“Building readers and leaders”
K is for Kids® is a unique student volunteer-based nonprofit organization with kids on both the giving and receiving ends of our mission building readers and leaders.
The Foundation encourages literacy and a love of reading in children of all ages by enriching their libraries at school and at home.
Student leaders serve as role models and teach kids that reading is fun while earning community service hours, boosting resumes and developing leadership skills in a “real world” setting.
Through its focused efforts, K is for Kids helps cultivate the skills kids need to be creative thinkers, adventurous problem solvers and visionary leaders.
Join us for February’s “Bring a Book, Bring a Friend®” for Children’s Literacy Month when teens create “fun’raisers” to inspire kids to read more & dream more.
Dreaming and reading, learning and leading, creating and achieving: That’s K is for Kids!
Kids love to read!
It’s a wonderful story that’s never ending.
Kids are on both the giving and receiving ends of
our mission “building readers and leaders”.
Kids We Help (literacy program)
Kids of all ages, from toddlers to teens, benefit from our programs throughout Collier County and in south Lee, too. We help educators encourage students to read more by placing more books into children’s hands – books that they can take home and keep (Rising Readers program), as well as books they can check out from their school libraries (Friends of the School Library). K is for Kids also helps recognize the achievements of top readers, too!
Kids on the giving end (youth leadership program)
Students helping students
K is for Kids is unique in that teens are its primary volunteers, especially juniors and seniors in high school who earn community service hours so are important for school and college, boost resumes and develop skills outside of the classroom in a real world setting. Students may volunteer, serve in leadership roles, as spokespersons, ambassadors and/or intern. Students get to see firsthand how they can impact others in their community. Volunteers may select any given area of interest; and they may strengthen skills or learn new ones.
Students leaders created the first Teen Advisory Team (2008); Teen Advisory Council (2010) – to govern growing ranks of student volunteers; the Teen Fashion Show (2011 & 2013) – now the highlight of our Bring a Book, Bring a Friend(r) for Children’s Literacy month in February, it draws in students from across Collier and south Lee Counties; and currently are re-structuring and strengthening the Council’s mission and goals.
College Students Form First Business Management Team
University students are joining our cause in ever-increasing numbers and have made great impacts on the Foundation’s mission. They may earn service learning hours also.
Like their younger counterparts, college students serve in leadership roles, as spokespersons, ambassadors, and/or interns, and are are able to apply principles learned in the classroom in a “real world” business setting. Volunteers may select their given area of interest to strengthen existing skills or learn new ones.
In 2013, students from Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) established K is for Kids’ first “executive” business management team, serving as advisors to the high school student leaders in their activities, and working directly with the executive director to achieve goals set.
It all began over a decade ago
Over a decade ago roots were laid at Laurel Oak Elementary School in Naples, Florida when K is for Kids’ founder Karen Clawson began volunteering in the classrooms and school of her two children. In 2002, Karen began helping the school librarian (or media specialist) and teachers boost the number of books for students to read in and out of school.
After four years of fun’raising at Laurel Oak, other schools and nonprofits began to ask for help, so with strong community interest and support, Karen launched K is for Kids(r) Foundation in February 2008.
Today, under its umbrella, students of thirty-eight schools and organizations in Collier and south Lee Counties in 2013 alone have benefited from K is for Kids’ literacy and leadership programs.
Now entering its sixth year, the Foundation’s cornerstones have been firmly laid: working closely with educators, K is for Kids is presenting students with more opportunities to read and dream, create and communicate, learn and lead.
About our Founder
Founder Karen Clawson’s devotion to the enrichment of children’s education and youth development is embodied in the formation and growth of K is for Kids® Foundation. She has volunteered without compensation since its formation in 2007, considering her time and efforts a “gift” to the kids.
Clawson was named as one of WGCU’s MAKERS in 2013, an award honoring exceptional women who have impacted Southwest Florida’s past, present and future by serving as the “first” in their field; affecting lasting change; building community; defying social norms; and leaving a legacy.
Karen was nominated for Naples Citizen of the Year and Collier County Public Schools’ (CCPS) Educational Partner of the Year. She was twice presented with CCPS Galaxy of Stars awards.