I was excited to work with Quade and ScholasticKids Press. I think that kids have a point of view that adults don’t have, and it’s extremely valuable. I always learn from their questions -- and sometimes their questions point out logical possibilities that have been overlooked by so many adults.
Stories like this one will feed the next generation. The next generation can’t be stopped, and it often seems as though it doesn’t occur to them that the sky could possibly be the limit.
It was especially fun to interview with Quade because it felt more like a conversation than an interview. He had interesting questions, and would listen and ask thoughtful follow up questions. Plus - I think that he understood how important it was that we share, through storytelling, the important work that we are doing in space. I always want to give kids context about the space news that they see - and Quade asked some great questions to make sure that he could tell those stories.
I was happy that he understood the importance of what Crew-1 was trying to do -- that they were going to space for ALL of US. So we are up there too! Quade was particularly thrilled to talk about Victor Glover and how he is the first Black Astronaut to live aboard the International Space Station for an extended mission. Excited that so many kids--of so many races, nationalities, and backgrounds--get to see space through Victors eyes. Bringing so many kids and futures together in space!
Catherine "Cady" Coleman
Retired NASA AStromaut
Retired US Air Force Colonel
As Quade's 4th grade teacher, I saw many character traits in him that made him stand out from the crowd. He was articulate beyond his years, he was inquisitive about everything around him, and he had a constant desire for learning about everything. He was always eager and energetic about learning, and the perspicacity of his remarks and comments showed that he had an understanding of life beyond his years. He was generous and empathetic, and he has, on his own initiative, done many service projects to help out people in need.
Quade is a person of unique character, enthusiasm, and creativeness. He was a true joy to teach and engage with on a daily basis. It is no surprise to me that he has accomplished what he has, and I couldn't be prouder of him!
I would describe Quade as a kind, sweet, respectful young man. Quade embodies the essential elements of joy, genuine curiosity and creativity of thought. These endearing qualities are matched with a big, full heart that is showcased when he wants to donate everything he has to give. I adore Quade. He has a special light that shines though and warms the hearts of all who meet him.
Quade's grandfather, Alex was a founding board member of United Through Reading, a non-profit lorganization founded in San Diego (1989) with a mission "to unite families facing physical separation by facilitating the bonding experience of reading aloud together. Alex was a much loved volunteer, regarded for his quiet, steadfast leadership and incredible humility. When he passed away in 2018, he left behind a life of service to others and a legacy of love to his family. Alex adored his only grandson, Quade, and passed to him a love of learning, respect for others of all backgrounds, and desire to leave the world a better place with responsible stewardship of his unique gifts and experiences.
We are excited to hear about Quade's achievements with The Who Was? History Bee. We know from his young, but quickly growing list of achievements, that he will use this experience to encourage others. United Through Reading is happy to be the non-profit recipient of his financial award from the first national Who Was ? History Bee. The gift of this hard-earned donation from a child to promote literacy, celebrate family, and honor military service is a beacon of hope for the future. It is the promise that there are new leaders emerging, even in challenging times, that will honor the past while creating a legacy of love for the future.
With great affection for a wonderful young man,
Sally Ann Zoll, Ed.D.
chief executive officer
UNITED THROUGH READINGReading Together Unites Military Families
To say Quade is a world changer is understatement, he is more than that, he is a changer of lives. God has intricately built him in a way that has already made such a beautiful imprint of love in this world and is only going to increase.
Some gifts can be disguised in struggles, and Quade knows that well. He was born with sensory process disorder(SPD) which basically means his senses do not work like most others. Focusing can be hard and transitions are difficult.
“It makes me take my time. But I prefer life as an adventure, if life is boring it feels like I don’t have purpose.”
This SPD has not just given Quade struggles, it also has given him the ability to speak without fear which allows him to share his ideas and faith with his friends boldy.
Quade makes friends with practically everyone he comes across and it is entirely intentional.
“It wouldn't be the same without people. It's always good to have people around you.”
There seems to be no limit to the things God is doing through Quade. Because of Quade, his home church had the opportunity to come to his public school and work on campus improvement projects. He prays for his friends openly and has changed the atmosphere of his whole school. Just recently he made gnomes using stuffing and nylons and raised several thousands of dollars that he then used to buy food and supplies for families in need around the world, for Christmas.
The depth to this young man's heart is truly astounding. He dreams of bringing hundreds and hundreds of kids to camp in hopes that they may find the hope that he has found.
