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Harper for Kids

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Youth Development, Youth Development - Citizenship

Mission: Our mission is to teach children the important life skills that will empower them to achieve their personal best in life.

Results: Harper for Kids works with 60 public K-12 schools throughout California.

Target demographics: Youth

Direct beneficiaries per year: 25,000 youths

Geographic areas served: California

Programs: Youth Character Development – teaching youth important life skills that can help them achieve their personal best in life. HFK's program is based upon legendary UCLA Coach John Wooden's Pyramid of Success and we help schools incorporate it into their character education program.

Community Stories

50 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Lisa K.6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Many of our teachers have been teaching Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success to students because they believe that character education is the cornerstone of strong moral development. This year we have launched the Pyramid of Success Framework schoolwide at Gordon J. Lau Elementary. We want to thank Tim and Peanut for their continued support. Students see our mural and want to learn more. We look forward to reporting our progress this year.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Coach Wooden Pyramid poems have been written on poster paper with each student's signature. Every morning after the pledge, the whole class recites each poem (two so far!) and we discuss opportunities to demonstrate the qualities throughout our day.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Harper for Kids has been wonderful in helping my school implement Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success. The Harpers have been so generous in their donation of time and resources to make this program successful. Thank you for helping us teach our students how to be their personal best!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Harper for Kids has been a valuable resource for our school! We have been able to introduce John Wooden's Pyramid of Success while incorporating the book Inch and Miles. I have noticed a difference in my students' attitude, drive, and empathy toward their work and classmates. I am so thankful for this organization and excited to use it this year!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Fremont Elementary School is partnering with Harper for Kids for the first time this school year and our experience has been exceptional. They take John Wooden’s Pyramid for Personal Success and organize it in such a way that allows our teachers an easy way to teach specific character traits every month of the school year. They provided us with the lessons, charts, picture book, staff development and lots of communication. The best part, they helped us to re-design our current behavior reinforcement system to integrate the new with what already existed. They will even be providing us a school assembly in mid-September. It is amazing that they are able to support our school for free!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Harper for kids is the best! We have partnered for two years to bring Character Education to my school. John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success is easily taught to elementary aged students in my school because of the wonderful support and resources. They have provided multiple opportunities to my stidents so they could hear directly from professional athletes about the importance of Personal Best! The ability to have a common language around behavioral expectations has been hands down one of the biggest benefits of this program. Also, I cannot say enough positive comments about Tim and Peanut themselves, as they are so supportive and helpful! I am such a strong supporter of the Pyramid of Success and Harper for Kids that I brought it to my school district and made a presentation ablit this wonderful program and how it can help enhance their school(s) as well. Thank you Harper For Kids for all you do for children! You are truly making a lasting impact in the lives of children.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a first year principal and I have changed the schools whole Positive Behavior Plan to follow Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success. The kids love getting the Blue Devil Bucks and in return they have to tell me why they received the buck and which part of the Pyramid of Success did they do to earn the Blue Devil Buck. I recently had a pizza party for the kids that have followed the Pyramid of Success. Every one of them told me which part of the Pyramid that they have been working on so far this school year. It has been a huge success. I read Coach Wooden's quotes every day on the announcements to remind the students to give their personal best 100% of the time.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Woodland Elementary School in Costa Mesa, CA has been partnering with Tim and Peanut Harper of Harper for Kids for over 10 years! They have taken Coach John Wooden's book, Inch and Miles, the Journey to Success, and have brought it to life through sports, teamwork, art, laughter, encouragement and of course, friendship!
In first grade, we read aloud to our students all the time! Many teachers have put together Inch and Miles Libraries, based on on the Building Blocks of the Pyramid. For example, "Friendship" might include books such as Amos & Boris, Hooway for Wodney Wat or The Giving Tree, while "Determination" could include books like Wilma Unlimited, Winners Never Loose and Long Shot.
On the online Epic website or app, teachers can also create Libraries or Collections based on the Pyramid of Success. The possibilities are endless!
Harper for Kids has really helped to make these building blocks of character REAL to our students and families. It has become part of who they ARE and will hopefully remain as part of their foundation always!
Carol Gaylord
First Grade Teacher


