My name is Kiara (nickname Kiwi.) I am 8 years old. I have a brother named Jackson who is 4. I am a lively, strong-willed, generous, kind little girl. When I grow up, I would like to be either a teacher or a gymnast. I LOVE slime. Like most children in 2020, I have been distance-learning since March 2020. In Fall 2020, I was diagnosed with a learning disability (dyslexia) and a potential visual processing impairment. I am happy to be working closely with an IEP at my school and the school has been great working with me, especially during the Pandemic. My learning disability has made reading extra challenging, but along with my family, I am finding new ways every day to try and work through this challenge and highlight my awesome abilities with dyslexia. I work very hard and I practice reading daily with my mom, who tells me that I am a very resilient little girl. Like most children I do have occasional break downs and bouts of frustrations, but I never give up and I continue to do well. I love math and science. My teachers tell me that I am very inquisitive on how and why things work.
My name is Katrina, and I am Kiara’s mom.
As parents, we are constantly teaching and empowering our children. The COVID-19 Pandemic along with events and experiences happening around the world led to a lot of conversations within our household. These conversations included topics on politics, the virus, science, adapting to the new changes, resiliency, patience, racism, inclusivity, empowerment, feminism, bullying, the environment, and on and on and on. Although not all conversations stemmed from the Pandemic, the situation definitely brought on a lot more of the tougher conversations, quicker than I, as a parent, expected. Many of these conversations led to not only lessons, but a strong passionate sense of selflessness and philanthropy in Kiara. She is constantly wanting to think of new ways she can help the homeless, poor people, other children, homeless animals, and the list goes on. While most of her ideas involved A LOT of either money or MOM time, starting Kiwi Cares Collections seemed to be purposeful and most beneficial, but most importantly, it came from Kiara’s heart.
As Kiara previously shared, she was diagnosed with a learning disability and has been dealing with the struggles of reading and writing. As we all know, when things are really tough for us as parents, it makes it difficult to keep wanting to continue doing those things. However, reading is one thing that cannot be avoided nor should it be something that isn't loved and cherished. As a parent, I knew I needed to identify ways to make reading fun , enjoyable, and exciting for Kiara. Kiara has amazing wonderful strengths and abilities so this led to thinking why not encourage her to use her creativity to write her own books and in doing so she can practice her reading, writing, and sounding out words. The option was given to Kiara to write about anything and she wanted to write about lessons she's learned so far. Currently, Kiara has found a balance between reading her own written illustrated books and reading other books as well.
The process of how the stories are developed from start to finish is a very collaboratively Kiara-led process. Kiara thinks of an idea and writes the story start to finish. Kiara usually discusses with Grandma and Mommy the ideas for the stories and talks through the book and lessons. Through the process, I've discussed with Kiara what makes a good story including characters, a start, middle, and finish. Kiara decided that each one of her books will have a lesson and in order to have it be engaging she wants to have questions at the end that each reader can think about. Kiara is in charge of writing and sounding out all words to her stories including a front cover illustration. We have started to venture into using dictation with the understanding she has to read her own books and write them out as well.
The Roadmap to What Happens next:
Depending on the book, characters in the book, and the lesson, Mom and Kiara discuss who should benefit from the profits of that book. Once she identifies the community she’d like to support, Grandma starts researching the different non-profit organizations. The entire team decides collectively which non-profit to donate. For the first launch the non-profit organization chosen is Save the Children. Please visit the "NonProfit" page to find out more.