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Kids N Co.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Theater

Mission: For the past 30 years, El Paso KIDS-N-CO. has been dedicated to providing a quality theater experience and hands-on theatrical training to the youth of the El Paso area, regardless of their economic, ethnic or educational background.

Results: KNC touches the lives of hundreds of kids yearly through participation in it's productions, classes and summer camps. KNC fosters self-esteem and self-discovery by emphasizing discipline, integrity, and team-building, as well as enhancing communications skills, in a positive and creative environment. KNC promotes access to theater arts for families who do not have regular opportunities to appreciate theater in their lives because of economic, cultural, or social barriers. Since 1988, KIDS-N-CO. has been a safe haven for children in the arts, teaching kids theater in addition to allowing kids to express themselves and celebrate the quirks that make them unique.

Target demographics: kids with artistic talent who need a stage to showcase their gifts. Students going to schools in EPISD & YISD do not have theater programs until they reach high school.

Direct beneficiaries per year: more than 100 kids that experience the program, and thousands of people who have attended productions and outreach programs.

Geographic areas served: El Paso / Juarez / Las Cruces

Programs: Acting Classes, Summer Camps, outreach program, and a season of theater productions. Classes, camps, and productions are open to anyone in the community.

Community Stories

21 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I first started his-n-co, I was a little kid, and as soon as I walked out on stage I would smile. Directors would tell me "stay in character!" But I would never listen. It's truly shocking how much I've grown as an actress but more importantly as a person with this company. They taught me social skills and helped me find what I want to do in life. Without them, I would be struggling to find friends and with the feeling of being alone. I've made friends that I believe will last a lifetime and memories that will always have a place in my heart.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our family loves Kids N Company! My daughter started off in the summer camp and instantly gained a family. She has completed two shows with them and is excited to audition for more. Everyone from the Kids N Company staff to the parents of the cast are always available to help and support all of the cast in every show. I was in Kids N Company as a child (when it was at Sunland Park Mall) and I remember how much I loved it. I also remember how I found my love for music and theater through my time with Kids N Company. This is a fantastic group that cares and nourishes every single person (no matter the age) and supports dreams and ambitions. I would definitely recommend Kids N Company for anyone interested in acting, singing, or dancing. This is the chance to participate in something for the community and support no profit local companies who continue to support us. Thank you Kids N Company for becoming our new family!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am currently a student in New Jersey and when I look back at the memories of my hometown, I don't think of my Middle School or my High School. I think of Kids-N-Co and all the lifelong friends I made there. I grew up in Kids-N-Co. It was my second home and the people there were my family. The people there are still my family! They are the longest and most truthful friends I have. And of the people I met at Kids-N-Co, most are still pursuing a career in the arts.
I'm a semester shy from graduating with a degree in Theatre Arts. Sometimes it can be tough and discouraging. Without the support and base I earned at Kids-N-Co, I don't know if I would've made it this far. Unfortunately, there is a lack of theatre education in El Paso. I cannot express how important Kids-N-Co is to the theatre community in our town.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Kids N Co is an empowering organization for our youth. I know this from personal experience. I have two daughters who have been actively involved with Kids N Co for over ten years. Kids N Co gave my daughters a stage to be someone, to feel a sense of community, a sense of appreciation, and to be heard without judgment or ridicule. Involvement with Kids N Co taught them the value of participation and instilled in them an amazing work ethic all while doing something they loved.
Kids N Co impacted my youngest daughter in a most unexpected manner. She was extremely speech delayed and had received speech and occupational therapy for two and a half years in an attempt to get her to the point where she could effectively communicate verbally and attend school. Once she entered school at four years of age, I could understand her verbally, however the children and teachers at her school could not. My daughter responded to this with self-imposed isolation; she could not speak with others without continuously being asked to repeat herself. This became so much of a burden and an embarrassment for her that she found it easier to refuse to play with or participate in activities with others. She continued this behavior her entire kindergarten year. At that same time, her older sister who is very outgoing, had just started with Kids N Co and she was loving every minute of it. My youngest would watch her perform and tell me "I want to do that too" in her broken and mumbled speech. The next year, on her fifth birthday, she participated in her first Kids N Co summer camp. That experience changed her life. I noticed her speech was becoming much clearer when she was performing on stage and she was engaging with others in the pursuit of a common goal. Her kindergarten teacher came to one of her performances and made it a point to say that she had never seen my daughter so involved with others and that her speech had noticeably improved. She could now understand what my daughter was saying. I could not believe it, but four months at Kids N Co was more effective than two and a half years of speech therapy. What a blessing!
My daughter continued to participate in every acting class, camp, show choir, and audition from that point forward for the next ten years. She is now involved on a different level as a teenager and is enjoying sharing her love of singing and acting with other children. She fully participates in life!
My oldest daughter discovered a true love of theater and the performing arts. As an adult, she has continued a strong relationship with the organization she truly cherishes and participates as a teacher, performer, and volunteer providing support with productions.
Kids N Co helped my children develop the life skills and confidence necessary to take chances and reach for the stars in life, whether on a stage, in academics, work, or relationships with others.
My family will always be grateful to Kids N Co and the incredibly supportive people who dedicate their time and energy to this organization which is making a real difference in the lives of the children in El Paso County.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a part of Kids-N-Co for the past year and a half and I have loved every minute of it. I have helped out in various productions as an actor and stage manager, and I have also taught in summer camps Saturday classes. It has been a great privilege to get to work with so many talented kids that I get to witness them grow in their craft. Rangin from 4 years to adult, I have seen so many people come and go and the relationships I've built along the way are everlasting. It is fulfilling to be a part of their lives, and watch these children grow up to be promising adults. I look forward to working and volunteering there every day!

