Cheers for the Kid to Kid campaign!

By Sara Wojtak, First Stage Summer Academy intern

The Kid-to-Kid campaign is one of the most impressive and inspiring things I have seen First Stage students do. Seeing everyone participate and work hard at something that is for the benefit of other students is truly amazing. Kid-to-Kid is a fundraising program operated by First Stage Theater Academy students to raise money for scholarships for others to attend First Stage.  Students in grades 5-12 participate and are in charge of everything, from deciding what day to have a fundraiser to choosing an incentive for reaching a certain quota; it is entirely student-lead. 

Students join in the "burpee" challenge in support of Kid to Kid
The students work hard to raise money and encourage student donations for Kid-to-Kid, from having bake sales to planning out some sort of incentive. Every two weeks, Academy students hold a bake sale during their lunch hour. The students bring in baked goods to sell for $1 each. All the money raised goes straight to the Kid-to-Kid fund. Students have donated from $1 to as much as $20 at these bake sales, raising over $1,925 this summer.  The generosity of these students is

First Stage Artistic Director Jeff Frank with Academy teachers Chike
Johnson and Di'Monte Henning matched dollars raised with
"burpees." Students raised $500 in support of Kid to Kid that week!
“What makes Kid-2-Kid so special is the power it gives students,” said First Stage Community Partnership Coordinator Malkia Stampley. “To know that even a penny can help someone else teaches that no matter your financial situation, you can still make a difference.”  Stampley continued to say that the funds raised by Academy students this summer will cover full tuition for a class of 16 students for one session next school year. 

First Stage students have other incentives to raise money for Kid-to-Kid, some of which are quite outrageous! This summer, one of the Academy interns volunteered to shave his head if the students raised a certain dollar amount by a particular date. Well before that date, that intern was walking through the door with his head completely shaven because the students worked so hard to reach that goal. Other incentives include shows and performances by the interns and staff, pie in the face and fun games in class.  “It’s all about inspiring the students and teachers to showcase talents and dig a little deeper for Kid to Kid,” said Stampley.  Students donate items that they have made in order to raise money as well. Some of these items include artwork, bracelets, bows, and anything else the students can make. Every amount that is raised on a non-bake sale day is applauded and cheered for, no matter how much has been donated.

As an Academy intern this summer, it truly is a wonderful thing to see all the First Stage students being so creative, helpful, and generous in helping others through the Kid-to-Kid campaign.

Check out this video of First Stage students during the Kid to Kid "burpee" challenge.  Learn more about First Stage Theater Academy!

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