Who We Are
A Fun Approach to A Serious Issue
While we always strive to make our events fun for kids, as well as for volunteers and parents, we at A Hero For Kids understand that this is serious business. Research shows that children who don’t embrace reading by the 3rd grade have a tough road ahead of them and it’s a problem that has devastating effects on entire communities. By giving children the environment and the tools that allow them to learn, we can have a significantly positive impact on the community.
Some of the statistics that illustrate this need include:
If a child is a poor reader at the end of 1st grade, there is a 90% probability that he or she will remain a poor reader by the end of 4th grade
Children who can’t read at grade level by the end of 3rd grade are 4 times more likely to drop out of high school
Nearly 80% of juvenile crime is committed by high school dropouts
Surveys show that about 50% of adolescents and young adults with criminal records have difficulty reading
On average, every dropout costs our nation’s taxpayers approximately $260,000 over the course of their lifetimes
Our mission is to improve literacy rates one book at a time, giving children who might otherwise slip through the cracks a better opportunity to be happy and successful throughout their lives
Our “Origin Story”
After a successful career in business and non-profits, John Kalish found himself at a place in life where he could give back to the community. A veteran of the U.S. Army, John’s dream was to create an initiative that served children in a way that helped prepare them to be happy, productive adults.
“I realized that one of the most impactful ways I could do that was by helping children improve their reading skills,” John said. “I knew that, for every kid we could help get up to their grade level in reading, we could make a major difference in that child’s life!”
He knew that there were already many organizations and programs doing great work by focusing on children’s literacy in the Central Florida area. Still, statistics showed that too many kids were slipping through the cracks and being left behind. He decided to start a program that complemented those existing programs, while also helping close some of the gaps.
With that decision, A Hero For Kids was born in 2013. In 2019, the organization was granted 501(c)(3) status by the IRS and we got to work building the reach of the organization. A Hero For Kids is focused on delivering a message about reading and literacy to kids in a unique way that grabs their attention – with Superheroes!
A Hero For Kids brings costumed characters, Veterans and First Responders to a wide range of community events that promote literacy throughout Osceola County. A Hero For Kids also collects unused toys for Toys For Tots leading up to the holidays and runs an annual school supply drive before school starts.
100% Of Funds Raised Goes to the Community
We are a 100 percent non-profit…everything that comes in goes back out to support our community! There are no salaries paid…no personal expenses refunded…and no overhead charges to the non-profit!