Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of: Part One

Call it a story of hope. Call it a nod to Karma, or even relate it to another example of loaves and fishes. However you want to label this little tale, be sure you use words like "unimaginable generosity" or "walking the walk and talking the talk", because that's exactly the credit that is deserved to the upstanding people working at All For Kidz. Headquartered in Washington state, they produce a wonderful school assembly called The NED Show. Their team travels across the country and around the world offering top-notch, impactful shows and assemblies to schools to teach their mantra of Never giving up, Encouraging others, and Doing your best (N.E.D. - get it?). They've got a Yo-Yo tricks theme they use in the show and it's super-entertaining, unique, and really keeps the kids' attention so they are sure to get the overlying message.

My son's school was privileged enough to host a NED Show last winter. As I had never heard of the organization, I looked them up prior to their arrival. On their website I found they were having a video contest. How perfect for Kiddo!

In case you are not familiar, Kiddo has been holding a video camera in his hands since the age of 3 years old. To say he's interested in making movies is an understatement. Since his first movie production, he's produced 9 movies all on his own. One that stands out is his movie, The Magic Fish. It's a silent film and he really grew as a movie maker during his experience directing, composing all the music, filming and producing the 20-minute film that took over 150 hours to create. He was 8 years old when he first took this on. In fact, he premiered his movie at the local community center to a paying audience of over 80 people! Maybe the Kid's got something, I don't know? I'm not in the movie biz. But, I do know that I try to find ways in which to support his interests and I thought the NED video contest might be fun for Kiddo.

Kiddo was excited about the prospect of the Grand Prize winnings which included, among other things, a brand new camera. Kiddo has been shooting with a 13-year old camera that still takes those cassette tapes. But, hey, one can't be picky when dealing with limited resources.

So, Kiddo got to work. I met Kiddo one day after school with the camera and his requested supplies. He gathered up his friends and Kiddo started filming his vision for the video. While I gabbed with other moms, Kiddo scouted film locations all around the school and interviewed many students about what N.E.D. means to them. Kiddo got the footage he wanted.
The contest deadline was fast approaching and we were of no help to Kiddo because Super Hubby and I were concentrating on getting our taxes done. No small feat when you're self-employed (can I get an Amen?). So, Kiddo was entirely on his own. Sad to admit, but we just didn't have the time to help him. Under normal circumstances, we'd be there for him, but the taxes took precedence. So, Kiddo got what he got and sent it in to the NED Show, fingers crossed.

I know, the suspense is killing you!

Kiddo didn't win the Grand Prize. But, he did tie for First Runner-Up. What is amazing is the NED people took the time to include in their winning announcement some suggestions for a couple of cameras Kiddo should look into as a budding film maker. Seriously, who does that? It had Amazon links and everything so Kiddo could check out their recommendations. Because Kiddo entered as an individual film maker, his prize included a $50 shop credit to the NED store and a $100 Amazon gift card awarded directly to Kiddo, not to the school! The NED people suggested the money go towards a camera purchase. But, that's where the story gets complicated...

Kiddo is excited about winning, no doubt! But, he starts to feel a bit uneasy about the winnings. Kiddo is so appreciative of NED's offer to award him the gift certificate, but he knows he could not have done it without the help of his “co-stars”. Yes, he did do 99.9% of the work (directing, storyboarding, filming, producing, music composing, editing, etc.), but you can’t film much without having people to actually film. 

Kiddo's school has a philosophy, if you will, dating back to its beginnings in 1915: Fair Play. It is ingrained deeply in Kiddo and in spirit of Fair Play, Kiddo decided to donate the $100 Amazon gift card to the school's 5th grade teachers, so they can get what they want for the school. Additionally, Kiddo will be using the NED Shop credit to buy as many NED pencils as he can to give to the 5th and 4th grade classes.

Despite urgings from his own school principal, knowing we as his parents would support him either way, Kiddo decided to give instead of get. When asked about his decision, Kiddo responded with this new Kiddo-ism, "One does not notice the platinum at his feet when he holds gold in his hands." Well, OK, then.

So, Kiddo feels good about his donation, the school's fifth grade teachers have $100 to spend, and 5th and 4th graders get NED pencils for all! Selflessness abounds, but, that's not where the story ends...

To know the rest of the story, catch it this Thursday...

To see the winning NED videos, click here. 




Suzan Wood-Young said...

Oh you! I can't wait until Thursday!!!!!

I am LOVD said...

Don't miss it. It's a good one!

Amy Sullivan said...

Seriously? So cool. I've never heard of this.

I am LOVD said...

Wait until you read the rest of the story on Thursday, Amy!


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