Hello, my name is Brad.
A few years ago, I created a project. Our family called it "Kid President." The heart behind the whole idea was simple: see what would happen if the world took the voices of children seriously. What started as a small homemade web show has turned into a movement with over 150 million views, a New York Times best-selling book, social good projects all over the world, and even more on the horizon.
Now I want to invite even more people into this story. I'm embarking on a year-long quest to hear what elementary students across the United States have to say. I want to know: What do kids care about? What can grown ups do to help them? How can kids and grown-ups work together to make the world more awesome? Their answers will be full of the kind of honesty and curiosity and love the world could use more of, for sure.
Could I connect with your classroom via Skype? I’ll be working with 50 elementary school classrooms and I’d love for yours to be one of them!
Normally on a tour someone has lots to say. I’m calling this a ‘Listening Tour’ because I really want to do just that: listen. There’s so much young people have to share with the world and it's not often they get asked to share it. Let’s show the world what can happen when we listen to kids.
I’ll be connecting with many different learning environments and working with each educator to make sure the experience connects properly with their students. We'll then all work together to amplify these ideas. In doing so, I want this to be an invitation to everyone, everywhere to stop and listen to the young people around them.
There are many things about my childhood I have forgotten. I don’t remember where my desk was in 4th grade. I can’t recall exactly what was on or in my thermos. Somehow I don’t even remember the shorts from the above photograph. However, I will never forget my 4th grade teacher. I'll never forget my parents or grandparents or the many number of wonderful grown-ups who took the time to listen to me. The good grown-ups who took the time to let me know my voice mattered.
There’s something incredible that happens for all people when someone takes the time to hear us – really hear us.
Odds are you had special people who did the same for you. It’s my hope that this Listening Tour let’s kids everywhere know that their voices matter. I think it could lead to some wonderful things. At the very least, it will remind us grown-ups just how much we still have to learn.