LetTheKidzBeKidz.com, unique youth sports fundraising and spectator civility program
LetTheKidzBeKids.com , providing a unique program that seeks to simultaneously achieve 3 goals:
· Let teams easily raise money for their expenses
· Raise money for charity
· Help remind parents and other spectators to mind their manners at youth games
Let The Kidz Be Kidz (LTKBK) has items for teams to sell—clothing, jewelry, and decorative items that all carry messages about being an advocate for sideline awareness, and which are all designed by kids. Anyone wearing LTKBK items is announcing that he or she is someone who knows it’s ok to be positive and cheer your kids, but keep it civil, don’t yell at the refs, the coaches, or the players, and remember it’s just a game—a kids’ game. LTKBK calls this “Sideline Awareness” to be conscious of the need to react to emotion or reflex at a youth sporting event. Wearing Sideline Awareness clothing sends a clear message to everyone around you that they, too, should be behave appropriately.
Teams that sell the LTKBK gear earn an industry-leading 50% profit on their sales and, for every individual item sold, $2 is earmarked for charity. The donations are split between a list of kid-worthy charities from which the purchaser can select, and charitable projects that LTKBK is funding, like building ballparks and improving recreation centers.
Unlike many fundraising programs, Let The Kidz Be Kidz does not require door-to-door selling by children; teams register and let their supporters know they can order online.
Anyone can submit a design for items to be sold at LTKBK. This encourages sales within a team’s supporters due to the fun of friends and family buying something designed by one of their team’s own players.
Candace Riccobene, President and Founder of LTKBK, was looking for a way to make it safer for someone to approach a spectator who was behaving inappropriately at a youth sporting event. According to Candace, “I’ve seen that many people are hesitant to get into an altercation by asking some misbehaving parent to chill out. It’s so much easier and less confrontational to wear Sideline Awareness” items to every game. It sends a clear message to everyone around you. And there is strength in numbers: the more folks with Sideline Awareness gear, the greater the influence.”
Mrs. Riccobene adds that, “Children's sports are supposed to be fun – for the children. Unfortunately, many parents, fans and coaches don't realize that their actions, whether verbal or nonverbal, can have a lasting emotional effect on children. Too many children are leaving sports activities because the fun is unfairly taken away by adults.” To help correct the problem, in addition to making the Sideline Awareness items available, LTKBK has posted on its website a thorough, 17-point Code of Conduct for parents and spectators to abide by at every game. The Code of Conduct was created by the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation (NYSSF), a non-profit educational organization dedicated to promoting the healthy development of youth in sports. NYSSF convened a consensus meeting with representatives from more than thirty sports, medical, educational and professional organizations to create the Code.
LTKBK is committed to get the word out that sports should build character and teach ethics. The essential elements are embodied in the 6 core principles of sportsmanship: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship.
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