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The History of Karl's Kids Program

The Beginning--2003
I began researching programs after seeing a need in my community to work with children on
how to behave around dogs.  I became an AKC Canine Ambassador because of their
material to help educate children on the correct manner to approach an unknown dog. I
started instructing children with the help of my canine partner, Karl aka Axel vom Riverhaus
in the proper way to greet a dog for the first time. We put on dog safety demos for the
scouts and at community events such as Health Fairs and the summer program at our local
library. I continued to search the Internet looking for additional information and at the
programs that were available and decided that none were quite what I wanted so my search
continued.

It wasn't long before I decided to start my own local program.  I spoke with several people
about drawing some pictures for me to help educate children in the points that I wanted to
get across to them. The first artist I spoke with quickly lost interest in doing such a venture
as a volunteer. A couple of months later, I had the good fortune to meet a very talented
young artist who was able to grasp what I wanted with only a simple description.

We discussed several ideas on how to combine my desire to to help children overcome their
fear of large dogs, German Shepherd Dogs in particular while instructing them in safety
around dogs in general. We started with an idea of doing drawings of a dog with children but
then quickly decided instead to make a cartoon style German Shepherd. What better way to
help rid a child's fear than to make a friendly looking cartoon character to become their
"friend". This cartoon Karl could explain safety rules to young children in a way that they
could learn while having fun.

After becoming a member of my local volunteer fire department in 2003 my interest in child
safety expanded. What started with the idea of doing a couple of pictures went on to
develope into Karl's Kids, a program of which I am very proud and continues to grow far
beyond my first dreams.

Growth--2004
Karl's Kids Program expanded into various other interests for children. With the expansion
came the need for additional people to help. Additional people meant more ideas and more
paths of interest to follow. While the Program continued to deal mostly with safety issues, it
also began to promote other interests for children and their families. We expanded from Karl
and his few fire safety coloring pages to the need to make use of the Internet to contain our
ideas which included basic food preparation under the guidance of an adult, photography
hints, the care of all types of pets, and the acceptance of people for what they are inside
and not only on their looks and abilities.

We wanted our kids to be exposed to so many good and interesting things that are available
to them that they would not become bored feel a need to turn to undesirable and dangerous
influences. We wanted families to strengthen their bonds by exploring possible new interests
together. For some it might be the first time that they find a common interest. And we wanted
our kids to see that hard work and dedication can bring a sense of self-worth just by the
doing and not always by what others might think of as a level of success in life. We wanted
each child to be encouraged to do their best and to grow into someone who would be a
good and caring individual--someone who would contribute to their community and family
and a person who was appreciated and loved by others. As parents, guardians, or
interested persons what more could any of us ask for "our kids"?

Continued Growth--2005
In September 2005 we applied with the State of Florida to be incorportated as a non-profit.
Incorporation was granted on September 30 and we became Karl's Kids Program, Inc.

Maturation--2006
The end of June 2006 we submitted our packet and on August 21 were approved with a
retroactive date of September 30, 2005. Karl's Kids Program, Inc. was now a Public Charity
under 501(c)(3) status.
Copyright 2003-2010.  All Rights Reserved.
Like all other non-profit organizations, Karl's Kids Program, Inc. relies upon charitable
contributions from private citizens and corporate sponsors, fundraisers, and grants.
We accept personal or business checks and money orders.
Karl's Kids Program, Inc.       P.O. Box 1989      Interlachen, FL  32148