Two Connecticut Fathers Team Up to Make the World a Better Place
The two dads, Michael Stutman of Newtown and Kevin Conklin of Fairfield, both busy executives, joined forces to create www.inspiremykids.com, a thought-provoking web site that aims to build moral fiber in kids by gathering real-life stories about good character, presenting them in a child-friendly format and enabling kids to take positive actions.
InspireMyKids.com was recently cited as one of only 16 websites to be added as a “Great Website for Kids” by The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association. The list features sites are that “are considered the best web sites for ages birth to 14; outstanding in both content and conception.” The full list of sites can be found at www.ala.org/greatsites.
InspireMyKids.com identifies and promotes nine core values, including “sportsmanship, caring and perseverance” and culls examples of these from an array of newsworthy, high-interest topics ranging from animals to the environment to rock music. The site is now being used by thousands of parents, mentors and educators around the world to channel their children toward positive role models in a highly engaging manner.
“IMK connects with my students in a big way. I use it for both character education and reinforcement of basic English Learning Arts skills”, said Johnna Sarcone, special ed teacher at Port Chester Middle School in Port Chester, NY. “I’ve used IMK in my class for a variety of purposes over the past year – it is one of the children’s favorite things to do and I’ve personally seen it making a difference in their learning and their lives.”
Stutman and Conklin, best friends since college, found inspiration for their brainchild when they realized that they were facing a challenge in finding good role models for their children to emulate. They launched www.inspiremykids.com in late 2010.
Stutman is a Senior Vice President at Farmington-based Acsys Interactive, a digital media consulting firm. Conklin is a Senior Sales Vice President for BayGroup International, a global performance improvement firm with offices in Darien, Connecticut. Both are married and fathers of three young children, ages 3 to 10.
“This has been a labor of love for us,” Stutman said. “It combines spending quality time with our children (our testers), learning about incredible people and helping to inspire other children to be and do good. We said from the start, if we could impact even one child’s life in the smallest way, it would all be worth it. Based on direct feedback we receive from teachers, parents and kids…it is having that impact.”
After the website went live, it began generating word-of-mouth buzz among parents and teachers and is now being promoted for integrating character education with daily curriculum in several school districts throughout the Northeast. During the 2010-2011 school year, it was piloted in select schools in Westchester County, where Conklin grew up.
In their own homes, the website is already yielding results, sometimes unexpectedly. “My daughter Lily must have watched the video of Suryia the orangutan and Roscoe the stray dog 100 times,’ In the video Suryia shares her food with Roscoe and becomes a great friend. When I see her sharing with her brothers, despite some of their antics, I know that story has impacted her behavior,” Conklin said.
For more information, visit www.inspiremykids.com, or please contact: