Why We Exist: About C.R.A.F.T. Inc.

Image of CRAFT Inc. Original LogoEstablished in 1974 and incorporated in 1975, for over 30 years, the Center for Re-Creation And Family Training Organization (C.R.A.F.T., Inc.) has adhered to its mission of developing and  implementing  programs directed towards building a stronger, more productive African-American community.

The CRAFT Organization primarily serves the youth and families of the Pembroke/Hopkins Park area of Illinois. The community has one of the highest poverty rates in the state.

The residents of the community suffer from all of the issues that are companions of a poverty stricken community-drugs, violence and the accompanying abuses. This poisonous environment has to be counterbalanced with a positive option for the community, so CRAFT offers that alternative.

C.R.A.F.T.’s History

A Quick Look Backwards

Afterschool/Summer Day Camp
In 1974, CRAFT started its after-school and summer day camp programs. The After-school Program held evening Bible classes, recreation, group discussions, Black history and etiquette classes 3 days a week for students in grades 3-12 . The summer day camp program expanded these activities into daylong activities that included weekly cultural trips.

The Christian Institute for Developing Altruistic Leaders (CIDAL) was the educational arm of CRAFT and it was started in 1975. CIDAL strongly emphasized Christian leadership and altruism. The elementary level began in 1988 with K-2 and the 3rd grade was added a year later. CIDAL closed its doors in 1990 due to lack of finances. Prior to that all 26 high school graduates attended college.

C.R.A.F.T.’s Timeline

1974-The C.R.A.F.T. organization was established.

1974-C.R.A.F.T. started its afterschool and summer day camp programs.

1975-The C.R.A.F.T. organization was incorporated.

1975-C.I.D.A.L. , the educational arm of C.R.A.F.T. , was formed.

1990-C.I.D.A.L. closed its doors due to a lack of finances.

1991-Eagles Program was started to focus on mentoring elementary students.

1991-S.A.P. and S.A.F. were started to assist students in their preparation for and pursuit of  post-secondary education.

2004-Hezekiah Brady Jr. Scholarship was established.