Our VISION is of a global society, identified first and foremost by the grace of its empathy and compassion.

Our MISSION is to serve as a catalyst and innovative partner in positive social change, helping children and their families become lifelong learners and thoughtfully active, compassionate members of our global community.


“…The Kirlin Charitable Foundation is committed to protecting and fostering the creative imagination, self-worth, and happiness of young people…”

We believe that community, and the quality of the relationships within, is the heart of the matter. The Kirlin Charitable Foundation holds as its particular passion the relationships that constellate around children, and within their educational environments. These relationships determine, beginning as early as pregnancy, the nature and vitality of the child’s physical, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual development. Our conscious and deliberate attending to their needs is the foundation upon which these future shapers and stewards of culture stand. The open heart of the child depends on the open heart and intelligence of his or her community.

We also believe that our culture is awakening to the imperative of taking a quantum leap into a very new arena, one in which decades of rhetoric and good intention becomes transformed into imaginative and effective reality. The fruit of our physical, developmental and behavioral sciences gives us today absolutely no excuse to linger at the fringes of dynamic and creative change.

The Kirlin Charitable Foundation recognizes that to be a responsible and effective participant in social change, we must encourage and support systems-based community development. Because our passion is child centered, we look closely at the systems that surround and nurture the child, namely the family and the various educational systems that support the family in achieving it’s primary goal: sending a healthy, creative, and happy child out into the world.

As we know only too well, isolation breeds disaster. Tragic events in our schools have highlighted this fact.  We are learning to an increasing degree that for any system to remain healthy and productive, it must be an open system, one that is able, freely, to give and receive new information. Individuals and families without emotional intelligence, and a society without a parallel and interactive community intelligence, produce the inevitable symptoms we have come to experience as the norm: depression, anger, intolerance and violence. And, we would like to emphasize that these symptoms, though most visible perhaps in our communities of greatest need, are nonetheless pervasive in more subtle and insidious ways within our more affluent communities.

The Kirlin Charitable Foundation recognizes and respects the current emphasis, especially within our schools, on holding higher expectations, maintaining clear and well-defined standards, and achieving positive outcomes in order to address society’s challenges. We believe, however, that these objectives need to run far deeper than academic performance, and indeed must be perceived and supported only within the context of the development of the whole person. We need a community of parents, families, childcare providers, pre-school teachers, and K-12 teachers and leaders who are respected, well educated, and effectively networked into the greater community to do the job successfully.

The Kirlin Charitable Foundation, together with the many partnerships we hope to form along the way, intends to play a supportive and effective role in helping to:

“…create the desire and basis for lifelong learning that will bring thoughtfully active, socially and environmentally responsible members into our local and global community.”

Photos ©Susie Fitzhugh