Some of the biggest lessons he's learned have been through camp and they have given him wisdom. After being asked for some, he shared words that he himself resonates with and holds onto when moments become hard.
“If you have a hard day keep on going, keep on walking and know Jesus is by your side.”
I have had the honor and privilege to coach Quade over the last few years.
Being a coach in youth baseball brings an underlying benefit of being able to observe the character qualities of boys transitioning to young men. Becoming a young man brings growth in character along with a whole host of new responsibilities and decisions more so than any time in their lives.
Some boys choose to stay boys and remain complacent. While others take on the challenge and choose to make an impact. Well, Quade is the type of young man that has risen to the occasion and has made decisions in his life that have a lasting impact in his own life as well as others.
Quade is not shy about expressing his feelings, both on and on the field. On the field, Quade will generally be the most talkative, usually shouts of encouragement to his fellow teammates. He has a genuine care and love for others and he invests the time with his friends to make sure they understand that.
When I think of Quade I see Generosity, Integrity, Loyalty, Devotion, Humbleness, Kindness, Sincerity, Faithfulness, Determination, Persistence, Adventure, Fairness, Cooperation, Tolerance, and Optimism.
The maturity that Quade encompasses is an example for all kids to follow. He is a light in a dark world and has impacted all lives around him, including me.
Thank you, Quade, for showing me that anyone at any age can love unconditionally regardless of the social consequences. When I think of true strength of character, I think of Quade K.
President of Encinitas Little League.
I would love to tell you about my good friend Quade Kelly. I was introduced to Quade by his parents, one fall weekend in 2018. At the time, I was working for Forest Home Camp as a Director of Development. My job was to partner with people that were able to sponsor camp scholarships so kids that could not afford a week away could experience it.
Forest Home is a special place and this was not lost on Quade. To say Forest Home was his “happy place” is probably an understatement. He loved this camp so much that he wanted to share it with everyone. Specifically, Quade wanted to figure out how he could raise money to get less fortunate kids to be able to come and experience Forest Home.
It began when Quade invited his entire little league baseball team one summer. Some of the kids needed scholarships and so Quade decided he wanted to help raise some money for these kids. So we partnered with him and featured his story in our fall newsletter to donors and sponsors of Forest Home.
Many people responded in kind, people wanted to hear more. In the fall he came up in front of the entire camp and shared his vision and mission of raising money for kids and families. People responded again, someone offered to match a $5,000 gift. That was the beginning and it didn’t stop there. That next summer, Quade said, $5,000 was great, but he wanted to raise $50,000. I have never seen a kid with a more ambitious goal. People responded to Quade's vision with gifts big and small.
I remember that last week of summer 2019 when I got to call Quade and share with him the exciting news that his story of wanting to invite kids to camp had met his goal and together, we had raised the $50,000 for scholarships.
So many kids will get to come and enjoy what Quade loves because of the money he helped to raise.
I tell this story because its a testament to Quade, his passion and his love for a place that has been a blessing to him and his family.
Sometimes its not enough to go somewhere and enjoy it, but to share it and allow others to do the same. Quade knows the value of this. Sometimes it takes a kid to start a movement, a kid with passion and vision, that describes Quade pretty well. Great job Quade.
Former Development Director
I had the fortune of having Quade in my third-grade class two years ago, yet my
personal experience with Quade began two years prior to that. Quade was a regular and activeparticipant in our school’s running club, and when I say a “regular” I mean equal to that of a metronome. He attended every day and gave every practice his absolute everything. He was energetic and positive, with a smile that never left his face.
When he officially entered my classroom as a third grader, he applied the same
perseverance and charisma to his academics as he had on the track. As one of the top
mathematicians in class, he pushed himself to learn new strategies that were foreign to him. He regularly collaborated with his peers and strived to be the best student and community member he could be.
Above all of his accolades, it is his heart that stands out. Quade enjoys people and
collaborates efficiently and effectively with all of his peers. He supports his classmate’s
individualism shown by his always positive encouragement during class, including Jam Session, an open forum for students to share their performing art talents.
Following his graduation from third grade, I have followed Quade’s continued academic,
athletic, and social successes. I have watched him grow from a kind, hardworking third grade boy into a globally aware and driven young man, with his work ethic and focus never wavering.
Though I miss Quade in my class, I look forward to following his journey on a path that I have no doubt will lead him to happiness and success.
Quade is an exceptional person! Not just an exceptional kid but a stand out from all age groups.
