A friend of mine and a teacher at St. Catherine School on Kaua’i, a K - 8th grade Catholic School in Kapa’a, recently reached out to me to help sponsor their annual service project, a holiday food drive in support of the Kaua’i Independent Food Bank. Kristen who I’ve worked with on other projects on Kaua’i had just recently learned about our brand. She said the message would fit well with their food drive campaign and could possibly help the kids to engage during a very challenging time. As we all know our keiki globally have been sidelined from one of the most important times in their young developing lives. Their earliest opportunities to engage with others socially and to test the waters of interests in; sports, art, hobbies, and just creating an identity of their own has been stunted. As Kristen said, "Our middle school classes are having a particularly hard time with negativity, both outward and inward." So, we really wanted to help these kids build a bond over working together on a project and show them how to develop some "bootstrapping" skills.
The first thing I did was head out to meet with these awesome kids and teachers. I was met with plenty of pure stoke and Aloha!
To help inspire the kids to engage in the project we created a sticker design in their school colors, and just for them only. We then printed and gifted them over 120 of these custom stickers.
For the kids to receive a sticker they were asked to bring in something to contribute towards the food drive. As we all know it feels great to give back and participate in collective goals in support others. In addition to the stickers we gave them 120 of the Kaya Waldman goal cards.
We hoped the practice of writing down a goal, maybe the first time for many of the kids, would give them just a hint of empowerment. We wanted to show them that although so many things have been taken from them during the pandemic, they still have opportunities pursue things important to them. An element of "free will," to take back some control in what they mostly see as a life out of their own control and guided by so many outside factors.
Kristen put the plan together and did all the heavy lifting. As all our amazing teachers do these days!
We recently caught up with Kristin and got a report on the food drive and goal writing experiences of the kids. The food drive turned out to be a huge success. They were able to donate a significant amount of food to the Kaua’i Independent Food Bank. And very importantly, student engagement increased during the campaign. As far as the goal writing, some of the sweetest and most entertaining goals were set by these awesome kids. From wanting to improve at bodyboarding to learning to play the piano, and even how to improve communication with their parents.
We are so grateful to have been able to participate in this small aspect of their education experience. And for me personally it’s super rewarding and one of the reasons I started the brand. It's what we call the Science of CAN. A hint of education and inspiration to move the needle just a fraction on stoke levels for others.