Creativity Is Key! Teens Start Company To Make Coloring Books That Teach Kids About Coronavirus
They idea came from a school project. Now the ambitious students are selling thousands of books and giving back to their community!
As coronavirus cases continue to rise in some areas of the U.S. and regulations seem to change every day, most of us are just trying to maintain some sense of normalcy in our lives. Those of us with children have the added challenge of explaining what's happening to our kids in a way that they can understand, without overwhelming them.
Thankfully, a group of teens in Long Beach, CA has created a series of coloring books to teach children about issues like the Covid-19 pandemic and social justice in a simple, non-frightening way.
Lauryn Hong, Ella Matlock, Sofia Migliazza and Erin Rogers put their heads together to come up with "Be the Change Coloring Co." for a freshman economics class project at Long Beach Polytechnic High School. They created a business plan for the books, and then after being encouraged by their teachers, they brought the project to life and started selling the books online.
The girls started the project for a school project. Their teacher encouraged them to keep it going. @bethechangecoloringco
The books feature characters like Al E. Gator and Sam the Snail and present lessons that the characters learn in order to stay safe and prevent injustices from happening – all using language that a child can easily understand.
As an added bonus, the students are donating 40% of the proceeds they make from the coloring books to different charities.
"We knew we wanted to do something for kids," Hong, who has two younger sisters, told the Washington Post. "We also knew we wanted to give back to the community. We considered doing a mask-decorating kit, but we decided on a coloring book because we wanted the kids to learn something. Covid is really confusing, even for us, and the coloring book is a way to keep them entertained and help them learn."
The students expected to sell a couple dozen books to their family members and friends. After only a month, Be the Change Coloring Co. has sold 1,000 books and the teens have donated over $1,000 to various local and national charities.
"For each book, we're having a different organization focus," Erin Rogers, 15, told ABC 7 News. "Some of the organizations are Black Lives Matter, CDC and other local hospitals and funds for Long Beach."
While the girls haven't seen each other much since schools are closed and new lockdown measure have been put in place, they've met up a few times to package and ship their books to buyers all over the country. For those who order locally, their books are typically hand-delivered.
Thanks to the success of the Covid coloring book, the group was inspired to create a second in the series called "Stand Up for Your-shell-ves" to cover issues like race and discrimination. The book is available for pre-order on the Be the Change Coloring Co. website.
So far, the response to the books has been overwhelmingly positive and the students are encouraged to keep the project going.
"Some people respond, 'Oh, my child really liked this particular page,' or 'They really enjoyed this activity,'" Rogers said. "It's really sweet. People are grateful about it, and that motivates us to get more out."