Dolores Kohl, Founder, Dolores Kohl Foundation

“Children are the messages we send to generations that we will never see,” says Dolores Kohl.

Dolores Kohl twinkles as she explains the mission and accomplishments of the Dolores Kohl Education Foundation. Regionally, the initiatives include the Kohl Children’s Museum, the Kohl McCormick Early Childhood Teaching Awards and the Story Bus, a traveling pre-literacy skills development exhibit. It also includes many international arts and education programs.

A teacher’s heart leads Dolores. Her charm and executive skills lead others to support her educational vision.

Dolores grew up in Wisconsin, where her brother now serves as a U.S. Senator. She raised her two sons in Highland Park, taught fourth grade in Highwood and launched her foundation in 1972. Now a grandmother of six, Dolores also serves as a trustee of her late husband Morris Kaplan‘s foundation.

Her goals include “encouraging as many of the best and brightest as possible to go into teaching, using great teachers to mentor others, and promoting whole-child assessment and development—not just teaching to a test,” she says.

Dolores’ belief that a strong early childhood education is the most cost-effective way to create better futures for all was ahead of its time. Fortunately her vision, generosity and leadership have developed outstanding platforms to accomplish her dream now.

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