The SMILE (Scholarships Mean Involvement in Leisure for Everyone) Grant-in-Aid Program gives families in need of financial assistance the opportunity to participate in Park District programs. Founded in 1992, SMILE has provided thousands of Highland Park residents facing economic difficulty with access to classes, camps, sports leagues, fitness activities, lessons, and events that promote healthy lifestyles. The Parks Foundation raises SMILE funds that allow our Park District to extend benefits to all residents in need. We “Give a SMILE” for all to play!
Foundation Youth Initiative (FYI) was established in 2019 to expand our reach to Highwood children who rely on the Park District of Highland Park for enrichment activities. Learn-to-Swim, our inaugural FYI program, was launched to fund free introductory swim lessons for low-income families and now serves dozens of kids annually. Additional offerings will include a variety of skill-based enrichment classes for local youngsters in need. The Foundation partners with the Nuestro Center and the Highland Park Community Foundation in funding and administering FYI.
Donate to the Foundation Youth Initiative fund
Strong character, strategic thinking, friendship, and a passion for the outdoors are some of the traits attributed to the game of golf. We proudly support youth golf for residents of all economic means. The Foundation is the primary force behind Sunset Valley Golf Course’s new Youth Golf Development Center where young golfers can learn putting and chipping, and where all local golfers can practice short game skills. Through the Michael Goldman Memorial Scholarship Fund, we offer golf lesson scholarships for youth facing social, emotional, or economic challenges. We welcome the community to join us in Playing it Forward for Youth Golf.
How We Help:
We offer something for everyone!
preschool classes to pickleball courts
dog parks to dance programs
bird watching to beach yoga