Category Archives: Kid Power

November 21, 2013

Family Volunteer Day

Posted by at 1:52 am in Kid Power | Permalink

make_a_differenceFamily Volunteer Day

The Saturday before Thanksgiving is Family Volunteer Day! It’s a good way to kick off the holiday season with giving and service. It is also a chance for families to spend time together helping their neighborhoods and communities.

Wouldn’t it be awesome to come up with your own ideas for ways your family can volunteer? We know how incredibly connected you are to things you are passionate about. And we know you guys MAKE things happen! So what would you do for Family Volunteer Day, if you were to mobilize your family?

Some ideas (with your parents’ permission, of course)

- Sell Rainbow Loom bracelets, or have a sidewalk bake sale (or hot chocolate stand if it’s wintery where you live). Donate the money to the Philippine Red Cross to help the victims of the devastating typhoon there.

- Have a “closet-cleaning day” and donate clothes and toys to a homeless shelter.

- Clean up a local park by picking up garbage, and recycling recyclables.

- Make cookies or crafts and bring your treats to a home for senior citizens.

- Collect gently used coats to donate to a shelter.

- Rake leaves for an elderly neighbor.

What are other good ideas for Family Volunteer Day? We wanna know!

Weekends are busy, but it only takes an hour or two to volunteer . . . and touch someone’s life or make a mark on our world. Let us know what YOU think in the Comments below!

—Ratha, STACKS Writer

November 19, 2013

Autumn Pine Cone Owl Craft

Posted by at 1:33 am in Games, Kid Power | Permalink

FallProfile130Don’t you love this adorable pine cone owl?

Fall is the perfect time for an outdoor nature walk. It’s also a perfect time for an indoor craft session. This Pine Cone Owl craft comes courtesy of the Scholastic Teachers site, and combines both in one happy, autumn craft. You can take a nature walk to gather the pine cones or buy them at a craft supplies store.cottonowl

Materials:

  • 1 large pine cone
  • Cotton balls
  • Glue
  • Googly eyes
  • Orange construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Feathers

Instructions:

  1. Gently pull apart a few cotton balls to make them fluffy.
  2. Stuff pieces of cotton into the grooves of the pine cone.
  3. Near the top of the pine cone, glue on two googly eyes.
  4. Fold a piece of orange construction paper in half, and cut a triangle on the crease. Glue it onto the owl, below the eyes, for the owl’s beak.
  5. Glue a few feathers on the sides of the owl and on its head.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

November 1, 2013

Halloween Candy for Soldiers

Posted by at 1:45 am in Kid Power | Permalink

make_a_differenceSupport our Troops with Snacks!

Halloween is over and I know you have tons of candy, like seriously, way more than you need. You can use some of that candy to make a difference. Send it to U. S. troops stationed overseas. They didn’t get to celebrate Halloween at home this year, and opening a care package with your Halloween candy would really cheer them up. Plus, they might share some of the candy with local kids where they are stationed, spreading the love all over the world!

Here’s what to do:

  • Check with your parents first to make sure it’s ok.
  • Pack up your extra Halloween candy in a box.
  • Mail it to one of the addresses below (whichever is closer to where you live) by December 5.

Operation Gratitude/California Army National Guard
17330 Victory Boulevard
Van Nuys, California 91406
ATTN: Rich Hernandez

Soldiers’ Angels
Six Months of Christmas
5068 US HWY 64 East
Franklinville, NC 27248

While you’re at it, why not write a nice letter and include it with your candy? A simple “Thanks for all you do!” would make the package that much sweeter for a serviceman or woman. But remember, never give your personal information to a stranger – no last names, addresses, or phone numbers!

Leave a Comment and tell us how much candy YOU are giving to the troops.

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

October 24, 2013

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF

Posted by at 1:00 am in Kid Power | Permalink

halloweenTrick-or-Treat the Kid Power Way!

Last week, you read about how Austin & Ally star Laura Marano is working with UNICEF to help improve children’s lives around the world. Today, I’m going to show you how YOU can help. On Halloween, instead of just trick-or-treating for candy, you can ask for UNICEF donations, too.

Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Ask your parents first. You can show them this letter from UNICEF to help explain the situation.
  2. Print this UNICEF label and wrap it around a box or canister.
  3. Bring your UNICEF box or canister with you when you go trick-or-treating and ask for donations to UNICEF that will pay for medicine, food, and education for kids around the world.
  4. When Halloween is over, count up your donations, hand it over to your parents, and have them send in your donations by check or money order to:
    TRICK-OR-TREAT FOR UNICEF
    125 Maiden Lane
    New York, NY 10038

Your contributions can make a big difference, and think how much more delicious your Halloween candy will taste when you know that your trick-or-treating helped to make another child’s life much, much better! Laura Marano will be so proud of you!
image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

October 17, 2013

School Council Elections

Posted by at 1:57 am in Kid Power | Permalink

electiondayElection Day . . . for Students!

With a new school year, comes a new student council. This extracurricular activity is a great way for you to play a more active role in your school community, and learn about leadership and government. As a student council member, you serve as a representative for your classmates and share their ideas and concerns with teachers and school administrators at weekly or monthly meetings. Positions may include a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and fundraising officer, either for each grade or for the whole school.  You usually have to write and present a speech to your class explaining why this position is right for you, and what you would do to help the school once elected.

Here are some tips for running in a school election:

  • Take out a pen and some paper and brainstorm ways to improve your school if you were to be elected as a student council leader. Would you consider planning fundraisers like car washes or bake sales? Do you want better soap in the bathrooms or cool Band-Aids in the nurse’s office? Should there be another vending machine in the cafeteria with healthier snack options?
  • Now begin to develop a campaign. How will other students know to vote for you and know where you stand on school issues? Ask your siblings or friends to help you design campaign posters. Put your name and picture and a catchy slogan or a few things that you will promise to do for your fellow classmates. Introduce yourself to new people in your school and tell them why you think they should vote for you in the election. Also ask what their personal ideas are. Together, you can make your school an even better place!

Why not take a stand? Why don’t YOU run for school office this year? You might be able to make your school a better place.

–Amanda, STACKS intern

October 11, 2013

Laura Marano UNICEF Ambassador

Posted by at 1:30 am in Celebrities, Kid Power | Permalink

marano130Laura Marano Is the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF Ambassador

The United Nations Children’s Fund (a.k.a. UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries to improve children’s lives, providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief, and more. Their goal is for ZERO children to die from preventable causes and every child to have a safe and healthy childhood. This year, Laura Marano, star of Austin and Ally, has been named the 2013 Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF Ambassador. Every year since 1950, Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF has helped provide medicine, nutrition, and clean water to children around the world.

You know the STACKS is all about Kid Power so we love this story about a celebrity helping to make the world a better place. Read what Laura has to say about the experience.

Q: Why did you get involved with UNICEF?
Laura: I have always wanted to be a part of a philanthropic organization that helps people around the world, and let’s be honest, UNICEF is one of the most amazing organizations to do just that! I have heard about Trick-Or-Treat for UNICEF since I’ve been a little girl, and I think it’s extremely important to give back. The amazing thing about Trick-Or-Treat for UNICEF is that it not only helps kids all over the world who are not as fortunate as we are here, but it also provides a fun, easy way for kids here to get involved and give back. What person wouldn’t want to be involved with such an awesome campaign? I’m so excited to celebrate Halloween this year by encouraging kids to support UNICEF’s lifesaving work. The Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign is a fun, easy way for kids to learn about world issues and to help other kids who are less fortunate.

Q: Why should kids take part in the UNICEF Trick-or-Treat program?
Laura: 
Through Trick-Or-Treat for UNICEF, kids can raise money for other children, and help them get food, clean water, education, supplies, and so much more. Plus, it’s also super fun and easy to do!

Q: Any story or experience with UNICEF that has touched your heart?
Laura: I have learned so many things from UNICEF that have truly broken my heart. I found out that in certain countries, there are children who do not have birth certificates. This fact basically means they do not exist in those countries. That hit me so hard — to not exist in your own country. Also, everything that has been happening in Syria is so upsetting. There are over 3 million children who are being affected by violence and who are not being heard. That’s where UNICEF steps in. Truthfully, that’s why I love working with UNICEF. Their whole aim is to not only make sure every child around the world is healthy, but to also give them an opportunity to have a voice.

Find out how you can get involved in Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF.
image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

October 10, 2013

Bullying Prevention Month

Posted by at 1:53 am in Kid Power | Permalink

make_a_differenceYOU Can Help Prevent Bullying!

