April 22, 2015
It’s Earth Day today!
“You are the future generation. You are the ones who are going to have to deal with this mess that everybody else behind us has gotten us into!” says ten-year-old Grace in HBO’s family documentary Saving My Tomorrow, airing tonight at 7:30 p.m.
This latest installment in the Saving My Tomorrow series showcases the ways kids are doing their part to clean up the environment. Focusing on plastic pollution and deforestation, the special includes stories about the Amazon rainforest and the albatross, and follows young activists around the world as they clean up beaches, plant trees, and demonstrate at City Hall. The creators of the show also made a whole list of Monthly Eco-Tips so you can celebrate Earth Day every month during the year. Earth Day is every day! Here is the tip for April.
APRIL • Cleanup days. Participate in cleanup days at a local beach or park or river, helping pick up litter before it harms wildlife. You will become better connected with the ecosystems in your community too.
What will you do to celebrate Earth day? Will you plan a cleanup in your community? Will you watch the HBO special Saving My Tomorrow? Tell us in the Comments.
Sonja, STACKS Staffer
Image courtesy of HBO
April 17, 2015
Join the Revolution to Save Planet Earth!
Revolution is a new movie that shows the devastating environmental effects of ocean acidification, tar sands, deforestation, over-population, pollution and food scarcity. Filmed over 4 years in 15 countries in some of the most remote and breathtaking locations, Revolution is an inspiring call to action about the man-made catastrophe facing our world. Uncovering the cause of the mass extinctions of the past, this film shows the revolution needed to save our planet now.
In the movie, you can see that the global conservation movement depends on the passion of young people. There are kids featured throughout the movie, including 13-year-old Felix Finkbeiner of Germany. In his hometown, he leads an environmental group called Plant for the Planet, which has so far planted 194 trees — one tree for every country that met at the United Nations Planet Conference. Joining a rally of protesters outside the conference, he invited all the ministers and heads of state to come outside to plant the trees of their country. His goal is to plant one million trees in each country of the world.
So inspiring! Kids CAN make a difference, so tell us in the Comments what you will do to help save the earth!
Sonja, STACKS Staffer
April 16, 2015
Solar Energy Can Solve the Biggest Problem in the World Today
I think that one of the biggest problems on Earth today is the usage of power. Solar energy is the solution. We all know the sun’s rays give off heat, right? Well, did you know that the energy from the sun can be collected and concentrated to produce usable power? When I’m finished, you’ll be more informed and surely switch to solar energy. Let’s get started!
The first advantage of solar energy is that no matter how much humans use the sun for its power, it won’t ever run out. Another advantage is that solar energy reduces the cost of electricity bills. Actually, it doesn’t just reduce the cost; solar energy takes the cost away entirely! My last advantage is it’s a clean source of power because it takes away use of fossil fuels that pollute the atmosphere.
There are many advantages, but you must take into account the disadvantages of using solar energy. One disadvantage is that solar energy is more expensive than other power sources because you have to pay for getting the panels installed. Another disadvantage is, depending on the area you live in, there will have to be a certain number of solar panels needed, which can also affect the placing of the solar panels. The last disadvantage is that only 40% of the sun’s energy is used by the solar panels, which means 60% is wasted.
Solar energy is a clean, renewable source that helps protect the environment. It may be more expensive, but it’s worth it over time. If more people switch to solar energy, then less pollution may reverse the effects of global warming!
What do YOU think about solar energy? Join the conversation on the Save the Planet Message Board.
Rowan, Scholastic Kids Council
April 9, 2015
Act Now to Stop Trash Pollution!
Do you ever think about what happens to trash you see on the ground, or at the beach, or if you throw it out the window? What really happens to it?
Have you ever heard of the trash vortex? Well, that’s where some of it goes. The trash vortex is a giant floating pile of trash in the middle of Pacific Ocean. This island of trash is twice the size of Texas and growing, and it is trapping sea animals in plastic wrappers and other plastic stuff we throw away. The sea animals are also eating the plastic which is killing them from the inside out. Seals’ necks are getting trapped in the plastic ring packages of soda cans when they are young.
