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Turn kids into smart cookies: Cookie business book & workbook teach critical thinking, character & curiosity. YOU get cookie rewards.
Turn kids into smart cookies: Cookie business book & workbook teach critical thinking, character & curiosity. YOU get cookie rewards.
Turn kids into smart cookies: Cookie business book & workbook teach critical thinking, character & curiosity. YOU get cookie rewards.
204 backers pledged $10,300 to help bring this project to life.

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How to Make Smart Cookies: Kids design a cookie business

$10,300

204

 Stretch goals — let's do it!

  • $10,250 - Bay Area, LA & NYC campaign backer meetups + cookies (aka drinks) for contributors $25+
  • $12,000 - donation of 100 books to children's hospitals, libraries or schools AND the backer party. Contributors >$100 can choose a donation location; >$500 can choose 5 locations.
  • $15,000 - a sophisticated "early critical thinkers" picture book filled with quirky and humorous illustrations and "reluctant truffle pig" character you see hunting down cookies. This level will *not* pay for book printing but will fund illustrations, book design, editing. The book will not be cookie-sweet but will educate kids on *really* how the cookie came to be. Think "Eloise" for chocolate chip cookies.

PLEDGE REWARD QUICK PICKS

How rewards work: When you pick an amount to pledge you can see details of all the great perks / rewards you will get to thank you for your generous contribution. Here are just some highlights...

If you're in the SF Bay Area, Napa, LA, Seattle, Portland, Austin, New York, Cleveland, Denver, Charleston, Atlanta, Ann Arbor, Jackson WY...the $25 or $49 is for you.

These rewards include an e-book, fresh local cookies, Eco Lips Chip Cookie Lip Balm (my invention!). The $49 level also includes the printed book. THANKS

I hand picked some of our nation's most beloved cookie makers for this tasty reward adventure. Click the image to see the bakeries' cities and details...or scroll down.
I hand picked some of our nation's most beloved cookie makers for this tasty reward adventure. Click the image to see the bakeries' cities and details...or scroll down.

EVEN BETTER

NEW / UPDATED REWARDS IN JUNE

  • $325 - 3 nights in an awesome Airbnb 2 bedroom in Oakland's Rockridge area, walkable to BART, PLUS a cookie making party with me. A super steal of a deal.
  • $185 - 12-person cookie making party hosted @ my place in Oakland, CA - Cookies, coffee, milk & a kick included. Scroll down a bit for more.
  • $35  - Summer Cookie School Plan - an outline to running your own Cookie School (a few hours long) to see for yourself just how much kids love this program.
  • new $25 - Original Illustration Reward + e-book and lip balm
  • ALL $49+ REWARDS* include your choice of the original illustrations
  • ALL $35+ REWARDS* include a LAFAZA Vanilla 3-pack
  • ALL $15+ REWARDS* include Eco Lips exclusive and all natural Chocolate Chip Cookie Lip Balm

*in the U.S.; international shipping is extra.

Here's more about the illustration reward:

Get an 8x10 color print of one of these illustrations created exclusively for the Chocolate Chip Cookie School OR a surprise line drawing by Susie. You also get Eco Lips Chocolate Chip Cookie Lip Balm, an e-book, and your name on our website and and book thank you pages.

Add $3 (total of $32)If you'd like this PLUS the local Cookie Detectives reward (see the $25 reward).

The Chocolate Chip Cookie "Accident or Invention" illustration gets kids asking good questions and thinking critically about urban legends, stories, and probability.

Professional children's book- and doggie-illustrator Stephanie Olivieri designed these adorable "girl cookie detective" illustrations, inspired by this book project.

$185 - Bay Area Cookie Making Party for 12 @ My Place in Oakland

Cookie making and milk drinking, along with whatever other food and beverages you wish to bring, along with discussions about cookie chemistry and the Cookie School (or have your own party, with me there as your host). A grand old time for kids 8+ or for a special birthday celebration for foodies.

4 can stay after in my lovely Oakland / Rockridge - Temescal area Airbnb rental too (booked separately on Airbnb).

Thank you notes from kids after their cookie school.
Thank you notes from kids after their cookie school.

