Betting on the Future of Education in Playa del Carmen
On March 6, 2019 Keeping Kids in School (The KKIS Project, A.C.) will host an exciting Casino Night fundraiser. Betting on the Future will feature casino tables, carnival games, a silent auction, an open taco bar, drinks and music. The event will take place at La Vagabunda Fiesta in Playa del Carmen with activities beginning at 5:00pm. Funds raised from this annual event are the foundation for The KKIS Project’s efforts in the following year to provide scholarships, school supplies and cover operational expenses. In 2018, this event was instrumental in sending 78 students to public high school and 7 students to university. Additionally, The KKIS Project was able to give essential school supplies to 2,402 students.
One of the reasons why children don't go to school in Playa del Carmen is because their families simply can't afford school supplies. Gayle Collins, Founder of The KKIS Project, changed the fate of these children back in 2012. "We started out donating a little more than 200 bags with school supplies. Now we are distributing almost to 3,000 bags to kids in public schools," Founder Gayle Collins explained. “We owe our success to our generous local and international donors who contribute funds to buy the materials and all the wonderful travelers who load their suitcases with school supplies when they come to enjoy the Riviera Maya.”
Providing school supplies was just the beginning for The KKIS Project. In Mexico, public high school is not free. For this reason, many, many children drop out of school at this point and start to work. The KKIS Project Board of Directors realized a new opportunity to help keep kids in school and in 2016 initiated the KKIS Scholarship Program. The KKIS Scholarship Program helps to cover expenses like tuition, books, uniforms and transportation, costs that would otherwise make a high school education completely unattainable for the majority of our local students. Candidates must maintain GPA of 8 or higher and commit to participate in activities like the Advisors Program and to volunteer at KKIS events like this annual fundraiser. This program has grown and has shown great success. Last year, thanks to local and international donors, The KKIS Project was able to double the number of participating students and increase the graduation rate to 95%.
The KKIS Project's goal for 2019 is to replace the 21 high school students who are graduating this year, offer university scholarships to a select group of outstanding students and prepare 3,000 local children with school supplies. This year, Betting on the Future is presented by North American Standards Property Management and sponsored by Gusa Capital, GRUPO, SIMCA Desarrollos, GMB and The Reef Resorts. With continued support from business leaders and participation in fundraising events such as this, we are Betting on the Future of thousands of children and Betting on the Future of Playa del Carmen!
Michele Kinnon and her husband Rob are the owners of BuyPlaya Real Estate Advisors and BuyPlaya Akumal Real Estate. Michele is a member of Rotary Club of Playa del Carmen Seaside, the organizer of Kicks 4 Kids and participated on the founding committee for Taste of Playa, the Riviera Maya’s largest and longest running culinary festival. She also supports numerous local non-profit organizations, blogs, writes local interest articles and administrates the Riviera Maya Events Calendar. Michele and Rob have lived in Playa del Carmen with their two children since 2004.