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Kids In Need Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Student Services

Mission: The Kids In Need Foundation is a national 501(c)(3) charitable organization founded in 1995. The Foundation’s mission is to ensure that every child is prepared to learn and succeed by providing free school supplies nationally to students most in need. The Kids in Need National Network of Resource Centers includes 41 facilities that allow teachers from low-income schools to obtain free school supplies for their students. In addition, Kids In Need Teacher Grants provide preK-12 educators with Teacher Supply Boxes filled with $500 worth of school supplies. Our School Ready Supplies program distributes backpacks filled with supplies in communities not served by Resource Centers. The Second Responder® program provides free backpacks filled with school supplies to students affected by natural disasters. The Kids In Need Foundation has distributed more than $900 million in school supplies since its founding, directly benefiting 5.4 million students and 160,000 teachers annually, and has awarded more than $2 million in grants to teachers. The Kids In Need Foundation has received Charity Navigator’s highest four-star rating for nine years, indicating that it executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way and outperforms most other charities in America. For more information, visit www.kinf.org. Follow Kids In Need on Twitter, http://twitter.com/kidsinneed

Results: The Kids In Need Foundation has distributed more than $900 million in school supplies since its founding, directly benefiting 5.4 million students and 160,000 teachers annually, and has awarded more than $2 million in grants to teachers.

Target demographics: students and teachers

Direct beneficiaries per year: 5.4 million students and 160,000 teachers

Geographic areas served: USA

Programs: The mechanism for the distribution of school supplies is our growing network of Resource Centers. Each Center has the look and feel of a small store and teachers are allowed to 'shop' without spending a dime of their own money. There are 41 Resource Centers throughout the country that make up the National Network. The Teacher Grants program provides Teacher Supply Boxes filled with $500 worth of school supplies. The School Ready Supplies program provides backpacks filled with supplies to students who are not served by Resource Centers. Second Responder® provides free school supplies to students who have lost their possessions because of natural disasters.

Community Stories

43 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

When i was in school, I remember doing a String Art project. My mother displayed my work for years--long after I was married and out of the house. I wanted to provide my 4th graders with a similar experience and I applied for a grant to cover supplies. My students can not afford the supplies-- boards, brads, string, paint, etc for this project.
Today, I found out that I have been awarded the grant and am thrilled. I can not wait to begin the work with my new class of 4th graders in the Fall. If possible, I will email some pictures of our work in progress and our finished pieces.
I can not fully express the sense of gratitude I have for KIDS IN NEED FOUNDATION. You will provide a wonderful opportunity and creative experience for many children.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

KINF has put valuable resources in the hands of urban learners. As a public charter school professional, we are grateful for the generosity of KINF and the Elmers group because of the funding they provide to enhance the learning experiences. These grants help educators create hands on minds on learning by providing much needed state of the art materials and lesson plans. Our students are excited about coming to school each day--and that's half the battle won! Having resources, books, technology and a plethora of lesson plans to choose from, teachers feel supported as well as successful and this in turn leads to the success of the students. Thank you KINF and ELMERS for making our jobs more enjoyable!

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I currently work with students in a high poverty school. It is very difficult to get some of the "extras" that other more affluent schools have because we don't have a PTA or the kinds of parents that can make financial donations to the school. I teach students in grades K-6 in a Science Lab setting. Many of the great experiments that I want to do with my students require consumables which are not covered by our budget. I often buy the materials myself so that the students can do the experiments. The Kids in Need Foundation has proven to be a great resource over the past 2 years. Last year, I applied for and received a grant where 5th grade students learned a specific science topic and taught that concept to younger students. This experience helped all the students. The 5th graders really learned the concepts that they were required to master and took pride in their efforts. The younger students gained from their experiences with 5th graders because they saw their "big buddies" as role models and academic leaders. This year, I received a grant that will allow us to expand our garden program and include more grade levels and students in this hands on learning environment.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This program has generously supplied my teaching labs with much needed equipment and supplies. Moreover, this program has shown a great level of professionalism in each and every encounter. I cannot praise this endeavor enough.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I teach at a very diverse school with an extensive demographic of students from near poverty to blue collar and some white collar neighborhoods. With the limited resources available in these stressful economic times, with school funding being the target of state cut-backs, the kids in need foundation grants have allowed me to bring in equipment and laboratory techniques that just would not have been possible any other way. This foundation has been nothing but professional and helpful in all aspects of their support. I thank them each and every time I use my electronic balances and other technical equipment to demonstrate Biological processes in my classrooms.

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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

To help kids 'see' things that are abstract was something I have always enjoyed doing. My project involved middle grades students creating "The Perfect High School". This was to include making it highly energy efficient and green, along with high comfort levels and useful space needs. The plans my students came up with and the visions they had amazed me. We were not able to complete the project due to its size and time, but I believe they will always think about and use the ideas we presented and built into out model school. I thank this foundation was wise and innovative in seeing the importance of assisting me with the costs for this project, and I hope to continue and complete it next school year.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have written a grant each year which was chosen and funded by KIds in Need Foundation. This past year I wrote a grant asking for material to teach my students the alphabet using fun activities. Each letter of the alphabet was represented by a letter word to bring inside the classroom for the week. By conducting this for each letter of the alphabet my students were able to use personal experiences to connect to each letter. (Examples: Ant Farm (A), Bubble (B), Homemade Crayons (C) and so on.) Since our school along with educational funds everywhere are being cut, this grant was a wonderful gift. In our parish we are allowed an allotment of $100.00, however the rest of the year material comes out of my pocket. This opportunity has offered and fulfilled my request by helping me as a teacher and my students academics.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am very appreciative of The Kids In Need Program. Their support of education enabled our 6th grade students to dive into a plankton study of our local bay. This included baseline studys of what plankton they can find as well as a citizen science participation of harmful alage blooms. The students are sharing their learning with the 120 younger students at our elementary school and will culminate with working with local scientists and plankton art and trading card projects. This has been a powerful place-based scientific cross curricular study. Thank you!
Sheryl Sotelo, Educator
McNeil Canyon Elementary
Homer, Alaska

