Café Kiva’s “YouTube Video Challenge”

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In the Fall of 2020 as we pitched our start-up many students were unable to attend school in person. As a work around we proposed launching this “YouTube Video Challenge™” to engage students in a constructive yet essentially virtual after school food and nutrition learning campaign.

Though our program was ready to launch, fear of Covid suddenly caused us to be locked-out of BOTH high schools that had endorsed our proposal to bring this after-school cooking program into their curriculum.

The fact is, School Was Essentially Over! Many families were suffering a loss of income AND school-provided food resources which caused our team to pivot to a simpler YouTube channel-format that could later morph into a comprehensive In-school course offering.

One of the 73 Educators Kathryn and I had polled to complete this cohort asked, “why not compose everything from scratch online? ..Well, because launching a complex and secure interactive website costs a lot of money. (About $5,400 for a basic starter space to be exact.) The lure of getting this money was our principal reason for playing along with the Rockefeller’s $5,000/$50,000 start-up pledge.

The plan was to launch via an Educational site that offered Secure Commerce, Forum Management, Customizable Student/Teacher User Access, and database for tracking student progress to meet the DoE’s rigorous NCLB Testing Standards. (Interestingly, Winrock shuttered their Enterprise Bank account the day after our pitch was denied.)

Our greatest contributor at this point had worked for the USDA. He explained that the people we were working generally hadn’t done a fraction of our research on the subject of child nutrition in their own school districts, nor had they done any long-range planning to insure continual funding of their own damn cohort operations. Denied of the promised $5,000 ‘seed’ capitol, just one day following our final ‘Pitch’ opportunity they announced they were CLOSING the bank account associated with their Enterprise Funds. And both of our cohort directors quietly resigned a few months later.

Our premise is based on the notion; “Teach a kid to fish and they will feed themselves for life.” Together, we have contributed over 80 years teaching and preaching about tasty wholesome food and the nutritional criteria for maintaining superior health. ‘Similar’ charitable programs attract huge gifts annual donations, however way too many charitable groups  fall short in “feeding the poor” on anything approaching a steady basis.

-tsg, circa 2021