Upon first handshake, Katie Eder looks like your average high school student. She loves to read and write. She’s been writing since fourth grade and enjoys getting lost in a novel whenever she can. Katie carries herself with confidence and is fantastic at speaking. This made her a clear candidate to be editor-in-chief for her school newspaper at Shorewood High School.
There is one thing that makes Katie unlike any teenager I’ve come across – at age 13, she founded her own non-profit organization. Her love for prose and stories gave her a desire to make storytelling accessible to everyone. With this inspiration, she founded Kids Tales.
Listen below to hear Katie’s story.
Photos by Kids Tales
Kids Tales is a weeklong workshop for children ages eight to 12. Children are paired up with teenage mentors who teach them to write, edit, illustrate and publish their own short stories.
Children get a chance to meet with a mentor closer in age and build a bond they may not have access to in school with adult teachers. By the end of the workshop, they produce a physical short novel they can keep. Equally cool, their books are made on Amazon.com meaning friends and relatives can purchase the child’s book for themselves.
The program gives children publishing opportunities not available to all students in schools. They are able to reap the rewards of turning their stories into physical books to be shared with anyone – and they see the book all the way through until the end of the process.
“Children Are 25% of the Population, 100% of the Future”
Katie’s organization recently received a $1000 award from U.S. Cellular. She has been acknowledged as one of 15 young humanitarians in the country making a difference in her community.
Kids Tales rapidly expanded as Katie’s friends and siblings in different states have volunteered to host workshops in their cities. After an opportunity to travel abroad for an exchange program, Kids Tales is now global, implemented in countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Canada and many more.