Naperville’s Collaborative Youth Team celebrates stories of kindness

Nominees honored at various locations Feb. 14-20

KidsMatter and the Collaborative Youth Team are visiting several locations in Naperville the week of Feb. 14-20 to celebrate those who have been nominated for their outstanding acts of kindness as part of the Collaborative Youth Team’s Kindness Counts initiative.

In the Kindness Counts initiative, anyone in the community is invited to help shine a spotlight on individuals who have performed acts of kindness. Nominations may be submitted during the entire month of February at

The Collaborative Youth Team includes representatives from 36 organizations that support youth and families in our community.

The celebrations began on Feb. 14 with the recognition of three fourth-grade students at Prairie Elementary School who assist kindergarten students in the classroom for 15 minutes each day. They take the initiative to help in thoughtful ways, even making birthday cards for the children.

Next, Anita Knotts was honored for the unconditional, inclusive kindness she shows through her role with the Women in Business group that is part of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce.

The third celebration recognized Maureen Dvorak with Naperville Unit District 203 for her kindness in welcoming new families to the district.

“We look forward to celebrating more stories of kindness this week” said Nina Menis, CEO and executive director of KidsMatter. “Each person nominated has touched so many lives without realizing it.”

About KidsMatter:

Recognized as Naperville’s proactive, youth oriented human service organization, KidsMatter’s mission is to build resilient kids who say “no” to destructive choices and “yes” to endless possibilities. Established in 2001, KidsMatter has received the Naperville Chamber of Commerce 2014 “NFP of the Year” Award, 2015 “AT&T Investing in Illinois Award” and Illinois Principals Association 2016 “Building School Community Bridges Award” for its work helping young people build developmental assets including positive values, healthy relationships, and self-esteem.

With programming focused on preventing problems in the lives of youth before they start, KidsMatter equips youth and families with essential tools to manage the societal pressures and stress of everyday life through dynamic school and community programs, practical education, resources, and youth recognition.

A community leader among nonprofits, KidsMatter harnesses the power of partnership with parents, educators, and an extensive network of community resources to help kids and families thrive. For information, visit or

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