The Carole Robertson Center for Learning was founded in 1976 by parents and other community residents who rallied to save their local after school program when its sponsoring agency closed. Since that time, the agency has grown to 10 times its original size, serving over 650 children every day from three sites on the west side of Chicago. From its modest beginning, the Center has evolved into a comprehensive family development agency.
It was important to the founders that the name of the organization represented something greater than themselves, reflecting a commitment to their children and community. Mrs. Alpha A. Robertson gave permission to use the name of her late daughter Carole, who was killed in the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Carole, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, and Denise McNair all lost their lives in the bombing. For the past four decades, the Carole Robertson Center for Learning has had the honor and responsibility of doing work in Carole's name and in memory of the four girls.
- The Carole Robertson Center for Learning is incorporated in 1976
- In 1978, the first Rededication Ceremony is held, memorializing the four girls who died in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama
- In 1989, the Center opens an 80-child early childhood education program in Little Village
- The Family Child Care Home Network begins offering home-based care for children ages birth through 5 in 1998
- In 2000 and 2001, the Center introduced two family resource centers, tripling in size and adding center-based services for children under age three.
- The Center launches the Parent-Child Home Based Program in 2007
- The Center launches an agency-wide dual-language initiative in English and Spanish in 2009