Kirby Stephens Design

Cultivating Student Success in Madison County

Mike Caudill, superintendent of Madison County Schools from 2001 until he lost his battle with cancer in 2007, liked to compare himself to a turtle on top of a fence post. That turtle didn't get there on its own — it had to have help. And he often credited those who helped him reach his fullest potential.

When Mike’s Kids Education Foundation was founded in 2008 in his honor, a logo was born featuring a turtle on top of a fence post with the slogan, “No one can make it on their own.” People who knew him rallied around his belief that every student had the ability to succeed if they were given the right tools, and supported MKEF’s efforts to enhance public education in Madison County.

Though MKEF has seen great success during the last six years — awarding $51,000 in literacy grants to teachers who bring innovative approaches to literacy into the classroom and funding a $1,000 scholarship every year for one senior at both Madison County high schools — there have been an influx of new students, teachers and community members who don’t have the same emotional connection to Mr. Caudill or Mike’s Kids and are often uneducated about the organization’s mission. MKEF board members approached KSD to develop a new brand for the organization that would maintain and advance the foundation's mission while establishing stronger emotional connections to the organization's purpose.

The new identity for Mike’s Kids continues to focus on Mr. Caudill’s belief that every student has the ability to succeed if they are given the right tools. In this case, the tools for nurturing student success are a watering can, in the shape of the letter M, and water. The students are the plants. And the idea this communicates is anyone in Madison County — teachers, administrators, parents, employees, senior citizens — can cultivate student success by providing them with the “water” they need to grow.

Mike's Kids Education Foundation

In addition to the identity, KSD designed and developed a new website for the organization, which highlights Mike’s Kids programs and communicates four calls to action to get people involved — donate, participate, sponsor and volunteer. Visitors are able to make secure financial donations with ease from the website through an crowdfunding platform called Razoo. MKEF also hosts an annual golf scramble and recruits school employees and local businesses to participate in a payroll deduction program to raise much-needed funds. Information about these initiatives and how to get involved is easily accessed on the new site.

The new site was built with a content management system, allowing the staff to make updates from any web browser. Designed to be responsive to screen sizes, the site is optimized to work on smartphones, tablets, laptops, as well as full size desktop computers. KSD also provided MKEF with new profile images for its social media accounts, as well as images that could be used for posts to promote the website and the organization's initiatives.

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