1 Jim L.3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

When I was a child, I had a hard place finding myself in the world. I was brown, a little effeminate, and generally had a hard time finding other children who were like me. Then when I was 10 years old I saw my first musical (the Lion King) on Broadway. I saw that there were children in the cast playing in a make believe world, and instantly I was entranced. When my family got back home to El Paso I instantly told my Mother "I want to do that." So she looked around and found Kids-N-Co. They were having auditions for "The Hobbit", and I did my best, and I got in. I soon discovered that theatre was an outlet where I could be whatever and whoever I wanted to be, and I loved it. It was through Kids-N-Co that I grew up to be comfortable in my own skin, and give me the love of theatre I have today. Now I work as a sound engineer at a LORT-B theatre, and I don't regret any of it.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I think Kids-N-Co is a wonderful organization. I've directed shows, acted in shows, was the tech director so I built sets and kept the theater in good shape, and I've seen dozens and dozens of kids go through the program and become strong, productive people in society. It has also afforded me the opportunity to practice my filmmaking talents and express my views in storytelling.

1 Mia Francesca C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began my relationship with Kids-N-Co. in 7th grade. I was very self-conscious and shy and didn't like speaking in front of people, let alone perform lines. Auditioning for my first show and making it in changed my life. I've made lifelong friends in the 10+ years at Kids-N-Co. and even got opportunities to put my own creations onstage for the public to see. At age 25, I have experienced mental and social growth no one can quite get anywhere else but Kids-N-Co. Kids-N-Co. creates teachable, adaptable, and capable actors/actresses out of the El Paso youth and does a great job of blending acceptance, discipline, and fun in the various programs offered. I have attached photographs of wonderful memories other children can experience when participating in Kids-N-Co.

Maggie P.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My family and I have been involved with Kids N Company for years. In that time I have watched children (including my own) grow from shy wallflower to amazingly confident individuals. KNC provides children with a supportive environment that creates strong peer relationships and pairs children with strong mentors in different aspects of theatre. I am proud to be a part of this organization and will continue to support KNC after my kids have grown.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

At the age of eight years old, I began my history with KIDS-N-CO when I started taking their Saturday acting classes. Since then, I have been in love with theatre since then and have done virtually nothing else since. At KNC, I have been able to expand myself as a person and as a creative mind in more ways than I could have ever imagined. In addition to being a place that nurtures everyone's talent and ability to function as a nice person, it is an extremely supportive environment with lovely people involved who make you feel like family. Without KNC, I wouldn't have many of my closest friends and I would have never discovered my love of theatre as an art form. KNC has impacted my life in more ways than I could have ever imagined and I think it is a wonderful place for kids and adults alike, in addition for people of all walks of life. I can't wait to continue working with them in the future.