Get the full skinny about rewards below the project info.

NOW, ALL ABOUT THE PROJECT

It all started with my niece, a cookbook, and a burning desire to make cookies herself. That's when reading closely and carefully became a must, lest the cookies crumble. She crunched numbers while measuring. Asked about business, history and food systems while talking chips and nuts. Science while choosing to melt or soften butter. She learned stuff like planning, shopping, pricing, seeing mistakes as learning instead of stupid.

The vision: Turn kids into critical thinkers who ask smart questions...and trigger thought at the sight of cookies and other foods — whether they land in business, social work, the presidency, programming or cookie baking.

 "Having spent many years developing educational games for children, I believe the best pedagogy is built around content that engages the learner - needless to say, chocolate chip cookies are highly engaging!" -
Antonia Kohl, former Executive Producer, LeapFrog / Co-Founder, Mighty Play

How your pledge will make a big difference

This campaign will raise funds to produce How to Make Smart Cookies, a humorous, richly illustrated handbook and workbook (printed and e-book / Kindle versions) where kids learn what goes into a dream cookie business — and how to do it themselves!

How and Why? It's a natural for collaborative project-based learning and unschooling (a real world, kid-driven trend among the United States' 2.2 million homeschooled kids). Kids will get smart in ways most of us  grownups learned the hard way. That little old cookie can teach:

  • Curiosity: Deciphering how, what, why, and who, learning cause and effect relationships.

  • Critical thinking: How to ask the right questions and dig for answers, detective style.

  • Character: Collaborating with caring, mindfulness, courage and calculated risk.

  • Comprehension and how STEAM (science, tech, engineering, art,  math), literacy, history, social studies, and other school stuff. Kids see how school relates to real life.

Actually Book 3; Books 1 and 2 -- if we meet our stretch goals -- will get younger kids thinking like cookie detectives, leading up to this book.
Actually Book 3; Books 1 and 2 -- if we meet our stretch goals -- will get younger kids thinking like cookie detectives, leading up to this book.

How we'll use the funds raised

So far, I've spent a few thousand dollars  (and hours) prototyping illustrations, taking writing classes, and testing the concept at local schools. 

Your contribution will turn "we" into a team of experts. After delivering your awesome rewards, your generous contribution will go 100% toward the costs of producing and distributing the printed book and e-book:

  • Illustrations and book design, ready for production and distribution!

  • Writing and editing for maximum humor and engagement

  • Testing with kids

  • Production of an e-book / Kindle version

Who "we" are now: The project wouldn't be where it is without a UC Berkeley intern and some brilliant advisors. I've got a background in coaching kids and in writing an artisan food business book (coming out in Dec 2014 with Chronicle Books). But this big idea needs a great team skilled in kids' education. Your contribution will help us hire talent to produce work kids will love.

Having so much fun designing exercises to get kids laughing and thinking.
Having so much fun designing exercises to get kids laughing and thinking.

Your rewards, from cookie adventures to classes

Note again that all rewards $35+ include a 3-vanilla bean pack from LAFAZA, who works directly with farmers in Madagascar. As the kids who inspired this project say: "You can never have too much vanilla!"

 

Some of my fave rewards

This Chocolate Chip Cookie Lip Balm + e-book reward represents the spirit of partnership. Eco Lips and I collaborated on this flavor JUST for you, our Kickstarter backers. Yay cookie lips!

Includes the cookie lip balm too!

Award-winning, independent chocolate chip cookie cookie bakeries around the country are excited to be part of this campaign and await your visit to analyze and taste their delights.

How this will work:
1. Choose your bakery when the campaign concludes.
2. Show your Cookie Detective card (we'll mail) to score a few cookies.
3. You analyze and munch...and optionally Instagram with our hashtag to  join the "Cookie Detective Hall of Fame" on our website.

