When Kids In The Spotlight founder and executive director, Tige Charity, first visited an all-girl's group home in 2007, she had no idea the seed that had been planted in her heart.
In May 2009, during National Foster Care Awareness Month, Kids In The Spotlight (KITS) was born! KITS is a unique and highly specialized nonprofit organization that provides a platform for foster care youth to tell their stories, their way, through restorative storytelling.
KITS trains these underserved youth to write, cast and star in their own short films; from which springs a pathway for healing, growth and viable employment opportunities. The year culminates in the KITS Awards, our version of the Golden Globes or Oscars, where the youth's films are screened and awards are presented.
75 short films have been produced and 500 youth have become registered screenwriters since its inception. Their have been screened at film festivals around the country; including Washington West Film Festival and South by South Lawn White House Film Festival.
Our 2019 short film, Parallel, won Best Drama at the 2020 Shiver International Film Festival and our 2019 short documentary film, Burnt Feathers, Broken Wings was awarded the Best Social Justice Film Award at the 2020 Santa Fe FIlm Festival.
The screenwriting gives foster youth a voice, the acting gives them an outlet and the awards show and film festivals give them an audience; where their experiences and their stories are validated and celebrated.
This video represents one of the most important pieces of our program, our KITS Affirmation. We end every class with the youth affirming, "I can do great things; because I was created to do great things!" As we began to social distance, we took the affirmation to social media, asking our youth & supporters to share in this affirmation. Even though we're temporarily sheltered apart, we still want our youth to know they can and will do great things!