Client Served

Rating: 5

Harper for Kids has been a tremendously positive influence on our students, staff, and overall school culture. We are especially grateful for the time they have spent with our students, explaining the foundation and importance of the Pyramid of Success and how it can help guide them towards their "personal best". Tim and Peanut have been a joy to work with and we hope to continue our partnership with HFK for years to come!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

HFK has been a life saver in my classroom & school wide! It has enabled me to reach deep within each one of my students to bring out their best character from the beginning on the very first day of school! My third graders walk around representing each block of the POS & constantly spreading the positive vibes throughout our community reaching families everywhere they go! It has been a blessing partnering up with Harper For Kids & bringing Coach Wooden’s vision to life year after year! Thank You to both Coach Tim & Peanut for their friendship & guidance for the past 6 years!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Korinne Kornmann and I am a Kindergarten teacher in Irvine. My school adopted Harper for Kid's character education program this past school year and I have loved every minute of it. Their Pyramid of Success, designed specially for kids from John Wooden's famous Pyramid, gives children tangible ways to work towards being their absolute best.

I love this program for all grades, including for Kindergarten ! I love the fact that as they grow, their relationships with the pyramid character traits will evolve based on their maturity and life experiences.

Their program is also easy to embed into your school day curriculum, so that you do not have to make extra time for it. I embedded my students' Pyramid of Success work into our Language Arts curriculum.

I would give my highest recommendation to anyone who works closely with children to adopt this program as part of your school wide character education. I saw a personal change in every single one of my students because of their exposure to the Pyramid of Success and Harper for Kids.



Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As an elementary school principal, I have proudly used Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success since 2005 at three different schools. Tim and Peanut Harper do a fantastic job of organizing their assemblies and bringing in local college and professional sports players to help bring home the importance of character education. We can never have enough of that! Our students love the Pyramid of Success and my staff loves having a program that supports character education for the entire school.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Working with Harper for Kids was one of the highlights of the year! As an elementary school teacher, I put a great deal of emphasis on building my students up and helping them to be their best self. Coach Wooden's pyramid of success and the character building program through Harper for Kids has been an extremely valuable addition to our school site. We discuss a new character trait each month and award 2 students from each class who modeled that trait with excellence, at a school wide assembly.

I was also honored to participate in a class video conference about the book "Inch and Miles: The Journey to Success by Coach John Wooden with Steve Jamison and Peanut Harper." We learned about the different building blocks and how we can apply them to our life both in and out of school.

We also got to virtually meet one of my childhood role models, the humble yet inspirational Kristi Yamaguchi! My second graders did research before hand and were able to ask her questions during an assembly with multiple grade levels. After, we reflected on her wisdom and advice, and created pic collages of what we were grateful to have learned from that experience.

Working with Tim and Peanut with Harper for Kids has been awesome! They are easy to talk to, positive, uplifting, and have a great enthusiasm to spread these helpful messages to children everywhere. I can't wait for another year of incorporating these character traits into my teaching practice and being a part of my students finding success in who they are and what they bring to this world!

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They were awesome, loved the message and the stories and modeled examples of showing these admirable character traits!

Client Served

Rating: 5

To teach our students about good character, Silver Spur Elementary, a public elementary school in the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District, partnered with Harper for Kids in the 2015-2016 school year. Harper for Kids helped and supported us in incorporating legendary Coach John Wooden's Pyramid of Success into our character education program. For the past 3 years, Harper for Kids have provided us with posters, lessons plans, assemblies and handouts that have allowed us to teach monthly character traits from Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success and have led us and are leading us to the highest standards for our school. This year Silver Spur has been awarded National Blue Ribbon 2017. We attribute part of our success to our close partnership with Harper for KIds. This partnership have resulted in a better education and a better school for everyone.