Quade loves people deeply in his heart and that love comes out in tangible actons. He has gathered kids to experience the joys of summer camp. He has led work projects to improve his school. Quade even gave out "free hugs" in our church community to build a community of love and kindness.
He understands deep spiritual truths and puts them into practice. I am excited to see how Quade will grow in both his understanding of the world and history but also love of the world and the beautiful people who make history.
Quade has many nicknames, but to most of his friends he is just "Q."
Quade is currently 14 years old and lives in San Diego, California.
He is loved by his people for his earnest approach to learning, his passion for creative new ideas and his heart for giving. Quade really wants to make a positive difference in his community and in the world.
Q is a competitive athlete in multiple sports. He enjoys being outside, traveling and inventing new games. He is an ambitious student of math and history.
Quade was diagnosed as neurodivergent at the age of 6. As a differentiated learner, Q relies on kinesthetic, project based education to make sense of the world and his place in it. Handwriting is a specific struggle that he has managed with hard work and creative visual tools.
At the age of 9, Quade went to camp and encountered children from inner-city schools. He learned that they required sponsorship for attendance. Quade spent the next 16 months raising money to provide those children sponsorships. He shared how camp helped him to see Love in the world, and to embrace his own personal challenges and differences. His public speaking to audiences of adult campers sparked significant camper ship donations. He is just "happy that kids get to go to camp."
A big cornerstone of 2019-20 was Quade's discovery of the fist National Who Was? History Bee. The program is an exciting opportunity for children 3rd to 5th grade, to participate in historical trivia competitions with the information they acquire by reading The Who Was? book series (published by Penguin Random House.)
Quade has dedicated hundreds of hours to reading the library of titles. He participated and won the school bee rounds. The semi-finalist exam was completed in February 2020. Quade had a perfect score on the multiple choice and open-ended questions portion of the proctored exam that was 75% of his total score. The remaining portion of the exam score was based on his short essay. This is no small feat for a child with dysgraphia. Here is a partial excerpt from the essay portion of Quade's proctored exam:
"I admire Mother Teresa because she was an ordinary person who showed great compassion and is an example of how love can change the world and make it a better place. "
To Quade, authors are the heroes of every story. Quade was humbled by the many letters and new stories that were published about him and the Bee. He used this opportunity to highlight his heart for charity by donating a significant amount of his winnings to a literacy based organization that supports military families that are separated by service commitments. "It makes me feel so happy to give this money to Uniter Though Reading, because it helps connect people and promote reading, " Quade said. Quade is also distributing his championship books to local children and libraries.
Quade read 265 biography titles in his 5th grade school year. Thats 7,071,737 words (as measured by Renaissance Learnings Accelerated Reader program.) Dubbed a successful speed-reader, he continues to be a voracious reader while providing multiple literacy organizations with youth reviews and recommendations for newly published book titles.
A part of winning the national history bee was press interviews and articles. After having a great experience with CBS feature reporter Jeff Zevely and Photojournalist Scott Hall, Quade applied to be a national "Kid Reporter" for Scholastic Kids Press. Scholastic Kids magazines have a reader base of over 20 million children internationally and Quade has enjoyed reading them in school. He was so honored to be selected as one of 45 reporters for the 2020-21 year. He spent the pandemic restriction time learning to interview and write for Scholastic. In his inaugural year he has interviewed an Astronaut, Scientists, working journalists and Olympians.
Quade is using his love of learning and knowledge of history to complete in the 2020-21 academic pentathlon. Although Quade was one of the youngest competitions in the 6th-8th grade "2021 Cold War" competition and earned 1st place recognition at the CA independent charter school competition. He scored near perfect placement in Literature, Social Science and Art/Music History.
In June 2021, Quade was received high honors from the John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. Quade received top level scores in the talent search for both Math and Verbal divisions. The advanced level recognition is conferred upon the highest performing students from among the nationally identified gifted learners that reflect abilities approximately four grade levels above their currently enrolled grade.
Quade continues to maintain a rigorous academic schedule with 4.3 GPA while training as a multi-sport athlete and working kid journalist. He continued as a Scholastic Kids Reporter from 2020-23, introducing more advanced broadcast journalism to a variety of stories, even in an uncertain global environment.
So who is Q?
Q is a joyful person with big ideas and huge heart. In a world that is rapidly changing, he is a reminder that the hope of young people bring the promise of a bright future.
Coming next: Book review podcast, educational history resources for middle grade readers and updated Kids Press stories.