A way to stop this trash vortex form growing is to recycle and reuse. But that’s not all. We need to educate others on the topic. You can join a beach clean-up organization to reduce the waste that goes into the ocean. Anyone can act. ACT NOW!
What are YOUR ideas for how to stop pollution and clean up the trash vortex? Join the conversation on the Save the Planet Message Board.
Michael, Scholastic Kids Council
March 19, 2015
A Plea to End Terrorism
Every day when you wake up there is another frightening story on the news about an atrocious terrorist attack on the lives of many innocent men, women, and children. I think the most important issue in the world is stopping terrorism. I want the world to find a way to beat terrorists, so their threats and actions don’t make us question our freedom, but how?
First of all, the government needs to make stopping terrorism its top priority. It needs to focus less on Common Core, immigration, and school lunches, and more on the real problem of terrorism. We should NOT release convicted terrorists from prison. Letting them go only hurts us. We don’t know what they’ll do next and who they could be working with.
Also, the government needs to give more money to the military instead of constantly taking it away. I feel that our military is the best way to stop terrorists. Everyone can help by supporting the military in their efforts to stop terrorism. We can make a difference. Watch my video about how to support our troops overseas, and send your own care packages to this address:
Operation Gratitude/California Army National Guard
17330 Victory Boulevard Van Nuys, CA 91406
Attn: Angel Cuevas/Receiving
The world would be such a better place without terrorists. We could all go to sleep feeling safer knowing terrorism has ended. It would be so awesome if there were no terrorists. Terrorism is a major world issue that must be stopped. This could be the change that could make the world a better place.
If you agree, please leave a post on the Save the Planet Message Board! Let’s keep this conversation going!
Emma Rose, Scholastic Kids Council
March 12, 2015
World Peace Starts at Home!
The most important issue in the world today is terrorism and violence. Terrorism is when a group of people does terrible things to people around them. Terrorism can happen anywhere, but right now it is occurring in the Middle East in countries like Syria, Afghanistan, and Nigeria.
I hear about these acts of terrorism and feel bad for the victims, and I had an idea about what I could do to help this issue. The idea is to make peace within my own community. We can’t expect to have peace in the Middle East if two kids can’t resolve arguments calmly at school.
Adults should be setting an example for their kids. Since kids look up to adults as a guide, they should see that peaceful problem solving works better than making a huge drama about something. With problem solving, you forget the issue sooner than with a huge drama. I know adults can get all wrapped up in problems that are only little, just like kids do. I’ve also seen adults resolve things peacefully between themselves. A good example of this is my dad. Work can present disagreements for him, but he is always so calm when he talks about his day that I know he is very good at problem solving.
This idea would make a difference because kids don’t always think of other possibilities when they have a problem. They often get wrapped up in the argument and how they are “so right” that they don’t ever try to resolve it. If their parents practiced better resolutions of problems in front of them, kids might think of it when they have disputes with people.
While one person can’t stop terrorism, if everyone tried as a whole world, we could. Even if terrorism continues for years to come, this will still make a difference within our communities, schools, and within ourselves for just as many years. Even if this idea of rational problem solving doesn’t work immediately, it will definitely work long-term and make the world a better place.
Go to the Save the Planet Message Board to discuss YOUR ideas to help create world peace.
Beata, Scholastic Kids Council
March 5, 2015
Join the Hand and Hand Anti-Bullying Club
Bullying is such a big problem for kids, so we started a club to help you deal with it. Go to the STACK Back Message Board and tell us your stories of being bullied. If you don’t want to go into detail you don’t have to. We are here for you though.
My story: I’ve been bullied almost every year in school. I was tired of it and needed to do something about it. My best friend Layla and I created this organization to help people like us. This is for YOU GUYS.
Join us here!
Rowan, Scholastic Kids Council
February 26, 2015
New IMAX Movie About Humpback Whales!
