You gotta love it when a positive story comes out of the coronavirus pandemic. Four California high school students came up with a brilliant idea and people are loving it. Lauryn Hong, Ella Matlock, Sofia Migliazza, and Erin Rogers worked together on an economics class capstone project at the end of their freshman year at Long Beach Polytechnic High School.  For the project, the group developed a business plan to publish a coronavirus-themed coloring book for children in hopes to raise money for charity. They went even further by using their plan to create Be The Change Coloring Co. to publish the “COVID Coloring Book.”

The Long Beach teacher, Jeff Montooth, teaches Advanced Placement government and economics classes. Montooth told CNN that he typically asks his students to develop a business plan that solves an environmental problem, but because of the lockdowns and quarantine, this year he decided to broaden the scope of the project to include charity businesses as well.

I wanted to make the project as relevant as possible and allow kids the opportunity to create something real and give back to their community.     – Jeff Montooth


The 15-year-old students say they couldn’t have published the coloring book without Montooth’s help, or without working as a team. Lauryn starts writing the books and then Sofia and Ella start working on the drawings and activities for the book. When they are finished with that process, Erin imports the photos into Photoshop to combine the words and photos to make the pages. It’s truly a team effort.

The 28-page coloring book comes with a mask and features characters that explain coronavirus on a child’s level and tells them what is safe to do during the pandemic and what is not. It teaches them how to wash their hands properly and it even comes with a face mask. The characters are Al E. Gator, Wally the Narwhal, and Sam the Snail. The books are $5 and 40% of that is donated to charity. You can choose from a list of suggested charities or even select your own. Be The Change Coloring Co. has already sold nearly 2,000 books.

This class project has actually become a real business now and they are already working on their second book, “Stand Up for Your-Shell-ves” which teaches children about racism and discrimination with the help of Sam the Snail. Keep up with them on the company’s Instagram page.

You can purchase a coloring book here.

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