A Life-changing Message that Connects with Kids
Motivational speaker and author Matthew Kelly has a lasting impact on young lives.
"Matthew Kelly has a very unusual, unique gift for reaching young people and convincing them that there are enormous values in this world outside of what they are used to. He has a profound impact on their lives."
Fr. Ronald Rieder, OFM Cap.
Pastor of SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church
The need it meets
Many Catholic youth are being seduced by a secular vision of their life's meaning and purpose. The Schools Project, run by the Matthew Kelly Foundation, brings them a deeply Christian vision of their value and purpose.
Where it came from
The Schools Project is sponsored by the Matthew Kelly Foundation, which aims "to affirm the highest values of the human spirit, reminding us of our unrealized potential, and inspiring us to become the-best-version-of-ourselves."
Matthew Kelly is a motivational speaker and author who has shared his message with over 3 million people in 50 countries. Millions more have been touched by his writings and appearances on radio and television programs.
How it works
The Schools Project is an outreach to students in both Catholic and secular schools.
Matthew Kelly visits a school, gives a motivational talk, and leaves complimentary copies of one of his books (The Rhythm of Life) for the students to read and discuss as part of their classroom curriculum. The book is an important part of the schools project, since it enables the students (and teachers!) to reflect on and apply the ideas that they heard in the talk.
His basic message is a call to holiness, which he frames in a language accessible to any age and any audience by calling people to "become the best possible version of themselves."
(Note: Since Kelly is in such high demand as a speaker, the Foundation has also created a series of 6 DVDs, entitled "Living Everyday with Passion and Purpose" for use in the classroom. The DVDs are accompanied by a workbook to spark classroom discussion and personal reflection.)
Father Ronald Rieder has observed Matthew Kelly's powerful impact on the youth several times at his parish school.
A group of 1,000 to 2,000 kids gathered in a school gym or auditorium are usually a very noisy crowd. When Matthew Kelly speaks, Father Rieder says they are so silent and attentive, you could hear a pin drop.
The kids feel that he really connects with them. Father Rieder says, "He is very, very real. He gets down with them on their level and speaks their language." His sense of humor captivates them, but at the same time, he knows how to be firm and command their respect.
After the talk, ALL of the kids line up and want to get their free copy of his book. They are intensely interested in meeting him and talking to him.
After his talk, there are changes in behavior. A little girl at the mall with her wealthy parents saw a toy she "just had to have." But just as her mother was about to buy her the toy, the girl remembered Matthew Kelly's talk about discerning legitimate needs, and changed her mind, saying, "Mom, this isn't one of my legitimate needs. Let's not buy it." Her mother was astounded that her girl actually quoted Matthew Kelly.
Some of the youth are so deeply affected by his talk that they write up testimonies afterward about how it has changed their perspective on life.
- Matthew Kelly is in high demand as a speaker, so it is necessary to book him well in advance.
- Meet with the teachers in advance and give them a copy of his book so that they can plan the lessons into their curriculum.
- Make sure that you have copies of his book for each student after the talk.
How to implement it
To invite Matthew Kelly to speak at a school, write to:
The Schools Project
The Matthew Kelly Foundation
2330 Kemper Lane
Cincinnati Ohio 45206
Note especially www.matthewkelly.org/bookstore.html.
Fr. Ronald Rieder, OFM Cap. is pastor of
SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church.