Justin Hogue.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Kids N Co has been such a positive influence on our two daughters’ lives. They started off in Kinder Camp, graduated to Production Camp, and one now serves as a summer intern helping other kids develop their acting skills while the other has been part of more plays than I can remember. Participating in Kids N Co helped them become comfortable expressing themselves in front of groups, and they’ve gained a lot of self-confidence. The Kids N Co family is also accepting and supportive of kids with many different abilities, which is one more reason we value this organization so much.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My 2 daughters have been a part of Kids-N-Co for at least 10 years now. i am amazed how much of a positive impact that has made on their lives has it has given them so much confidence. But the biggest impact has been how much they have enjoyed being part of this professional organization. One of my daughters talks extensively about theater. As she once told me, "Theater is my life". We are delighted that they continue to partcipate in such a wholesome environment. The staff is highly professional as they have learned so much from these acting camps and plays. They have also made so many wonderful friends who I believe will be in their lives for a long time. This has been a such a positive experience and i would highly recommend this organization.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My son Justin began taking acting classes at Kids-N-Co when he was eight years old because he had no other interests and we felt he needed to be involved in some kind of activity. At first he was not interested in enrolling in the classes at all but decided to give it a try. Justin is now 18 years old and there is nothing he rather do than be involved in theater. Being involved with KNC has taught him how to collaborate with others and use his talents to encourage and motivate others to do their best. Justin has also had the opportunity to perform multiple times at the UTEP DInner Theater. Not only has Justin learned the acting and technical sides of theater but he developed a passion for the art early on. KNC gave him the opportunity to direct his first show, The Little Mermaid, that ran in October 2018. He is well versed in everything Broadway and at the age of 13 he began his own blog writing show reviews on local and Broadway tour shows. Early on Jam Theatricals-An Entertainment Company asked that Justin send his reviews to them and last year they forwarded his review of Lion King to Disney. Everything that Justin has accomplished and the knowledge of theater is due to the foundation provided by KNC over the last 10 years. The opportunities are available to any child that has the passion for theater or even if they just want to have the experience of live theater. Wherever the child wants to go with theater, KNC provides the foundation.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been with KidsNCo for a long time I have stage-managed the last show Little Mermaid Jr and I can say it was a fair success ,I had a lot of fun in the energy is pretty great at the facility. it's really nice to be able to teach the kids new things as well as being taught things by others.for the past few times now KidsNCo has been a positive outlet for me personally and I can say it would help others as well.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My son has been participating with Kids-N-Co for the past 3 years. It’s been a great experience for him. He has grown so much with them. Every show he has been in has been excellent! He has made lifelong friends and mentors there. We are so proud to be a part of this organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve been seeing plays and acting at Kids N Co for about ten years now. They have always been a welcoming and open minded organization and without it, I probably wouldn’t be as into theater as I am today. I have a lot of friends there and I always enjoy seeing their shows as well as participating.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has been involved with Kids-N-Co since she was 5 years old.. everything from Kinder Camp, to Production Camp, to Show Choir.. to Musical Theatre.. she is now 15. She has enjoyed every minute of the opportunities to perform. Kids-N- Co has helped her develop the foundation for her future endeavors. She enjoys performing and having the opportunity to get up in front of an audience. Kids-N-Co has offered her the chance to express herself over the years and have a creative outlet to do so in a safe environment. She has appreciated the mentorship from the directors and the opportunity to perform. She has made lifelong friends through theatre and its a safe place to express herself and creativity. She has been through some difficult experiences these past 3 years and theatre and Kids-N-Co has always provided a release for her. I value the work that they do and the opportunities that they give to children in the community. It is a community in which you can be yourself and everybody is given the opportunity to do something and develop confidence in themselves.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Im Octavio Trujillo and i used to be a shy little boy that had a hidden acting talent but was to scared to show it. Kids N Company helped me get rid of my fear and now i participate in their annual summer camps. I have discovered many talents thanks to KNC and i know it would help out if you could please donate so that other children like me can stride as actors/actresses. Help make a difference in ELP.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Kids N Co. is an amazing program that gives children the opportunity to develop their artistic talents providing quality hands-on theatrical training. All children are treated equally and are given the opportunity to "SHINE" regardless of their economic, ethnic or educational background. Our Daughter has expressed a talent for singing from a very young age. After the devastating cancer diagnosis given to her Step-sister in 2008, our Daughter went through an emotional roller coaster ride, even singing became difficult for her. The "Show Choir" program at Kids-N- Co. is an awsome program taught by a wonderful teacher who has been a great inspiration to our Daughter. Ms.Vanessa has helped our Daughter, Andrea, sing again full of joy. Thank God for this organization that helps children build their self esteem, create friendships, and teaches them to respect and encourage one another to succeed. Sincerely, Dora and David Hartranft.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Kids-N-Co of El Paso, Texas is a tremendous way to introduce your children to the wonders of the theater experience. Whether it's taking them to see a play starring talented children like themselves. bringing them to audition for a variety of productions or making time to attend one of the summer camps, your child will be amazed and want to become a part of KIds-N-Co. My own children started as audience members and when they got the courage, began to audition for parts. Once they were cast, they could not get enough! Their second home is Kids-N-Co and their second family is the friends they have made. Each production is run in a professional manner right down to the costuming and make-up. My best recommendation is to start your child out in a summer camp whare they will get a taste of all aspects of theater production including make-up, costuming, set design and technical production. The end result of summer camp is a professional production prepared by and starring the members of the camp. Other programs include Story Troupe where students practice reading all kinds of books with expression and then present their stories to young children at different venues such as Barnes and Noble and hospitals, and Show Choir where children perform medleys of songs at the theater and other community venues. Some of the productions are taken "on the road" to the Chamizal where students from all over the city have the chance to see them as part of a school field trip. My children have gained confidence and a positive sense of self as a result of their time at Kids-N-Co, not to mention the friends they have made. I strongly encourage all parents who want their children to be patrons of the arts to attend a Kids-N-Co production or to audition for one. I venture to guess that they will not be able to resist the smell of the greasepaint and the roar of the crowd!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wonderful, it is a great place for children to be children, make great friends and stay on the healthy track of imagination and fun. Sincerely, Heidi Don/Kaiser