Hello Kidogo Friends and Family!
The Fall season is falling right into place. Let's skip over COVID part deux in our house. Seriously, not being able to hug my family for days on end was the pits....
Other than that, I feel like a part of my brain has kicked into a higher gear in an effort to end the year STRONG. Coming out of the summer months full of several events, I need this season to put more content in the pipeline, find a tech team (I've interviewed many!), and to continue to raise capital. Moore on each goal in a moment, but FIRST....
For those of you who are not on social media, you have to see pictures of our Kidogo cherubs at the summer's last event: Read N' Do: A Storytime Adventure. They listened to a story by Brittney Dias, "Ava & Mae Own a Lemonade Stand." They then chose what role they wanted to play in bringing the story to life.
Makers: the kids who "made" the lemonade (which was already made by Wholefoods, but the kids did chef it up a bit by adding lemon slices, blueberries, and strawberries :-)),
Promoters: they went around the playground and invited people to come to the stand. Sellers: they stood behind the stand, took the dollar, and handed out the cups of lemonade.
Each kid wrote their name and role on a name tag and got to work (we broke no child labor laws, though!). After the last drop of lemonade was sold, I tallied up the earnings and divided the funds amongst all of the participants. Every kid got $3! It was a whirlwind of fun!
Here's a testimonial from Jeannette, a parent who was there that day with her daughter:
It was a great event for my child to learn about business, participate in running a business and to be proud of earning money from that business. How many four year olds, or older kids, get taught these important skills?! Thank you, Kidogo!
Goal #1: Put More Content in the Pipeline
I know that I am being secretive by not revealing each piece of content that comes into the pipeline. Sorry about that. Each creator I meet and brainstorm with is the chance to produce something for the app. What good would it be to build an app with nothing new on it? I am proud to share a creator's reaction to the edits we made to one of their videos:
OMG Keeana this made me smile so big! This is the encouragement I needed today. I love how engaging the sound edits made it feel. It's AMAZING!
This reaction is a much-needed reminder that I am not doing this work just for the kid users, but for the creators and educators as well. This reminder helps me to keep going.
Goal #2: FInd a Tech Team
Initial meetings continue! Shoutout to Vasant for referring me to a potential tech team. What I realize is that the right tech team can actually help Kidogo in the content production department (I have been separating the two goals in my mind). In the past, I have opined that the tech build and the content production processes should run in parallel. Then I began to think that content and tech had to be one after the other (with content first, then tech). Now... (now hear me out), I realize that my efforts to make straight lines, whether they run parallel or in tandem, will be for naught! There is NOTHING straight about this process! My analytical mind has to be OK with zig zags, swirls, loops, allyoops, circles, and more circles. Wew!
Goal #3: Raise Capital
A shoutout to Natalia, the founder of Pipeline Angels for regularly putting me in contact with potential investors. I also continue to be grateful to the Ujima Good Business Alliance for helping me to clarify, clarify, clarify my financial projections and business model (the moment I THINK something is super clear, the Excel sheet reveals that I am not, lol!).
I do have a rant, though. You might have heard that the Fearless Fund, a fund dedicated to investing in Black Women, has been suspended by a judge who reversed an earlier ruling to allow the fund to continue its grant program while a civil lawsuit winds its way through the court system. This civil lawsuit against the fund was lobbed by race-baiting political activists who regularly attack policies, which strive to remedy past wrongs steeped in racist ideologies. These are the same guys who succeeded in tearing down affirmative action in colleges. Here's a recent LinkedIn post where I express my opinion:
Sometime last year, I let my daughter download the Kunda Kids app and we enjoyed watching animated videos of African folktales. Just today, I came across their version of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and it is adorable! Let's celebrate this! With vibrant colors and sweet voices, the cultures of the African continent are centered with loving professionalism. Kudos Kunda Kids!
This content is worth it.
The Little Rascals (1994)
On Indigenous Peoples' Day (of all the days...) this movie was #3 on Netflix's kids profile [insert eyeroll]. 1994 is not ancient history. By 1994, the U.S. had made enough strides in the gender and race category for this movie NOT to have been remade with such nauseating nostalgia for the 1920s "Our Gang" renamed "Little Rascals shows. I quite understand the draw at the time for the show. The cast featured a crop of child actors who get into fun predicaments and shenanigans. This content was not so common at the time. The originals never (as far as I can tell) showed a black girl and the black boys were stereotypical comedic sidekicks who never (as far as I can tell) drove the plot. The white girls in the original shows were always (as far as I can tell) pretty darlings who only served as cute crushes. Oh the anti-Black bias and misogyny (and misogynoir by omission)! Finally, name-calling, dangerous do-not-attempt-at-home antics, and inter-child violence is unfortunately commonplace.
The 1994 feature length film kept these elements well intact, even given the fact that they gave the white girls more agency. The resurgence of this bygone era programming is weird and I'm not here for it.
This content is not worth it.
Thanks for hanging in there with me.
For the Kids, for the Culture,