Do you remember Kids' Space?
March 3rd 1995, when Yahoo! was still a list of URLs at Stanford University, when people started talking about the Internet like a magic, the 14.4 kbit/s modem was the standard and 33.6 kbit/s was a dream, 9 years before Facebook, 12 years before iPhone, Kids' Space was created as a project for a new communication and learning tool by a graduate school student of Columbia University Teachers College, Sachiko Oba-Cote.

On April 28, this mail message of tech support was sent from Michael at Interport Communications, one of the first Internet providers in New York City. By June, Children from over 80 countries participated in the fun learning programs on the site. Parents, teachers, and friends from Japan, US, UK, Netherlands, and Hong Kong offered their volunteer work for keeping the site safe and clean.

Staff and Volunteer Members | April 1997 | May 1999 | May 2003 | Oct 2006 |

April 14, 1997 May 4, 2001 August 27, 2005
Many thanks to Wayback Machine for storing these Kids' Space files from the past!
Some links and files may be missing, database driven contents as well as submission forms are not working, and FLASH contents are not shown on mobile devices. If you see these errors, please use a text link to navigate the stored sites or search for different instances of archived sites. However, even with these limitations and the years lays between the contents and present viewers, Kids' Space still can show you the creative mind of children who enjoy making friends and working together beyond any borders with the good use of the Internet.
The Kids' Space was an innovative and challenging attempt at the early stage of the Internet, in search of the most educational and peaceful use of the new technology. Thousands of children shared their thoughts by writings, drawings, musical performances, and collaborated for their own picture books.

Click to visit sections archived in 2005 or see the examples of Children's work.
Me and my special toy
by Will (age 6)
The Best Christmas Ever
by Samantha (age 10)
The Beggar and the Kebab Seller
by Kareem (age 11)

The great Elasmosaurus
Artist: Wataru (age 5)
Story: Jena (age 10)
The Solar System
Artist: Isis (10)
Story: Gideon (7)
The Band
Artist: Anne (age 10)
Story: Alberto (age 7)
Song and Recorder: Annabella by Connette & Hendre (age 7)
Mozart, "SONATE KV.545" by Reika (age 9)
Original Composition
by Adam (age 15)

A parent of a special ed student mailed to tell us that his son was able to concentrate for 15 minutes while composing a story at Kids' Space. Then his entire class Joined for fun learning experience on the net. Kids' Space responded and created Classroom sections. Soon, many Home Schools joined for collaborating learning, and multi-grade classes at remote areas participated and found themselves globally communicating with other classrooms.

Click the icons to see the class sections.

Former Vice President Al Gore witnessed the class participation in his visit to a school in New Mexico. He mentioned Kids' Space and children's collaboration in C-Span cable channel. Kids' Space was introduced on newspapers, Magazines, TV shows, and radio programs.
Featured Programs and Articles from Discovery Channel to Parents Magazine as of Oct. 2001

Kids' Space received numerous number of awards for the peaceful and non-commercial use of the Internet, including the First Prize of Childnet International in London, Stockholm Challenge in Sweden, NASDAQ Education Award at Tech Museum in San Jose, or Multimedia Grand Prix Network Award and International Award in Tokyo.

See 61 Awards from 1995-2001

KS-Connection was created as a spin-off from Kids' Space. For young net users' safe global conversations, Kids' Space Messaging System was developed from scratch then funded by NTT East from 1998. The new system in a closed environment was used by over 30,000 children and their parents, and 6,000 teachers from all over the world. They enjoyed learning from each other, creating clubs and forums, and collaborating in school projects. Both Kids' Space and KS-Connection were selected as an interactive material in classes like Creative Writing, Arts, Social Studies, English as a Second Language, or various research projects at K-12 level.

In 2000, Kids' Space became Kids' Space Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization as one of the first formations from an Internet-based volunteer group. This was achieved from the support of people and organizations who cared about children and the Internet.

Supporters to Kids' Space and KS Connection | 1997 Gifts | 1998 NTT-East | 2003 Donations | 2007 Donations |

Oct., 1996 July, 2001 July, 2007

As a public charitable organization, Kids' Space started yet more global projects, involving other organizations. "VOice for the Earth" was a project of around-the-world message relay marathon for a peace of the earth, participated by schools in 57 countries. "Global Story Train" was cross-cultural project for children from different countries to make a car with a picture and a story and connect to a 3-car-train with other participants. These two were merged into "Children's Forum for the Future". "Letters to NYC Children" was a message board started from September 13, 2001 when no phone nor postal mails were available in New York City. "Children's Traditional Costume" showed reports from children about their own traditional costumes and memories.

Children, parents, and teachers from 173 countries got together and exchanged ideas, stories, pictures, music performances. They shared their traditional clothes, their usual breakfast, their pet, and their treasures. They passed a baton with their hope to the future at the message-relay as the Children's G8 summit on the Internet. They found best friends and sister schools over the safe communication system, Kids' Space Connection.

Eventually Kids' Space was grown to a not-for-profit organization, Kids' Space Foundation, and received contributions from Japanese companies in New York City. It was an advertisement-free site for children's educational and peaceful activities accessed from home and schools.

A school of three multi-aged children from a small island joined Kids' Space and found global friends to share pictures and stories. A child in hospital was motivated by finding friends and talking with them at the Kids' Space Connection without worrying about dangerous attempts by strangers. A 9-year-old boy in Japan started to attend an English school because he wanted to walk with friends at Kids' Space. A girl in Arizona kept her diary with her creative writings which she submitted to Kids' Space every month.

In October 2008, Kids' Space lost most of the supporters due to the economy crash and had to close the award-wining sites; International Kids' Space and Kids' Space Connection in August 2010.

However, I believe that we should provide a clean and safe place for children to collaborate without worries. The Internet should be used for its unlimited possibilities for education: understanding different cultures and being motivated by friends. We have much more compact devices and easy communication at many social networking services, but none could provide the safe and fun environment for children.

There were so many people who helped and supported the site, as well as the thousands of children, parents, and teachers who had such amazing experienced though the Internet technologies.

I would like to ask you if you remember Kids' Space and you think a project like Kids' Space should be on the net, please contact me with your thoughts.

I hope you will see how children opened their mind to the world through the new technology in 1995 to 2010.

Sachiko Oba-Cote
Founder of Kids' Space