CU-Boulder Graduate Students Design 'Give Kids 5' To Help Children

Published: March 13, 1997

Thirteen graduate students at the University of Colorado at Boulder designed the “Give Kids 5” campaign now airing on radio and TV to promote the child care checkoff that appears for the first time on the 1996 Colorado income tax form.

The campaign, which urges taxpayers to donate five minutes of their time or $5 to benefit Colorado children, was designed for the Colorado Children’s Campaign by CU-Boulder graduate students in an interdisciplinary journalism and business program.

The campaign’s objective is to raise $500,000 in tax checkoff donations for the improvement of child care in Colorado.

The graduate students took their own advice to “give kids 5” minutes and then some. Student Lisa Siracuse said she spent closer to 15 hours a week working on the campaign as part of the integrated marketing program class.

The students designed flyers, posters and postcards and wrote and distributed press releases and radio and television scripts. The campaign includes a plan for mobilizing volunteers and for recruiting help from businesses such as King Soopers, which agreed to print the “Give Kids 5” logo on more than 1 million grocery bags free of charge.

“We wanted to get people to embrace the tax form checkoff as a cause,” said Tracy Faigin, another class member. “In Colorado, 177,000 children under the age of six are in day care eight to 10 hours a day. The facilities are understaffed, and the staff is underpaid.”

Barbara O’Brien, president of the Colorado Children’s Campaign, said she expects ‘Give Kids 5’ to be a success for years to come. “This tax checkoff gives the public a chance to improve child care in Colorado. The $5 checkoff “will help child care centers and homes provide a safer environment, better materials, and training for teachers and parents,” she said.

The Integrated Marketing Communication program is one of only two graduate programs in the country that links marketing and communication, said Professor Sandra Moriarty, who taught the campaigns course. The interdisciplinary program is housed in the journalism school and includes courses in the College of Business and Administration.