinois.

Elementary School

Elementary School provides more than 500 scholars with a personalized education from kindergarten through the eighth grade. In 2019, the school expanded to include the JoAnne L. Cicchelli Middle School.

After School

After School works with more than 200 students, ages six to eighteen, to explore new opportunities, achieve academic excellence, and develop healthy behaviors and soft skills needed for success in school, home, college, and the workplace.



Founded by Presbyterian Church of Evanston


First Head Start Provider in Chicago


Uptown Campus Opens


Logan Square Campus Opens


Chicago Benchmarking Collaborative Launched


Elementary School Opens in Belmont Cragin


JoAnne L. Cicchelli Middle School Opens


First Graduating Class of 8th Graders


What Sets Us Apart

Continuity of Care

Scholars begin with us as young as six weeks and continue their education through the 8th grade. Our longstanding relationships with scholars and families allow us to provide personalized education and support. 

Two-Generation Model

Christopher House supports every member of the family to ensure scholars have a healthy, stable home environment through parent workshops, a bi-monthly food pantry, and more. 

Data-Driven Approach

Christopher House tracks more than 60 annual metrics to ensure our decisions are data-informed. We evaluate data with our partners in the Chicago Benchmarking Collaborative to ensure we are continuously improving services. 


Libby Shortenhaus, Chief Executive Officer
Julie Dakers, Chief Human Resources Officer
Becky Seibel, Chief Operating Officer
Karen Ross-Williams, Director of Early Childhood & Youth Leadership
Traci Stanley, Director of Quality Assurance
Ricardo Villalobos, Director of Family & Community Engagement

Christopher House
5235 W. Belden Ave.
Chicago, IL 60639