It was almost two years ago when I came up with an idea that would fuse my two greatest passions - children and social enterprise. Today, I am very proud to present KITE - (Kids Inspiring Tomorrow's Education). KITE is a school supply company that gives - and we are starting this adventure with pencils. Adopting the tried and true “one-for-one” model, we offer customers the opportunity to make a difference with every purchase: for every pencil pack purchased, KITE provides one for a child in need.
Though pencils may seem inconsequential to us, they are a hugely understated necessity, unavailable to millions of children. A charter teacher in Zimbabwe said it best: “a pencil is like a jewel [that can] be shared by two students; an eraser is like a diamond." Without the most basic of school supplies, many of these children will abandon school altogether, or enter a learning environment that is unproductive. Access to school supplies means access to education. Education, as we all know, opens the door to less poverty, greater gender equality, and a better tomorrow.
Having acquired a network of allies in the non-profit sector over the past 5 years, KITE will partner with education-centric organizations to help identify and distribute to kids in need. We aspire to give both internationally and domestically; tens of millions of children worldwide are without access to basic school supplies and 13 million of those are living in the United States.
In order to make this dream a reality, KITE needs your help. Our strategy is to focus on the minimum viable product and validate the proof of concept—which will be accomplished via the launch of the KITE Pilot Project. The KITE Pilot Project will consist of an initial production run of 14,400 pencils (1,200 pencil packs/12 pencils in each pack), which will be KITE’s introduction to the market. To reach this goal, our projected fundraising needs come to $15,000.
With your help, the Pilot Project will demonstrate the proof of concept and serve as a launch pad for this innovative social enterprise. For kids in need, educational access starts with these often overlooked tools, and for people who want to help, responsible shopping can pave the way for, and even inspire, greater social awareness.
On behalf of KITE, we welcome you to become a part of KITE’s story, and remain deeply grateful for your time and consideration.
Help us launch KITE!
In order to launch our pilot project, we will need to raise $15,000. This amount will account for the following costs:
- Initial production run (KITE pencils will be proudly manufactured in the USA!)
- Legal fees
- Merchant Fees
- Marketing; printed collateral, website design and production
If we are not able to reach our goal, funds raised will still be used towards launching the project. We are determined to get KITE off the ground and will consider other options for obtaining the total funds needed.
Meet KITE's Pilot Partners
ANNE K. TAYLOR FUND + OLOOMONGI SCHOOL, KENYA
Anne Kent, Founder of Anne K. Taylor Fund, started working with the Oloomongi School in Maasai Mara, Kenya when it was just a nursery school with 30 toddlers. Today, the school has 120 elementary students. “Indeed, pencils are critical and without a pencil, it’s hard to learn. With a donation of pencils, students will have the ability to take notes whereas without pencils learning by memory and repetition. There are never enough supplies.” - Anne Kent Taylor
KUVA KIPP UJIMA VILLAGE ACADEMY, BALTIMORE, MD
KUVA located in Baltimore, Maryland is a public charter school serving 470 students in grades 5- 8. KUVA serves some of the most under-resourced students in Baltimore, many of who don’t have adequate school supplies. Brad Nornhold, awarded Baltimore’s Teacher of the Year in 2012 and a math teacher at KUVA, says that with KITE’s donation of pencils, “students will be better prepared, more confident and more academically successful.”
Why start with pencils?
A pencil is a symbol of education and in many cases the first thing we learn to write with. Imagine not having access to a pencil or any kind of writing instrument. The unfortunate reality is that millions of kids don’t have access to the most basic of school supplies and as a result, in many cases either won’t attend school or will enter into a learning environment that is unproductive.
In places of access, the average consumer buys pencils – whether it is for school, work, pleasure, etc. So, why not buy your next pack of pencils with purpose!?
What about pencil sharpeners?
Not to worry! We will also be providing pencil sharpeners.
Where will KITE donate pencil packs?
KITE will donate pencil packs both domestically and internationally. Fortunately, KITE’s team has a great network of allies in the non-profit world that will help us identify and distribute to kids in need. We welcome and encourage your ideas for partnerships, so please let us know!
How does KITE choose partners?
KITE chooses partners that are reliable, trustworthy and who share our vision of improving kids lives. Additionally, we have each potential partner organization fill out a questionnaire to better understand their needs and help us determine their suitability for receiving pencil pack donations. When distributing supplies, we make sure that every pencil pack gets into the hands of every child in need.
Will KITE extend its product line beyond pencils?
Yes! Certainly, the need for supplies extends beyond pencils and our goal is to create a full line of KITE school supply products ie. Notebooks, rulers, erasers, etc. We want KITE to be a brand owned by our customers and will look to each of you to help us make decisions as to what products we introduce over time.
Is KITE a non-profit organization?
KITE is not a non-profit organization though charitable in nature given its “one-for-one” model. KITE will function as a socially responsible business that stays true to its mission in equipping kids in need to attend school and be productive learners. The more products we sell, the more we can give to kids in need.
So, I won't get a tax deduction when buying KITE products?
You will not get a tax deduction when purchasing KITE products. However, you will be making an automatic donation to a child in need as well as supporting a business that proudly makes their products in the USA.
How will KITE bring KITE products to market?
KITE aspires to partner with independent schools in New York City where students will volunteer to sell KITE pencils. KITE will also organize “pencil parties” where volunteers will host events to help sell KITE pencils.
What will the product look like (pencils and packaging)?
The pencils will be very simple in design – the rod of the pencil will be blue including a few fluffy, white clouds and the KITE logo. Pencils will have erasers and come sharpened. The packaging will be a slim craft paper bag with the KITE logo on the front, reminiscent of paper bag school lunches. There will be twelve pencils in each pack.
What is the price of a KITE pencil pack?
KITE pencil packs will retail for $7.00.
Why are KITE pencils more expensive than other pencils?
Two reasons – KITE is donating a pencil pack for every pencil pack sold AND KITE pencils are made in the United States. Sure, we could have cheaper pencils if we produced them in China but we really feel strongly about supporting businesses in the United States.
If you have any additional questions and/or feedback, please email email@example.com