Kindhearted Kids Demonstrate Empathy
We teach character education; kindness, respect, responsibility, and empathy; to children to develop them into responsible citizens of strong character.
About Your Organization
Two by Two, Inc.
United States, IA, Dubuque, Dubuque County
Country where this project is creating social impact
United States, IA, Dubuque, Dubuque County
Is your organization a
Non‐profit / NGO / Citizen sector organization
Your role in Education
The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with
How long has your organization been operating?
More than 5 years
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Select the stage that best applies to your solution
Scaling (the next step will be growing impact on a regional or even global scale)
How long has your solution been in operation?
Operating for more than 5 years
The Need: What problem are you trying to solve?
Since the 1960’s, nearly every indicator of social stability and moral health shifted dramatically in a negative direction. Violent crimes increased more than 500 percent, 160,000 children miss school every day due to bullying; fear of attack or intimidation by other students , over 75 percent of college students admit to some cheating , and more than a third of these students said they would steal from an employer. Two by Two provides unique curriculum to foster ideas of empathy in students towards people, animals, and the environment.
The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!
Character Education initiatives need to include effective programming and practices. Two by Two provides students, teachers, administrators, and parents with tools which contain specific curriculum elements that promote the following empathetic behaviors:
1. Academic Curriculum Integration
2. Direct and Interactive Teaching Strategies
3. Classroom/Behavior Management Strategies
4. School-Wide Activities
6. Family/Community Participation
To instill life-long values, Two by Two created its curriculums to capture a child’s attention, imagination and heart in ways that other subjects may not – through companion animals and their habitats. The curriculums utilize the humane care of animals as a vehicle for teaching societal values such as kindness, responsibility, and respect. Research shows that teaching social emotional skills, such as empathy, results in better attendance, academic performance, and well- rounded citizens.
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities
wo by Two has created character education curricula based on 21st Century education standards-the skills students need to succeed in work, school and life - to shift the moral and ethical compass in a positive direction. Through these programs, children develop pro-social behaviors, helping them grow into empathetic, responsible, and productive citizens.
Two by Two programs have been in the Dubuque Community School District since 2006. During the 2010-11 school year, Two by Two taught 440, one hour classes to over 10,000 elementary students. To date, approximately 60,000 students have received Two by Two Character Education programming. The five week curriculum is taught by certified teachers with a hands-on approach. Our NEW Toolkits of Character allow teachers to continue the important job of teaching children how to be kind, respectful, and responsible citizens throughout the academic day, EVERY DAY!
The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others also working to address the needs you are and what differentiates you from them. What challenges could these players pose to your success or growth?
Two by Two curriculums are unique. They challenge the students head, heart, and hands to become pro-social citizens. We encourage our community to "get in the buggy" because we know that, "All adults involved with children either help or thwart children’s growth and development, whether we like it, intend it or not.” - Aristotle. If we do not have the community support at varied levels we will not make the impact we need to develop students into empathetic learners.
Now that you have thought out your entry, help us pitch it.
Define your company, program, service, or product in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]
Two by Two is a nonprofit. We develop citizens of strong character who respect and appreciate people, animals, and the environment.
Identify what is innovative about your solution in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]
Building empathetic people by engaging their hearts - through animals and the environment.
This Entry is about (Issues)
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
Every school year,pre and posttests are analyzed by Dr. Jeanette Shutay. The data analysis results for 2010-11
evaluation indicate that students learned a statistically significant amount of knowledge related to the Kindhearted
Kids and the Kindhearted Kids to the Rescue Character Education Curriculum. The knowledge gained about core values, such as kindness, respect, responsibility, empathy, cooperation, perseverance, and citizenship was consistent
across school types, income levels and geographies (e.g., urban, rural, etc.). Furthermore, the results indicate that the
students with the least amount of knowledge gained the most knowledge and therefore the initial knowledge gaps between students were narrowed as a result of this program. In summary, all groups of students gained a significant
amount of knowledge on average as a result of participating in the Two by Two Character Education Programs.
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
Over the next three years, Two by Two will continue our character education curriculums within the city of Dubuque. The goal is to reach every student in both public and parochial sectors of education, thus creating positive and productive climates and cultures within our schools and communities. To do this, professional development must be provided to our teachers, families, and community members, as "It takes a community to raise a child." These outcomes will also be achieved by ongoing marketing awareness campaigns and sales from our curriculums to regional and national school districts. By reaching out, Two by Two will create a larger impact than just the city of Dubuque.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
Funding is always a barrier that will continue to hinder the project. Without proper funding we are unable to reach our maximum potential of students. We are currently developing a community awareness campaign that will create an awareness of need for our curriculums in our schools, our workforce, and our community. We strive every day to raise the necessary funds to allow us to bring our curriculum to the greatest amount of students and spread the word of our work - through partnerships with individual and corporate donors.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Our six-month milestone will be a measurable and recognized increase in awareness and support of Two by Two and it’s mission.
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Daily awareness for families about empathetic and responsible behaviors through a multi-media campaign; billboards, radio, etc.
Published articles on the importance of character education with the result of added partnerships and support.
Statistical analysis of current years programming and awareness through quantitative and qualitative data.
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
An even greater increase in awareness and support of Two by Two and it’s mission by families and community members.
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Continue daily awareness for the community about empathetic and responsible behaviors through teacher and parent classes.
Find funding for the curriculum development of Family Toolkits.
Continue statistical analysis of the school's climate and culture.
Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]
Kristin Woodward, the founder of Two by Two was an elementary teacher for over 20 years. With the pressure of No Child Left Behind, Kristin saw a change in our children - a lack of empathy and respect for people. Kristin had a second passion, the love of animals. She knew animals were the perfect teaching tool to help create a more empathetic world. The 1933 National PTA Congress put it simply..."Children trained to extend justice, kindness, and mercy to animals become more just, kind, and considerate in their relationships with each other. Character training along these lines will result in men and women of broader sympathies, more humane, more law-abiding - in every respect more valuable citizens." Thus Two by Two evolved!
Tell us about your partnerships
We currently have over 50 community character education partners that help financially support our programs. We are working on partnerships with other nonprofits to collaborate on ideas, thus making a larger impact with our youth.
What type of team (staff, volunteers, etc.) will ensure that you achieve the growth milestones identified in the Social Impact section? [75 words]
We currently employ a full time CEO and an Education Director. We depend on our board of directors, numerous committees, and volunteers to contribute an average of 5 hours per week. With the assistance and consultation of our professional and well-respected committee members, we are confident in our ability to achieve our growth milestones.
Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list
Two by Two is willing to collaborate with other organizations to make a larger impact in the area of character education.