Amazing Kids! Magazine

Amazing Kids! of the Month – September 1999 – K.I.D. Co. in Waialua, Oahu, Hawai’i

Check out the amazing work of the bright kids at a kid-owned-and-operated company in Hawai'i!

Check out the amazing work of the bright kids at a kid-owned-and-operated company in Hawai’i!

This month, Amazing Kids!  highlights the amazing work of the kids from a very special company in the state of Hawai’i!

These amazing kids have created their very own company, K.I.D. Co., with the help of their amazing teacher, Ms. Lendio!  Read about their inspiring company, and who knows?  Maybe you’ll want to start a company of your own at your school!

The K.I.D. Co. Story

In October of 1996, students at Waialua Elementary School on the island of Oahu were faced with a crisis which affected their families and their futures. The community’s sugar plantation, which was the main source of financial income for a large percentage of families in the small town of Waialua, was closing down!  Budget cuts, instability in the global market, and economic hardship were the causes of the shutdown, and the people of Waialua were faced with coping with financial hardships.

Twenty students in amazing teacher Lori Lendio’s fifth and sixth grade class at Waialua Elementary School were discussing the future of the community when one student asked, “What is going to happen to my family now that my dad lost his job? Will we have to move?”

Another added, “If the plantation closes down and people move, no one will come to my mom’s hair salon.” From this emotional discussion, the idea to form K.I.D. Co. (Komputer Interactive Design Company) was born.

The children decided that in order to help solve the community dilemma, they had to be part of the solution. So, the students brainstormed and came to the following conclusions:

  • They wanted to bring income to the community without bringing tourists and development.
  • They wanted to assist businesses with their local and global advertising needs.
  • They wanted to help teach members of the community to use technology to strengthen their career and job skills.

Sharon Nakagawa, amazing principal of Waialua Elementary School, helped create the vision for Waialua and was able to help support K.I.D. Co. through obtaining grants and funding through several state and federal programs. Students were provided with the necessary equipment to jump-start the company: computers, printers, digital and video cameras, scanners, and editing equipment. The first step that K.I.D. Co. took was to find a client. Computer Safari, a technology educational company based in Hawaii, was anxious to hire K.I.D. Co. to create buttons for their students.

Now that they had a client, the next challenge was to obtain a loan. To start a company, they would need money to purchase the necessary button supplies. They solicited the principal and were surprised to learn that they needed to prepare a business plan if they were going to be given a loan. They called the local bank and other businesses to find out how to write a business plan.

Members of K.I.D. Co. learned first-hand how to run a business. They were able to take classroom skills and apply them to real-life situations. In order to be keen business people, they needed to learn communication skills as well as sharpen their skills in the core curriculum. Marketing, advertising, and consumerism were stressed.

Amazing K.I.D. Co. employee business plans with fellow employees.

Amazing K.I.D. Co. employee business plans with fellow employees.

K.I.D. Co. has just celebrated its 3 year anniversary.  Since 1996, students have learned to create business cards, t-shirts, logos, banners, flyers, commercials, web pages, and other advertisements.

An example of one of Amazing K.I.D. Co.’s business projects.

An example of one of Amazing K.I.D. Co.’s business projects.

In addition to assisting members of the business community, K.I.D. Co. teaches parents and community members to use the technology to create resumes, presentations, and other technology projects which assist in learning career and job skills.

The vision of K.I.D. Co. has always been to develop a community website so that businesses in the Waialua area can advertise and benefit from the growing global market. A second major vision of K.I.D. Co. is to create teacher curriculum materials so that teachers nationwide can implement student-generated businesses in their classrooms. This school year, K.I.D. Co. will be helping the Hawaii Department of Education with their 3rd Annual Building, a Community of Learners Conference, to be held in Hawaii on March 16-18, 2000. K.I.D. Co. will provide support as registrars, emcees and workshop monitors. They will play an important role at the conference, which involves approximately 1,200 people globally.

According to their amazing leader, Ms. Lendio, “The greatest testaments to K.I.D. Co. are the students. These amazing kids take ownership of the company and feel a continued sense of commitment and pride in the community. The students have learned that they empower themselves and can become lifelong learners. They realize that learning takes place beyond the classroom walls and their decisions today affect their futures. They have the exciting opportunity to create and design their futures, to shape and mold their lives!”

SAY CHEESE! Amazing K.I.D. Co. employee demonstrates the company’s digital camera.

SAY CHEESE! Amazing K.I.D. Co. employee demonstrates the company’s digital camera.

In Their Own Words:  Observations by Some Amazing K.I.D. Co. Kids!

The first President of K.I.D. Co., Joseph Weidenbach (K.I.D. Co. 1996-1998), currently a freshman in high school, emailed the advisor and wanted to form a Board of Directors. He wanted to insure he will always have a vote in K.I.D. Co.’s decisions. “Staying connected is important,” he claims.

“One of the greatest benefits of being in K.I.D. Co.,” says Lacey Lavarias (K.I.D. Co. 1996-1998), “is that adults treat you as an equal and you become more mature. The expectations are higher and so is the performance.”

Each school year brings new challenges for K.I.D. Co. and because of the vision set forth by the students, the goal will always remain simple…

Never forget where you came from.

Want to Know More about K.I.D. Co.?

  • Hire the amazing kids at K.I.D. Co. for your next advertising or promotional design needs!
  • Find out how you can start a K.I.D. Co. at your school!


Lori Lendio
KID Co. Advisor
Waialua Elementary School
Waialua, Oahu

Related Amazing Links

Links to Individual School Websites in Hawai’i: