Kids Who Care was founded in 2005 and was granted 501(c)(3) status by the Internal Revenue Service in 2009. Our founders envisioned a hands-on educational experience for students of all ages that would tie helping others to what they learn in the classroom – Service-Learning. The original Kids Who Care program started at the Tesseract School in Paradise Valley as a coin drive to aid the Hurricane Katrina victims. It grew into a school-wide community service endeavor where over 200 students devoted time to community service projects geared to their ages, classroom curriculum and passions.
In 2006, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor gave the keynote address at Tesseract’s Kids Who Care kick-off event – everyone at Tesseract was inspired. As time passed and more projects were completed, the school administrators and educators realized the value of linking grade specific goals to community needs. Service-Learning is an integral part of Tesseract’s Pre K-12 curriculum with resounding approval from students, teachers, and parents.
Over time, Kids Who Care gained attention from the media – television and newspapers and the founders began to think about expanding the program to additional schools. In 2008, the founders began to promote Service-Learning throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Kids Who Care, Inc. was established after research, encouragement from community leaders, students, and many parents. We have been awarded prestigious grant funding and generous donations from private individuals and corporations.
In 2015, Kids Who Care realized a need to activate Empathy in Arizona’s schools by creating a specific Service-Learning effort focused on Peer-to-Peer Mentoring. Now Kids Who Care is active in training educators throughout the state on how to implement Peer-to-Peer Mentoring. Each student trained can affect dozens of students, and these students wake up with renewed interest in academics that have a direct relationship to the real world.
Kids Who Care exists to increase the academic success of students throughout Arizona in grades K-12. The greatest education challenges we address are decreasing the dropout rate (7.2%, second highest in the nation) and increasing student’s retention of academic skills, especially reading, writing and math.