The Kids First Education Scholarship Foundation is in the business of improving lives in Alabama and Mississippi. These two southern states rank near the bottom when compared to other U.S. states, as reported by National Kids Count, with Alabama at 47th and Mississippi at 49th respectively. These states also make up approximately 30% of the nation’s poverty, and they report twenty-eight percent of children below the age of 18 living in poverty.
Poverty has eroded the well-being in many of these southern communities, impacting education, health systems, and financial security. At the same time, the teacher shortage continues to exacerbate, with fewer students enrolling in teacher education programs. If not addressed, these conditions will worsen and deny opportunities for a full and fulfilling life for present and future generations. Education is critical to making a difference in these communities.
The Kids First Education Scholarship Foundation was established to generate funding and resources to help address the teacher shortages in Alabama and Mississippi. Our approach is straightforward and long term: 1) encourage K-12 students to consider teaching as a career, 2) provide financial assistance to aspiring teachers enrolled in K-12 teacher education programs, and 3) serve as a mentor to Kids 1st teacher candidates on their journey to a degree and licensure.
The Heart 2 Heart project was started by KIDS 1st Co-Founder, Chuck Poer, for the purpose of giving life to the stories and heart songs of educators. Chuck’s book, Heart 2 Heart, was published in August of 2020, and is a collection of life-shaping accounts from Chuck and his oldest son Hayden, as well as KIDS 1st Co-Founder Cellie Scoggin, KIDS 1st coaches and specialists, and career educators who have dedicated their lives to serving KIDS. These Heart 2 Heart narratives are authentic and powerful with heart-warming accounts and strategies that motivate and inspire, anchored with a sincerity that will sustain over time.
We at KIDS 1st invite you to hear our story and join us in placing KIDS 1st. We hope that you will consider ordering your own copy of Heart 2 Heart by clicking on the link below. Proceeds from the sale of Heart 2 Heart will go to the Kids 1st Scholarship Fund. Kids 1st scholarships will be awarded annually to aspiring teachers enrolled in K-12 teacher education programs.