Check our website for the full list of bakeries and to see how new bakeries can join in:

California

  • Berkeley:  Pacific Cookie Company and CREAM
  • Davis: CREAM
  • LA / Santa Monica: Cookie Good
  • Napa: Annie the Baker (farmers market)
  • Oakland: Bittersweet Chocolate Cafe
  • Palo Alto: CREAM
  • San Francisco: The Mill
  • San Jose: CREAM
  • Santa Cruz: Pacific Cookie Company
  • Walnut Creek: CREAM

Colorado (Denver): Victory Love Cookies
Georgia
(Decatur): The Cookie Studio
Massachusetts (Boston): Have a Sweet Idea - bike delivered! Sweet :)
Michigan (Ann Arbor): Zingerman's Bakehouse (bakery, not deli) and Tasty Bakery Gluten Free (farmers market)
New York: Levain Bakery
North Carolina (Ashville): French Broad Chocolates (w/ house-made chips!)
Ohio (Lakewood): Blackbird Baking
Oregon (Portland): Pearl Bakery
Pennsylvania (Philadelphia): Famous 4th St Bakery
South Carolina (Charleston): WildFlour Pastry
Texas (Austin): Sugar Mama's
Washington (Seattle): Macrina Bakery
Wyoming (Jackson): Persephone

A newly improved reward! A total bargain for a LOT of great cookies the "Armchair Detective" cookie experience. Once a month for 3 months (Oct.-Dec.) you (or a friend) will get a shipment of chocolate chip cookies, from 3 small independent bakers, all with a special story and flair. You also get your choice of illustration, the e-book and printed book, and Eco Lips Chocolate Chip Cookie lip balm.

Enjoy around a baker's dozen (aka 13 cookies) of delicious cookies in each shipment. Susie will hand draw each artisan baker's journey as a fun conversation piece.

AND LOTS MORE REWARDS: Check the right side for info on the other rewards and visit our blog for more details. Post any questions or ideas for better rewards in the Comments section here on Kickstarter.

Teachers marvel how kids get into this. Please help make this book happen & let's turn it into a kit for schools!
Teachers marvel how kids get into this. Please help make this book happen & let's turn it into a kit for schools!

Still curious how this critical thinking through cookies works? Here's a little about the live programs we've done for kids at the library.

THANK YOU SO MUCH for your continued support and involvement:

Risks and challenges

We want people who believe in this project to be really happy for supporting it. Here's how we're limiting risk:

1) Connected with some great experts as advisors. Your contribution will help us hire real experts in kids' writing, publishing, testing at schools, and interactive experiences.
2) Took both an awesome chapter book-writing course and a course from an award-winning chapter book illustrator.
3) Tried to be conservative with what we can do at the different funding levels.
4) Tapped into rewards through partners, to keep fulfillment manageable. :)
5) Susie's grownup book published Chronicle Books, on how to start an artisan food business, comes out in late 2014 so a tour for BOTH the kids' book and the grownup book will be in order...along with the Cookie School session rewards!

The one caveat: Dec. 2014 may be too optimistic for the printed book release. I will be sure to provide updates on the journey.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    BELIEVER BENEFACTOR: For those inspired to simply give an amount you choose without a tangible reward. You'll get exclusive contributor project updates and be a welcome member of this journey!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    RISING COOKIES: E-book / e-workbook hot off the e-presses, plus exclusive project updates and (if desired) your name immortalized on our website Benefactors thank you page + a social media shout out.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    YOUR LIPS ARE COOKIE FLAVORED: a luscious natural Chocolate Chip Cookie-flavored lip balm made by Eco Lips for Susie reflecting the spirit of innovation; PLUS the $10 level perks.
    ADD ON: Add $12 for each additional Lip Balm / e-book package (all sent to 1 address).

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    COOKIE DETECTIVE ADVENTURE: Amazing bakeries across the U.S. have conspired to bring you a Critical Thinking Through Cookies assignment: Visit a participating local bakery of your choice with your Cookie Detective card (we'll send you) in hand. You'll get a few chocolate chip cookies to analyze and enjoy. Instagram your adventure to join the Cookie Detective Hall of Fame (see more details to the left). PLUS a sticker, e-book / e-workbook (Nov 2014) and your name listed as a Benefactor in the book and website.

    ADD ON: $12 per card to get cookies from additional bakeries...for you super serious Cookie Detectives!

