Bellen Woodard has just been named one of Time Magazine’s “Kid of the Year” Honorees.
The talented Loudoun County ten-year-old gained worldwide attention after creating the “More Than Peach” project, which uses crayons as a way to help educate about skin color.
The project started for Woodard when she was in school and one of her classmates asked for the “skin color” crayon, alluding to the peach crayon, which is considered as “flesh tone”. Woodard realized that there were no crayon colors that represented her skin color. Woodard went to school the next day and asked her classmates “which color they would like” to represent their “skin.” Taking note, there was no more “peach” and Woodard had started a movement.
“Im Bellen and I’m a 5th grader now. I’m also the world’s 1st CRAYON ACTIVIST😊🖍,” Woodard began in an Instagram post. “When I was in 3rd grade, I started the More than Peach Project after I was able to change the language around the “skin color” crayon in my class & school using my very own idea and solution. I was confused that only 1 crayon—peach—was called “the skin color” crayon and even more surprised to learn that it had really, actually been named “flesh” by a big brand. So I set out to grow spaces (including my own) so absolutely no kid feels “disincluded” and I created my More than Peach Multicultural and rainbow crayons and my nonprofit to support ALL kids and teachers in creative ways. Why? To build empathy, youth leadership, and creativity!”
The tiny crayon activist used her own money to create art bundles for donations to classrooms and schools. Since last year, she has donated more than $40,000 worth of art bundles via the “More Than Peach” project.
It is no wonder why she was named among the top five of over 5000 candidates for the Time Magazine honor. Each of the top five honorees received $5,000 towards their cause, a chance to be a Time Reporter and they will appear in the magazine. Woodard was surprised by gymnast Simone Biles, who delivered the news.
When asked about how she felt about the honor, Woodard told Biles that, “It feels really good because I want everyone to not feel dis-included and to know that they’re amazing just the way they are.”
Congratulations, Bellen! We cannot wait to see the amazing things that you will continue to do to help change the world.