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Apr 20, 2009

I’m a real fan of youth service and dedicated a whole chapter to it in my book. Since writing this month’s Positively Speaking column, I’ve read about many outstanding projects initiated and implemented by young people throughout the world for Global Youth Service Day. My daughter posted her literacy project on a map at the Global Youth Service Day website, and so can you!

One of our community’s service projects:
Fourth- and fifth-grade youth leaders are teaming with high school students to paint game templates on the blacktop. It’s been a very involved process, meeting weekly to discuss which games will work the best and fit in the space we have.

After the games are painted on the blacktop, the 4th and 5th grade youth leaders will partner with the physical education teacher to teach the games to the younger students. It’s all a part of the Peaceful Playgrounds curriculum.

What a fun and worthwhile project!

Now here’s your chance to share your own community’s youth service projects. Please share what your community’s young people are doing for Global Youth Service Day projects. We’d love to get new ideas for next year. Just describe the project here in comments, or leave your link. Be sure to mention the ages of the young people involved in the service.

Thanks for spreading the word about this outstanding global initiative!

Apr 19, 2009

Positively Speaking has been published for April, and focuses on Global Youth Service Day, which happens the end of the month.

Please visit 5 Minutes for Mom to find out about the many ways young people are serving in their communities for this world-wide event. I’m hosting a carnival where you can share the youth service projects you’re doing or witnessing in your communities.

Please click over to the GYSD carnival and share your community service event!

You may also be interested in these recent articles related to youth empowerment:

* How to Start Your Own Kids’ Book Club – the series my sixth-grade daughter has been writing for the past two months, as a Youth Leader for Literacy

* Book Review for Empowering Youth — written by Laura Smith, Community Coordinator for the Snoqualmie Valley Community Network

* Book Review for Empowering Youth — written by Jennifer Donovan at 5 Minutes for Books

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May 19, 2008

In the New York Times last week, op-ed columnist Nicholas Kristof featured several inspirational young people who he dubbed “Piggy-Bank Philanthropists.” These are kids that are giving big to causes that mean something to them.

Here are a few of the young philanthropists Kristof featured:

Rachel Rosenfeld — a high school junior in Harrison, N.Y., solicited enough contributions to build an elementary school in rural Cambodia. She had contracted a painful intestinal ailment that forced her to miss an entire year of school, so she resolved that if she couldn’t go to school herself, she could at least help other kids who wanted to.

Ana Slavin and Nick Anderson, two high school students in Massachusetts,
, started a nationwide high school campaign, that has raised $420,000 for the people of Darfur from 440 schools.

Allyson Brown, a 16-year-old in Melbourne, Florida, organized a Valentine’s dance at her high school, with the proceeds going to fight malaria in Africa. The campaign that grew out of this dance has attracted more than 100 schools in 31 states to raise money to buy mosquito bed nets that protect families from malaria.

In his article, Kristof said:

The humanitarian prodigies like Ana and Nick are laudable for going beyond simple protesting to help their causes. Today’s young social entrepreneurs come across as more constructive than my generation of student activists, and more savvy about how to accomplish their goals cost-effectively.

Stories like these are truly inspiring, and we’re finding more and more every day.

Kristof invites you to comment on the article here.

Other torch-passers:
Educational Entertainment
There’s Hope
Yeah! Yeah! Outloud

ptt-button.jpgDo you have a story about kids that make you proud, or adults who are passing the torch? Please let me know and I’ll spread the word on Pass the Torch Tuesday.Former PTT posts.

My book, Empowering Youth: How to Encourage Young Leaders to Do Great Things, will be available in June, from Search Institute Press.

May 12, 2008

If you’ve ever read the Freedom Writer’s Diary, you’ll appreciate this good news from Portland, Maine which is inspired partly by the book. Two students recently shared with city council what they’d learned in the program, Reconnecting Youth. For a semester, they’d written about their life struggles, and reflected about ways to improve their situations.

According to Amanda Edgar, from the City of Portland Public Health Division,

“I think the students (and maybe others) weren’t sure what to expect but the kids received a resounding response from all council members and community members after their individual presentations. These two students were so insightful and moving in what they had written and in how they spoke; it just goes to show the amazing power of listening to youth in our community as they have a lot to say!”

Designed for students aged 14-18, Reconnecting Youth is a curriculum that uses small group skills training to enhance personal competencies and social support resources. Each semester the teacher gives a journal to each teen and they watch the movie “Freedom Writers” and talk about the power of writing. The goals are to increase school performance, and decrease drug involvement and suicide-risk behaviors.

Youth involved in the program note that they enjoy it because it’s a good place to talk without feeling judged, and some begin to make more positive choices about smoking and drinking. One youth stated,

“This group has made a big turnaround. I feel like no one is going to question what I say now – and that it will stay here.”

The anecdotal evidence of programs like this makes you think about the power of writing – and also the power of connections. For more information, please visit Reconnecting Youth.

Other torch-passers:

Wild Thing is Rosa Parks – Don’t Try This At Home



Do you have a story about kids that make you proud, or adults who are passing the torch? Please let me know and I’ll spread the word on Pass the Torch Tuesday.Former PTT posts.

Sep 27, 2006

Education Wonks is hosting the Carnival of Education this week. My piece from last week’s Pass the Torch Tuesday is featured.

Trackback to Edwonk


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