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    COOKIE ART LOVERS: Your choice of illustrations as 8x10 color prints: 1) Accident vs. Invention? (one of our book illustrations) 2) Stephanie Olivieri's adorable Girl Cookie Sleuth OR 3) a surprise line drawing by Susie (you can request the topic). PLUS get an e-book (Nov), Eco Lips exclusive Cookie Lip Balm, your name immortalized on our website Benefactors thank you page + a social media shout out.
    ADD ON: $3 more gets you the local Cookie Detective reward too!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    COOKIE SCHOOL PLAN: Choose a $25 level gift (I'll ask your pref after the campaign) + a get a high level PDF guide to engage kids as a Chocolate Chip Cookie School teacher! Great for homeschool / unschool teaching. (Outside U.S., see shipping fee from $25 rewards.)

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    Pledge $49 or more About $49

    PRINTED BOOK + E-BOOK + COOKIES: Colorful printed book / workbook (est. Dec. 2014) plus the $25 level COOKIE DETECTIVES ADVENTURE reward (June 2014), an e-book, cookie lip balm, personal thank you, social media shoutout, and your name listed on the Benefactor page of the book and website.

    ADD ON: $35 for each additional set.

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    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    SMART COOKIE BENEFACTOR ARTWORK + COOKIES: Limited edition Rube Goldberg-inspired "How to Make Smart Cookies" hanging-ready 5"x12" print-on-metal, great for a kid's room or office to show how small actions can translate to major results; PLUS the COOKIE DETECTIVES ADVENTURE (see $25 level), a e-book and printed book (Dec 2014), cookie lip balm, social media shoutout, and your name as a Benefactor in the book and website.

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    Pledge $149 or more About $149

    COOKIE LOVERS DELIGHT - 3 MONTHS, 3 COOKIE MAKERS BY MAIL: Compare and enjoy chocolate chip cookies from 3 amazing cookie bakers (more than 3 dozen cookies total!) Includes shipping, fresh to your door along with Susie's line drawn illustrations of the makers' journeys for your reflection. PLUS an e-book, printed book, cookie lip balm, personal thank you, and your name as a Benefactor in the book and on the website. ADD ON: $125 for additional 3-month cookies + book (Dec) + e-book sets.

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    Pledge $185 or more About $185

    12-person cookie making party hosted @ my place in Oakland, CA or yours - Cookie ingredients & milk included. :) For kids or grownups. With kids I can do a 45 minute version of "Cookie School" too. Includes e-books for 12, lip balm, 1 illustration print, and all sorts of surprises.

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    Pledge $199 or more About $199

    ARMCHAIR COOKIE DETECTIVE - 3 MONTHS, 3 COOKIE MAKERS BY MAIL: Compare and enjoy chocolate chip cookies from 3 amazing cookie bakers (more than 3 dozen cookies total!) Shipped fresh to your door, along with the makers' stories, for your analysis. PLUS an e-book, printed book, cookie lip balm, personal thank you, social media shoutout, and your name as a Benefactor in the book and on the website. ADD ON: $135 for additional 3-month cookies + book + e-book sets.

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    Pledge $325 or more About $325

    AIRBNB COOKIE CONNECTION: 3 nights in Oakland's Rockridge area + a cookie making party with Susie. PLUS a printed book, e-book, lip balm, your choice of illustration, and your name listed on the Benefactor page of the book and website. Let's connect! (Stay dates are flexible)

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    Pledge $545 or more About $545

    A BUNCH OF BOOKS. 25 signed, printed books and e-books. Fun for the whole class, book store or home schooling group! PLUS a personal thank you, social media shoutout, 25 stickers, a big thank you in the book and on the website, AND (within 400 miles of SF area) a 2-hour class with Susie, for grownups or kids. ADD ON: $100 for 3 Month, 3 Cookie Makers by Mail.

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    Pledge $3,800 or more About $3,800

    COSTA RICA COOKIE ORIGINS EXPEDITION - MID-JAN. 2015, 6 NIGHTS, 7 DAYS: Check our website for details on this adventure after the campaign.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    CALL THE SHOTS: Put your critical thinking to work as a key collaborator on this project. Pick any level of the rewards as a hearty thank you for being a generous benefactor and visionary!

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Funding period

- (30 days)