The original Kids Corporation was founded in 1971 by Mike Nolan and his then-girlfriend Kathleen Murray while they were in college.
After spending several summers working with church groups in Newark and substitute teaching in Newark public schools, they saw the desperate need for a better educational system.
Kids Corporation I was a labor of love that had big dreams but small resources in a city decimated by the 1967 riots and largely abandoned by the corporate and government powers-that-be in New Jersey.
While individual children and neighborhoods were benefiting, the institutional structures of corruption, poverty and failure remain intact, and grew worse throughout the seventies and into the eighties. In the mid-eighties, Mike and Kathleen made the difficult decision to shut down the corporation until they were in a position to truly affect the city’s educational system.
For six years, they raised a family and Mike concentrated on building a legal career, at the same time making contacts and friends with the major players in business and politics. In 1992, they felt it was time to begin again in earnest, and launched Kids Corporation II.
At present, Kids Corp provides summer schools, after-schools, medical and dental exams, medical follow-up care, clothing, school supplies, books, toys, an environmental science and leadership camp, and educational field trips for over 3,000 Newark kids in over 35 schools, churches and community centers.
Our founders and our positive impact has been recognized by leaders in the corporate, education and philanthropic sectors. We always strive to do more, but our long-term goal is to be put out of business by institutional changes that render us obsolete.
When Kids Corporation is no longer needed, our mission will be accomplished.
We Partner with over 35 Community and Faith Based Organizations and Schools throughout Newark NJ.
We reach over 3,000 children annually through our own summer and after-school programs
For every dollar donated, $0.85 goes directly into programs for our Newark school children.
Video: Our Story
Kids Corporation is a direct provider of academic and healthcare programs in Newark, NJ, and a conduit for the distribution of free educational resources to other non-profits for youth in Newark. Watch our video to learn more about our story.