Humpback Whales is an extraordinary journey into the mysterious world of one of nature’s most awe-inspiring marine mammals. Set in the spectacular waters of Alaska, Hawaii, and the remote islands of Tonga, this ocean adventure gives an up-close look at how these whales sing, feed, play, and take care of their young. Humpbacks were nearly driven to extinction 50 years ago, but today are making a recovery. Join a team of researchers as they unlock the secrets of the humpback and find out why humpbacks are the most acrobatic of all whales, why they sing their haunting songs, and why these intelligent, 55-foot, 50-ton animals migrate up to 10,000 miles round-trip every year.
Watch this video for a behind-the-scenes look into the making of the movie!
Download the Humpback Whales Activity Booklet!
• Humpback whales are found in all oceans on Earth. Populations migrate between summer feeding grounds in temperate polar waters and winter mating grounds in tropical waters. In a sense, the humpback connects all of the world’s oceans.
• Humpback whales are named for the arching motion they make with their backs in preparation for diving. Their scientific name Megaptera Novaeangliae means “great wing,” referring to their large flippers.
• Some of earth’s largest mammals, humpbacks can reach between 40 and 55 feet (about the length of a school bus) and weigh up to 50 tons (about the weight of 500 average-sized human beings). Their lungs alone are about the size of a compact car.
• Humpbacks are one of the few animal species in which females are larger than males.
• The humpback diet consists of krill and varieties of small schooling fish and they have been observed eating up to a ton of food a day when in feeding grounds.
• Humpback whales can swim in bursts up to 16 mph, but swim at slower speeds when feeding.
• A newborn humpback calf can be 10-15 feet long at birth and weigh up to a ton.
• Only the males sing. A humpback song can last as long as 20 minutes, and sometimes the same song will be repeated for hours.
Do YOU think we should do more to protect humpback whales? Join the Save the Planet Message Board to share your thoughts about these glorious animals!
Humpback Whales photos copyright © Brandon Cole
February 12, 2015
I. Am. Not. A. Bully.
Bullying happens much more than it should. No matter where you live, what language you speak, or the color of your skin, bullying is all around you. It is the most important issue to children of the world today, and everyone needs to help put a stop to it.
Ask yourself: What can I do?
- Stop gossiping
- Tell an adult
- Reach out to people
- Stand up to bullies
- Say, “STOP!”
Adults need to help kids through this. Sometimes, kids in my school are too afraid to tell a teacher or another trusted adult about what is going on in their lives. Many times, it takes one interested teacher or adult to identify a problem and step in to try and fix it. For example, by noticing a child alone in the lunchroom at school, a teacher can pick out a student who might be a victim of bullying.
The schools in my town hold assemblies to teach kids about bullying, and bring people in who have been bullied in their life. These assemblies inform the students how to stop a bully, ignore the offender, and talk to parents or teachers about it. In addition, the guidance counselor at my school helps all of the students with their problems. It is a good feeling when you know that someone wants to help you. Talking about your feelings to a teacher makes you feel secure and safe. My guidance counselor helps everyone who is discouraged, and she tries to solve the problems they are facing. Teachers can help further by holding information sessions for parents about bully awareness. Keeping parents updated about what to look for and how to talk to their children is a way to keep the lines of communication open.
Bullying is a serious issue, and no one deserves to be a victim. Tackling the problem requires involvement and help from adults. Some situations are too big for kids to handle on their own, so parents and teachers need to play a role in putting an end to bullying.
What is YOUR best advice to someone who is being bullied?
Grace, Scholastic Kids Council
February 5, 2015
Save the Manatees!
One of the most important issues today is the state of the environment. There are many ways to help fix all the problems humans have caused, and one of them is saving wildlife, more specifically: manatees and other creatures that live in the ocean. Manatees are gentle, calm animals, and I think they are adorable!
There are too many people, however, who don’t pay enough attention to manatees. Some manatees are killed by negligent motorboats, and others are put at risk by pollution in our oceans. Adults can help save manatees by driving boats more responsibly, or enforcing motorboat laws more forcefully. People need to pick up litter and keep the oceans clean. If you can’t take action directly, there are many charities through which you can make donations to save manatees and other sea creatures.
Leave a Comment if you agree that saving the manatees is an important topic, and join the Save the Planet Message Board to spread the word!
Maggie, Scholastic Kids Council