Chitas for Kids is a project dedicated to enabling children (and adults too!) to learn in an easy, accessible way.
The primary components are easy-to-understand daily summaries of the daily shiurim in written and audio format, and a little coloring book with captions. These are emailed and sent via WhatsApp daily, and available in other formats (with some caveats) a week at a time for educators.
The original expected audience was Anash parents reading with their children, although many teenagers and adults of all backgrounds find the summaries helpful for themselves as well.
The language and explanations in the Chitas summaries are fairly simple, to make them accessible to children. Comfort with many Hebrew or Yiddish terms common in a Chabad household is assumed, and they are not always translated (a glossary is available).
As the original tagline goes, the project is "Chitas for Kids (and adults too!)"
Chitas for Kids started in Parshas Noach, 5772, by a shliach and shlucha in a small town in the USA. It began as the "Chitas Curriculum" for a small group of young shluchim who needed an occasional extra-curricular learning program. It consisted of a little coloring booklet, and notes of some simple games or activities that related to the day's Chitas.
A few days later, they informally shared the booklet on the Shluchos Network to help other homeschooling mothers. The response was so enthusiastic that they began posting it daily to share with other shluchim.
To make it easy for mothers to teach the actual Chitas material, they began writing easy-to-read summaries of each part of Chitas and emailing them along with the booklets. Surprisingly, the summaries soon became more popular than the booklets themselves, and they were asked to forward the daily emails to a growing list.
At that point, the Chitas Curriculum became known as Chitas for Kids, and began growing in reach and scope. Shabbos and Sunday booklets began, and the additional pieces (Darkei Hachassidus, Tefillah, Halacha, and Geulah) were added over time.
Shluchim in Ashdod, Rabbi and Mrs. Friedman, offered to translate the Chitas summaries and booklets into Hebrew, and it is now emailed daily to a separate email list of nearly 1,000 subscribers.
Mrs. Tsiporah Chulsky of Paris began translating the booklets into French, l'ilui nishmas Rabbi Shmuel Azimov, and they are now used in educational institutions throughout France.
Inspired by Rabbi Zalman Glick, who dedicated it in honor of his son Zev Aryeh A"H, a daily audio version was added, beginning on Rosh Chodesh Sivan 5776. It is now linked in the daily email and sent out daily via WhatsApp.
Chitas for Kids is primarily a joint project of Rabbi Mendel and Nechama Dina Hecht of Cortland, New York. Most of the work is done in-house. The Hebrew and French translations are provided by the Friedmans of Ashdod and Mrs. Tsiporah Chulsky of France, respectively. (See credits on the bottom of the page for more)