Peek into Team Kids Challenge in action
Team Kids’ flagship program is the school-based, five-week Team Kids Challenge, a research-based, and empirically validated approach to youth development. The Team Kids Challenge empowers an average of 650 students at each elementary school as they learn about critical community issues and work alongside police, fire-fighters, parent volunteers, and Team Kids mentors to address them.
Each year, Team Kids hosts a Challenge at 30 schools, harnessing the collaborative efforts of nearly 25,000 students, their families, and 35 community partners. Kicking off with an assembly led by Team Kids staff, police officers, and firefighters, the program delivers lessons about critical community issues, such as homelessness, hunger, literacy, and the environment. Every student is invited to participate in a weekly challenge, such as collecting food or clothing.
Fifth and sixth graders volunteer on the Leadership Team once a week during lunch recess, further enhancing their skills and abilities as leaders. This Team plans a school-wide carnival fundraiser for the last week of the Challenge to raise funds for a charitable cause of their choice, providing real assistance to children and families in need of food, shelter, and other care.
To give students an even greater sense of impact, Team Kids ensures that 100% of the funds and resources raised are donated directly to a nonprofit identified and selected by students. Past recipients of students’ efforts have included the American Red Cross, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Make-A-Wish, Illumination Foundation, OC Rescue Mission, Orangewood Children’s Foundation, Second Harvest Food Bank, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and several schools. Since 2001, Team Kids Challenge participants have raised more than $600,000 in cash and in-kind donations for nonprofits such as these. The Team Kids Challenge is delivered at no charge to participating students and schools.