Kids Art Box and Reach One Teach One Uca (R. O. T. O) raised $2,000 during a fish fry fundraiser for children in underserved communities on July 17. The money allowed R.O.T.O’s Executive Director Reginald Yearby to take 50 students to Six Flags in Atlanta. Twenty-four of those students stayed for the weekend and competed in the Georgia Tarheel Back to School Basketball Tournament, with two teams taking home a first and second place trophy.
R.O.T.O is an Early Intervention Program for children ages five to 14. Mr. Yearby is a mentor and life coach to local youth in this vulnerable age group who need positive role models. He thinks it’s important to give children experiences outside of the Chattanooga community and that’s why he partnered with Kids Art Box to put on the fundraiser to send 50 kids to Six Flags. “We as a team feel like our Atlanta trip was a success purely for the reason of seeing the kids’ faces light up when they entered the amusement park. For some of them, this trip was their summer vacation, and it really meant a lot to us that we were able to give them that experience. This memory will last them a lifetime,” said Mr. Yearby.
Kids Art Box is a family-owned business that uses the Montessori method to teach children ages three to 12 how to create art. Founder Melanie Phillips said partnering with Reach One Teach One Uca was a natural fit because she has the same passion for working with children. She said her husband Nick, who helped create the company, grew up similarly to the kids in R.O.T.O. “He regularly missed out on trips and vacations that his friends’ went on and spent many nights eating at friends’ houses. He moved out of his mom’s house when he was 16, briefly lived at a friend’s house for three months, and then got his own apartment. He credits the positive adult influences in his community for helping him gain the confidence to accomplish his goals and dream big,” said Ms. Phillips.
Kids Art Box sells to all 50 states, and prices can range from one month for $35 to a year subscription for $360. The “Mommy and Me Art Box” is for children ages three to six, and each box comes with three art activities, one science project, and one visual recipe. The “Daddy and Me Art Box” is for children ages four to seven, and each box comes with three art activities, one science project, and one origami tutorial. “My Artist Box” is for children ages six to 12. Each box comes with three art activities and a diorama, all inspired by the artist of the month. Boxes can be purchased at kidsartbox.com.