Inside Out Club for K-5th Graders

The majority of a child’s character is developed before age 10

Our Inside Out Club program for K-5th graders teaches critical character skills through fun activities that educate kids on local nonprofits and the social issues they address, and gives kids opportunities to take action through our volunteer projects.

At Inside Out Club, we teach eight key character skills (“inside”) through volunteerism and community engagement (“out”)


  • Proactively include others
  • Allow others to belong unconditionally
  • Value others for who they are


  • Listen, speak and support others to contribute to group success
  • Engage positively, patiently and productively with others


  • Demonstrate an active interest in learning
  • Are brave enough to ask questions
  • Are fearless innovators



  • Understand what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes
  • Demonstrate compassion
  • Help others through service


    • Demonstrate a genuine appreciation for life’s gifts
    • Recognize and focus on the positives
    • Model gratitude to impact others


    • Put others’ needs before individual wants
    • Value sharing, selflessness, generosity and compassion
    • Care for themselves, others, animals and the environment


    • Show grit, resilience and determination when facing challenges or the unexpected
    • Have a growth mindset
    • Follow through on commitments with grace and integrity



    • Embrace their authentic selves
    • Demonstrate healthy coping skills with social and emotional maturity
    • Work to understand their biases, feelings and motivations to make good choices

    Being Socially Responsible

    • Having a desire and sense of responsibility to care for others and the planet

    Protecting Our Planet

    • Working to keep our planet safe and healthy for generations to come

    Meeting Basic Needs

    • Understanding needs (food, shelter, clean water, transportation and literacy) versus wants

    Developing Self-Awareness & Character

    • Building the skills necessary to be a good person and thrive

    Embracing Humanity

    • Connecting to people for who they are and recognizing how we are all the same

    Supporting Troops & Veterans

    • Valuing those who serve our country

    How K-5th graders can participate

    Click on the opportunities below to learn more

    Our Inside Out Club Series is offered three times a year for K-5th

    During each series, kids in grades K-3 learn and practice critical social and emotional skills through fun activities and volunteer service. Kids in grades 4-5 can apply to participate as a junior volunteer.


    Each series is four weeks of one-hour, hands-on, interactive sessions

     Part 1, 35 minutes: fun and creative custom content featuring videos, books, guided art and movement breaks 

    Part 2, 25 minutes: project party, allowing kids to socialize and work together to support the community while receiving adult support and direction

    Our lessons align with Illinois Common Core and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Standards, and have been developed with input from professionals in education, psychology and counseling.


    Kids will build character while supporting their community

    Each week features something new! Past activities and projects include making pipe-cleaner-and-bead wind chimes for horse trails at Ready Set Ride; learning about ourselves through kindness “trait trees;” creating craft kits for kids in the hospital; making blankets for rescue animals; and so much more. 

    During this Inside Out Club lesson …

    Participants collaborated together to help animals meet their basic need of love by making these soft fleece-tie blankets. They learned about Comfort for Critters and how they support hundreds of animal shelters across the country by providing blankets to go home with newly adopted animals.

    Trait: Collaboration

    Social Cause: Meeting Our Basic Needs

    Nonprofit Partner: Comfort for Critters

    Supplies are included and ready-to-go

    Whether you choose to participate in person or virtually, we take care of preparing all of the supplies. Outside of the local area, the child’s supplies will be mailed to them directly.

    Offered multiple times per year, in multiple locations

    Our Inside Out Club 4-Week Series is available virtually or in person in the fall, spring and starting in 2022, summer. Currently, we have clubs in Illinois School Districts 203, 204, 200, 202, 89 and some private schools. It is also offered in person at local community sites. If you’d like to bring Inside Out Club to your school or community or aren’t sure if it is in your neighborhood yet, email

    What people are saying

    I love how much variety there was in the sessions. So many different ways to teach the focus (video, books, crafts, talking/sharing, polls …). I love how the kids got to keep some of their projects, but give others away. Lessons obviously well researched and well thought out –> Nice! 

    Inside Out Club Parent

    I learned that it doesn’t matter what you look like; it matters what you do with your heart.

    It was fun and I can show my creativity. I learned that you should always be nice and keep trying no matter what happens. 

    Inside Out Club Kids

    Volunteering in the Inside Out Club has impacted me in a positive way. Honestly, it feels good to hear the the kids share their ideas and get excited about an activity. This program is amazing! 
    Lead Volunteer, Park View Elementary School