Rockford school turns its young authors into small business owners

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A Rockford academy hosted a book fair to celebrate the young authors who have written published books as part of its curriculum.

Kikifer’s Entrepreneurial Academy, at 3424 N Main St, held their first ever Urban Entrepreneur and Book Fair on Saturday.

Kikifer’s is a private school for students K-12. Every student is required to start a small business that generates revenue and publish a minimum of one book a year.

12-year-old Kaeden Robinson said, “This feels good to me, because I’m becoming an entrepreneur and I’m making money off of it, and I’m able to take care of myself.”

Co-founder Henry McDavid says the book fair event captures the school’s mission for it’s young authors.

“We’re celebrating entrepreneurs. We’re celebrating authorship. We’re celebrating excellence. So, we invited the community out to a safe, socially-distanced event where people can come and enjoy themselves,” McDavid said. “We can practice group economics and we can have a fun time and support our youth, most importantly.”

Dwayne X Harris, a Rockford native and owner of Intangible Mindz Agricultural Development, was one of the many self-starters who participated, and he stressed the importance of having similar events to motivate young Black small business owners.

“For our young children, right now, to see that we are trying to start a business, is important that we have business,” Harris said. “So, it’s a good way for the youth to see it and learn from entrepreneurs today.”

Kaeden is a 6th grade student at the academy. At 12-years-old, in addition to writing his book “Harley’s Universal Flying Machine,” he also designed the cover and illustrated it, too.

He said other kids his age, who want to do something on their own, “should do it for themselves and for everybody else, and to be educational and become an entrepreneur.”

Kikifer’s Academy says it plans to do bigger events in the future, post-pandemic.

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