Kids Can

Maureen’s Dream
Imagine seeing the world through a child’s eyes. Full of hope, happiness and endless possibilities. Kids believe they can do anything – they believe in miracles. They believe that if they find a penny it will bring them luck. How amazing to believe in the power of a penny and the good fortune it can bring.

“As adults, it is our duty to ensure they continue to see life this way and in turn by looking through their eyes we will learn to see life with hope and possibility at every turn”, thought co-founder Gary’s mother Maureen. “I thought of all the children I have known and all the things they can do — and Kids Can was born.”

A Shared Experience
Kids Can is a program for students, teachers and parents – a shared experience that connects students to the world outside their classrooms. It is designed to help kids realize the power they have to change lives and to focus and use their talents on behalf of others.

The Program
Kids Can is a multi-visit program, and our goal is to make it an annual event in the schools. Each lesson is designed to connect American students to their peers in Ethiopia. The children will learn history, geography, current events and cultural customs — and most importantly, they will learn the meaning of Help.

This past Spring, we shared this program with students in three inner-city schools. Maureen selected inner-city schools for this pilot program “...because I wanted the kids to realize that everyone has the ability to make a difference.” Over six weeks we shared inspiring stories of Ethiopian students, discussed ways they could help others in their communities and challenged them to follow through. We made friendship bracelets to remind the kids of their fellow students in Ethiopia and collected pennies to buy one desk for the Dali School in Central Ethiopia. This last task – of collecting pennies – gave the kids a tangible way to see how their actions could make a difference. In the end, each school collected enough pennies to a desk of their own for the Dali School! Vist our photo gallery to see pictures of this pilot program.

“We have a dream that other adults and teachers will want to bring this program to their schools”, hopes Maureen. So, we have created a Kids Can School Pack that includes everything needed to share this program. “Children are our tomorrow – and with your help, kids can help change the lives of their brothers and sisters all over the world ... one penny at a time.”