Bullying is no laughing matter. Everyone has been bullied or teased, but bullying is wrong and does not have to happen. It hurts everyone who is involved. It is important to think about the consequences of being a bully, witness, or a victim. Together, we can take a stand to stop bullying in schools everywhere. Take this quiz and see how you would handle these different bullying scenarios! Then click here for ways to deal with bullies. Continue reading

October 3, 2013

Kid Power: Nicholas Brocklebank

Posted by at 1:48 am in Kid Power | Permalink

make_a_differenceKid Power: Nicholas Brocklebank

Nicholas Brocklebank is a remarkable 10-year-old New Zealand boy living with muscular dystrophy. A couple of years ago, he started making his own handwritten, photocopied cookbooks, which he sold to family and friends as his own personal fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Then, after a catastrophic earthquake, he made another one which he sold to raise money for the Christchurch Earthquake Fund.

It might have stopped there, but Nic is the child of a Scholastic New Zealand employee, and once NicsCookbookScholastic knew about his project, the company decided to create a “real” cookbook of some of his selected recipes to help to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. (Both Nic and Scholastic NZ are donating 50% of royalties to the charity.) The first week after publication, it hit the #3 spot on the New Zealand Children’s Books list.

If Nic can do it, you can too. Pick something that inspires you, and use it to make a difference! Leave your ideas in the Comments for how YOU can make the world a better place. I can’t wait to hear how STACKers are going to change the world.

–Sonja, STACKS Staffer

August 15, 2013

Kid Power: Stop Global Warming!

Posted by at 1:10 am in Kid Power, Reads | Permalink

downtoearthBig, Bad 400

What does the number 400 mean to you? If you’re a math whiz, you know it’s 20 squared. If you’re a chocoholic, you might recognize it as the amount of calories in a small stack of chocolate chip pancakes. If you’re a car-racing fan, it’s the amount of laps in a NASCAR race.

But for those who study climate change, 400 is the amount of parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide that is now in the Earth’s atmosphere. Never before has this much carbon dioxide accumulated in the atmosphere in such a short time. The last time there were 400 ppm of carbon dioxide was 3 million years ago. Back then, the average temperature of the Earth was warmer and the sea level was between 60-80 feet higher than it is today. But back then, it took tens of thousands of years to reach 400 ppm. Now, we’ve reached that number in just over 150 years. And today we’ve got 7 billion people living on the planet.

What does 400 mean for the Earth? What does this mean for you?

400 ppm means the average temperature of the Earth is guaranteed to get 3.5 degrees hotter. This means more heat waves, longer lasting droughts, stronger hurricanes, and heavier flooding.

But 400 also means that if we drastically limit the burning of fossil fuels all over the world, we can stop this number from going up to even more dangerous levels.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Create a Kids-Stop-at-400 club at your school. Gather signatures to send to your congressional representative.
  • Carpool, ride the subway or bus, or walk as much as possible. If your family is in the market for a new car, talk to your parents about making it a hybrid or an electric one.
  • Ask your school about signing up for a solar lease program. In some cities, it doesn’t cost a dime to put solar panels on the roof.
  • Use recycled paper products to keep more trees alive and absorbing carbon dioxide.
  • Write to President Obama and tell him that you want to reduce the burning of fossil fuels such as oil and coal, and stop exporting coal to other countries.

Imagine a future in the next 50 to 100 years when we completely move away from burning fossil fuels to get energy. You have the ability to help make that future a reality. 400 is definitely big and bad. But the power of our voices and our actions can be even bigger and badder. Join the Save Planet Message Board to talk to other kids about the Big, Bad 400.

— Laurie David and Cambria Gordon, authors of The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming

August 8, 2013

Staples for Students

Posted by at 1:43 am in Kid Power | Permalink

make_a_differenceStaples for Students

It’s just about back-to-school time, and I know you’re thinking about what notebooks and other supplies you need to do really well in school and have a super-successful year. Good students know that stuff really helps you get organized. And being organized definitely makes it easier to get good grades! But millions of kids can’t afford school supplies. Some of them might even be in your neighborhood or in your school. YOU can help make sure these students have what they need to start the school year right.

How can you help?

  • What: Pick up some extra school supplies like pencils, erasers, notebooks, pens, etc. while you’re getting your own stuff for school.
  • Where: Donate the extra school supplies at your local Staples store.
  • When: August 11–17

Tell your friends and get the word out about this great cause. Nobody should go to school empty-handed!

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer