An end-of-the-year project for a high school economics class turned into a successful business for four Southern California teenagers.
Lauryn Hong, Ella Matlock, Sofia Migliazza and Erin Rogers launched Be the Change Coloring Co. in June, after finishing their freshman year at Long Beach Polytechnic High School.
Characters like Al E. Gator, Same the Snail and Wally the Narwhal help explain the coronavirus pandemic to children, through a coloring and activity book.
“We knew we wanted to do something for the kids since we knew they were really confused and we wanted to give back to the community,” Hong said.
The original coloring book, called “COVID Coloring Book”, keeps kids entertained while they need to stay home, and educates them on how to stay healthy during the pandemic. The book is written for children ages three to twelve, and comes with a face mask.
Customers have the chance to donate 40 percent of their purchase to an organization of their choice, or choose the non-profit that corresponds with the coloring book.
So far, Be the Change Coloring Co. has sold more than 7,000 books, and raised over $12,000 for the CDC Coronavirus Relief Fund, Black Lives Matter, and local hospitals.
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“I never thought that we would be at this stage in the business. I didn’t really think we would really have a business at all because it was supposed to be just a school project,” Rogers said.”It’s really amazing to know that we’ve gotten to reach out to so many people.”
The group is expanding their business with a second coloring book tackling racisim and discrimination.
“Stand Up for Your-shell-ves” explains racism through a child’s perspective and teaches kids how to be respectful with a story told by their character, Sam the Snail.
The second coloring book is available for preorder now, and is expected to ship in August 2020.
To learn more about Be the Change Coloring Co. and purchase their books, you can go to www.bethechangecoloringco.com.
This report was originally published by NBCLX.