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

With our district's budget cuts we have not been able to purchase "extra" teaching resources. This grant has allowed me to purchase some higher level reading and science materials to use in my small group instruction as well as provide some independent inquiry activities! I'm impressed with the format of the grant application as I am quite busy and found this application to take minimal time but allowed me to thoroughly write out my wish and plans for the materials I wanted! Thank you!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I cannot put into words the true impact this grant has had on more than 500 students at my school. I organize a program for exercising called the Mileage club where students walk, jog, or run during their lunch recess. The distance each child travels is tracked and they earn prizes at different distances with some individual and classroom challenges. The students are so excited that I am constantly being asked "when is Mileage Club?" and, "when do I get my prize," and, "I only need a few more laps to earn..." It is an aboslutely amazing and inspiring program that I am thrilled to bring to these students as a result of being a recipient of the Kids in Need Foundation's grant. Many thanks!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Well, we are so grateful for our Kids in Need Grant ! I teach kindergarten and am very aware of the curriculum pressures of getting children ready for this and that. One of those areas is state writing tests by 3rd grade. Storytelling is huge in our K classroom as an instant avenue to hook on to children's imaginations while covering that list of skills ! AND more ! Our grant allowed us to create an awesome theater and further offer interested "takers" the opportunity for expanding speaking skills...They all say, "pick me", "pick me!" We love our "Sunflower Playhouse Theater", Again Thank you !

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a science teacher and a department chair. As a department we have had the good fortune to be awarded a few grants over the years and it has given us the ability to purchase equipment to run experiments that we otherwise could not do. We have obtained, balances, thermometers, beakers, stop watches and consumables that have enriched our curriculum delivery in a huge way. Our science department is 4 times better because of the grants and what they have allowed us to purchase.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Kids in Need grant was one of the most straight forward and simple applications I have ever filled out. My Service Learning students who wanted to make blankets for babies and children in hospital ICU's were able to purchase the materials needed to fulfil this project goal. The emails we received from the organizaiton were friendly and helpful and the funds were so easy to use that we were able to start the project immediately. Thank you Kids in Need Foundation for allowing us to fulfill a great project that will allow my students to do something great for our community.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5


The entire process was swift, comfortable and easy to track. The funds have expanded an area of my program that I would never have been able to do on the budget constraints I deal with.

I was able to purchase tools and consumables that will grow the knowledge and experience of my urban students that would otherwise have been impossible to do.

Thank you

Heather O.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Kids in need has been fantastic. I was so happy to get a grant to have our kite day. In the past I have paid for this myself...just for my class...but this year, I was able to offer this unit to the whole third grade! We are in the process of planning our kite unit to learn about wind speed using anemometers...we are connecting this to our study of Ben Franklin and will be writing narratives about our kite along with learning and writing about kite safety. At the end of our unit we will be making and flying kites. I was able to order a kite for all 60 children from kitesonaroll.com which are wonderful. Kids in Need answered all my questions, were flexible when I had a change to my grant and alway prompt in returning e-mails. I am hoping to apply again next year and encourage anyone else who has a dream for their classroom to give it a try! Thanks again!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Kids in Need answered our call to provide books to needy students in our school. During the summer teachers visit students in their neighborhoods and deliver books for them to read and keep. These become the first volumes in their home libraries.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I teach at a small school in rural Alaska. Kids In Need has been an invaluable resource for funding many projects that would have been impossible to do without their support. Some of the projects funded by Kids In Need grants that our students have done include making a documentary for a science class, making books, building an obstacle course for PE, rappelling, painting frescos on a classroom ceiling, putting on an art show, putting on a history fair, and studying the life cycle of salmon. Having the finances to bring your ideas and your students' ideas to life is a wonderful thing. Some of the most positive experiences I've had as a teacher have been working together with my students to complete a project that we all know is outside of the normal school budget. It makes the learning experience so much more exciting when we have those extra special supplies and tools to create something out of the ordinary.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This organization made it possible for students to explore geometry on several levels. Not only did they consider perimeter and area, they also discovered "best use" of a restricted amount of land. Students designed and are constructing a goofy golf course hole that required focus on basic geometry dealing with measurement and angles AND has sparked curiosity and discovery of of slope, pitch, velocity, and kinetic energy. We could not have done this without you!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I really appreciated winning the grant from the Kids in Need Foundation. The grant enabled me to purchase books for my student book club that meets during lunch. In addition I was able to purchase Barnes and Noble gift cards for the students to use during our culminating activity, our trip to Barnes and Noble book store. Children who otherwise would not be able to afford to buy their own books were able to do so.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a school librarian in Virginia. Because of budget cuts, my school is in need of books and materials to supplement the regular curriculum. This year, I completed a grant application from KINF for a project I worked on with a teacher. The application was straightforward and easy to complete. A couple months after completing the application, I received an e-mail saying my grant was funded. A few days later, a check was sent to my school. I am grateful to the foundation for funding my project.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The kids in need foundation made the process painless for applying for grants. Also, the communication during the entire process is absolutely phenomenal! I hope more grants can be awarded through such an efficient medium.