Marta Jevenois-Richardson
Principal
Silver Spur Elementary

Client Served

Rating: 5

Harper For Kids helps to teach children how to be successful in life and emphasizes the message that real success is putting forth your personal best in everything you do. The “Pyramid of Success” is an amazing tool to teach kids the meaning of the various positive character traits by using characters that they can relate to. My name is Cheryl Roberts and I am a kindergarten teacher at Woodland Elementary School in Costa Mesa, CA. Our school began using the “Pyramid of Success” over twelve years ago. Over the years, as the program took root, I have noticed a change in how students approach challenges, both academically, as well as socially. When students experience success in learning a new skill or concept, I often hear, “I never gave up. I showed determination.” When dealing with conflicts in the classroom or playground we talk about how, “to make friends you need to be a friend.” As part of our “Star of the Week” activities, the student who is the “Star of the Week” will sit in front of the class as their classmates come up with words that describe that student and I write the words on a Thinking Map. The first year I started this, as the year progressed and the class learned the meaning of the various character traits, I was amazed at how they began using character traits to describe each “Star of the Week.” They’d say, “He’s a loyal friend. She’s enthusiastic. He is cooperative. She’s hard-working.” When students use these character traits to describe their classmates I’ll ask the “Star of the Week” if they agree and why. It is rewarding to hear kindergarteners back up their responses with examples explaining how or why they are cooperative or determined, etc. It shows they truly understand the meaning of the building blocks. Our school has murals of the characters from the “Pyramid of Success” painted all around the walls of the school. It helps create a positive atmosphere for everyone walking around the school. They’re a constant reminder that we are all striving to become our “Personal Best.”

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Harper for Kids Foundation is an amazing program! Tim and Peanut are wonderful leaders and such a positive influence. The Foundation sends a fantastic message through the Wooden Pyramid, which is something children of all ages can relate to. Harper for Kids truly cares about each student and it shows through their heavy involvement from the start. Whether it's setting up assemblies, introducing the Pyramid, answering questions, surprising the kids with special guests, Tim and Peanut are present. Always guiding the schools through the program that best compliments the community. Harper for Kids is truly special.
- Jennifer Sicklick, Past PTA President
Silver Spur Elementary School, Palos Verdes CA

Client Served

Rating: 5

They do so much to promote happiness and success to the students. First, they help paint the Pyramid of Success on one of the yard walls. Then, they provide a copy of the Pyramid of Success for each student to take home. They also provide a bigger copy so that teachers can hang them in their classrooms. They also give each classroom a copy of the " Pyramid of Success" book. The words in the book are child friendly and the message is clear for students to understand. They really understand consistency in order for students to learn the concept and think about it throughout their day - in or out of school. In addition, they communicate with teachers to set up a time where for Kindergartners get an introduction presentation about the Pyramid of Success. Other grade levels get USF athletes to come to their classes and share parts of the Pyramid of Success and which traits they find most important to them. The students are always happy and love working with the athletes.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Harper for Kids has been instrumental to our school's success. The program has offered us presentations and assemblies that encourages and inspires our students to climb the pyramid of success each and everyday, in and our of the classroom.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Harper for Kids is the best program we have going at Gerald Ford Elementary School! Tim and Peanut come out personally and always bring a tennis pro to talk to our students! The program is a character education program that has brought the amazing Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success to our school! Harper for Kids has provided this free program for our 750 students for over a decade and we could not be happier with the results! Our attendance is up, suspension rates are down, and our test scores are rising! This has a direct correlation with the Harper for Kids foundation! They are amazing!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Harper for Kids has been supporting kids journeys to achieve their personal best at Sunset Elementary for years. Learning about the building blocks on the Pyramid to Success each year deepens student's confidence with their own skills/strengths and helps them take risks to be their very best version of themselves.

Many USF athletes have taken their time to come share their own journeys of success and instill in students the ongoing need to strive for their personal best in all that they do. Tim and Peanut are always so supportive and encouraging, they motivate us all!