On Episode 28 of The KindlED Podcast, Kaity and Adriane chat with Kelly Smith, CEO and founder of Prenda and author of "A Fire to be Kindled."  This episode dives into what it means to empower learners and Prenda's origin story. We journey through Kelly's formative experiences, how he fell in love with learning and wanted the same for his kids, and when he started to think about education, about microschools, and what if—what if we did things differently?

This episode also explores:
🔥 self-directed learning and the profound difference it can make in one's life
🔥 the thriving landscape of microschools
🔥 Prenda's learning model
🔥 personal goals versus institutional agendas
🔥 and so much more!

As we touch on the growth and challenges faced in starting and running these microschools, we invite listeners to imagine a future where education is not just a system but a personalized journey deeply woven into the fabric of our communities. Tune in as we unravel the stories of those boldly rethinking and reshaping the way we guide the next generation.

Kelly Smith has been obsessed with learning and building things since childhood. After a master’s degree in nuclear fusion (MIT), Kelly had a career in engineering and marketing at various technology companies and sold a small software business in the clean energy space. He started volunteering with an afterschool code club at the local public library, helping kids learn computer programming, and he was so excited about the power of self-learning that he started a microschool around his kitchen table in January 2018. He is the founder and CEO of Prenda (, an education company that helps people run their own microschools. Kelly lives in Mesa, Arizona, with his wife and four children.

🌐 Prenda -