by: Melissa Poe, Founder Of Kids F.A.C.E.

Kids For A Clean Environment, Kids F.A.C.E.®, is the world's largest youth environmental organization - much more than the first six members who gathered at Percy Priest Elementary in Nashville, Tennessee in 1989.

At 9 years old, I started the club for kids after seeing a program on TV, Highway to Heaven, that made me think, "What will the future world be like if we don't help take care of the environment today?" I didn't want to grow up in a world with a polluted environment. At the end of the program, however, Michael Landon, the actor, said something very important. He said, "It's not too late. People who care will Do something!" I wanted to be one of those who "Cared", and so I started the club, Kids F.A.C.E. as a club for kids who wanted to be involved.

Starting the club turned out to be a way to help people get involved with the environment. Club members started doing things like recycling, picking up litter and planting trees as well as inviting other kids to join their club.. Soon, letters, written by kids, started arriving. They asked, "How can I help ...what can I can I join your club and get started?" The more people heard about the club, the more people wanted to join and do things for the environment. In 1990, the club was incorporated as a non-profit organization.

As the club grew, so did the demands of a growing organization. There were bills to pay; mail to send; and hopefully, a way to communicate, as in a newsletter, with all the club members. The organization was established "by kids and for kids" but to continue, some very special adults would have to come forward and help. A major corporate sponsor was found in the Wal-Mart Corporation when I wrote to Sam Walton asking for help. He and Wal-Mart adopted Kids F.A.C.E. making it possible for any child who wants to get involved with their community and help protect nature to join the club free of charge.

Now, Kids F.A.C.E. membership is over 300,000 members strong all across the United States and in twenty-two foreign countries. - Melissa Poe


1989 - "Home" Chapter Formed In Nashville, Tennessee
1990 - Incorporated as a Nonprofit Corporation, State of Tennessee
- Chalkboard Formed, governing board, with adult and youth members.
- First Chapter formed in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
- Outreach Campaign to expand membership.
- Nonprofit status requested from IRS.
- Membership book and Newsletter created.
1991 - Developed "Children's Forest" concept with CAPE and National Forest Service
- Developed Youth Public Speaking Training Program
- Outreach with National Television PSA distributed with Wal-Mart
1992 - Celebrated first annual Kids F.A.C.E. Day with National Tree planting
- Children's Forest proposed for Mt. Hood & Gifford Pinchot National Forest
- Trademark Kids F.A.C.E.® and logo
1993 - Children's Forest established in San Bernadino National Forest
- Developed Winter Wildlife Program - Habitat Studies
- Created International Kids Earth Flag Project
- Partner in development of National Youth Environmental Summit
1994 - Developed Kid's Yard / School of Trees Project: Wildlife Habitat Program.
- Established Animal Care Team
- Organized Nashville Earth Day Event
- Regional Youth Environmental Summit
1995 - Kids Earth Flag Unveiled in Washington, D.C.
- Assisted in National Earth Day Observation
- Earth Flag's Journey of Hope, touring of Flag across U.S.
- Permanent IRS 501 (C) 3 Status.
- Created Power of One Project.
- Partner in National Youth Environmental Summit.
1996 - Call to Action - Campaign of Involvement w/Power of One
- National Radio PSAs, "Earth Messages from Children: produced; distributed
- Youth Leadership Training Seminar
1997 - Rise and Shine Earth Day Campaign
- National Pledge and A Promise Award for Earth Messages from Children PSA Campain
- One In A Million Campaign
- Closed "Recycle Circle"
- One In A Million campain recognized as a Commitment Maker of America's Promise and included as a component of Tennesse Looks Good To Me, as initiative of Tennessee Governor Don Sunquist.

- Millennium Legacy Trees - a campaign to encourage sudetns to plant trees which will serve as Living Legacies of young people's volunteer spirit.

- Little R&R: A campaign to increase the visibility and recognition of the new recyclying symbol and the importance of completing the recycyling circle.

November 2000, planted the one millionth tree at a speical ceremony on the Capitol grounds in Washington, D.C.
- Launched Earth Odyssey, a campaign focusing on air quality, land conservation through recycling, and wildlife habitats.

- Leadeship Odyssey: A training program to prepare yound people on how to become community leaders and initiate the Earth Odyssey program in their community.