A Bit About Us

AFFECT was initially started in 2017 by two moms, Becky Klinghoffer and Krista Markowski, and two teachers, Anne McNamara and Jenna Waughtal, from Countryside Elementary to accommodate social activities at schools so that every child could participate. 

In the first year, they worked with the PTOs at several schools to modify a few school activities to make them more accessible. District 220 was extremely supportive of this effort. Unfortunately, one of the founding moms had moved away in 2018, which opened the door to other opportunities when....

another mom, Sybil Kestler, saw a vision for more inclusive opportunities for children with unique needs in the community and a need for a support group for families. Krista and Sybil joined forces to create a new vision for AFFECT. Now AFFECT has a new board and an expanded mission with the goal of supporting the needs of children with unique needs as well as improving social and emotional welfare in our schools and community through inclusion and collaboration with others, leading to a lot of exciting opportunities for our families.

Our Board Members


Sybil Kestler



Krista Markowski



Helen Lodowsky