Tucsonan named ‘Kindest Kid’ in Sprout contest

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A 7-year-old from Tucson has been named as Sprout's (the first 24 hour preschool network) Kindest Kid and is declared the 'Chief Kindness Officer'.

Emma Lock, was just named the Kindest Kid in the U.S. today.  Emma participated in the contest which is an extension of Sprout's Kindness County initiative that began in 2011.  This initiative celebrates 'everyday thoughtful acts, while serving as a tool for parents to reinforce kindness and compassion,' according to Sprout.

The Kindest Kid contest asked families to submit a photo and a short description explaining how their child makes positive everyday contributions to their family, a friend, the community, an animal or the Earth.  Four finalists were chosen from across the U.S. and viewers were asked to vote for the winner on www.sproutonline.com.  A dollar was contributed, for every vote, to Baby Buggy by Sprout.

Emma won for an idea she began after finding out her younger brother was diagnosed with cancer.  She would play with toys while her brother received treatment and realized how many other siblings were doing the same thing at doctor's offices across the U.S., so she began sending her toys to others she knew were experiencing the same thing.  And so began Lock Boxes of Love – this non-profit sends customized, age and gender specific toy boxes to siblings of those fighting a terminal illness.  Boxes so far have been sent all over the U.S. and as far away as Australia.  Sprout is donating several of its products to the Lock Boxes of Love program.

As this year's winner Emma will receive a family trip for four to Sprout headquarters in Philadelphia, where she will have her own office and duties for the day.  Which will include: starring in a public service announcement for Sprout; meeting with Sprout executives, as well as lunch with the stars of Sprout's "The Sunny Side Up Show."  Emma's story and video can be seen online at www.SproutOnline.com/kindness-counts.

Sprout will also make a donation in Emma's name to Baby Buggy, an organization that provides families in need with essential gear, clothing, products and services for kids under 12.

"Kindness is important every day and all four of these kids, through the impactful things they are doing within their communities, epitomize the mission of Sprout's Kindness Counts initiative," said Sandy Wax, president of Sprout. "Emma's story is so inspiring, and we are proud to name her as Sprout's first Chief Kindness Officer."

The three other Kindest Kid finalists, all featured on SproutOnline/Kindness-counts, include five-year-old Otra from San Jose, CA, who donates her time at a local community Adult Daycare Center by reading books, constructing arts & crafts, setting the table or helping out.  Seven-year-old Anna from Philadelphia, PA who has asked friends attending her birthday parties over the last several years to bring donations to various causes in lieu of birthday presents. After noticing a lot of trash in his neighborhood, 7-year-old Mateo from York, PA started Mateo's Litter Critters, and he holds monthly trash clean-ups with other neighborhood kids.

All finalists will receive a special Sprout gift basket and have a donation made in their name to Baby Buggy.  Emma and all three finalists also received trips to New York to appear on The Today Show.

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now All rights reserved.