November 29, 2012
Scholastic Helps Schools and Libraries Devastated by Hurricane Sandy
When Hurricane Sandy hit, lots of classrooms and libraries were flooded. If you have ever dropped a book in the bathtub, you know that water destroys books, so many places had to throw away all their ruined books! Scholastic announced that it will donate one million books to schools and libraries and is working with the nonprofit Kids in Distressed Situations, Inc. to help distribute books to the schools and libraries in the hardest-hit areas of the tri-state region that need them the most.
Maybe you can't donate a million books, but you can help too by making a donation of your own to the libraries of New York City whose children's books have been destroyed. If you have any new or good quality used children's books to donate, you can send them to:
Urban Librarians Unite
45-06 Queens Blvd. Suite 120
Sunnyside, NY 11104
You can even host a book drive and collect books to send. Let's all try to help the kids whose libraries lost all their books!
— Sonja, STACKS Staffer
November 8, 2012
Save the Planet!
Help AquaPenguin126 get 100 ways to save the earth! Add your ideas to the list on the Save the Planet Message Board.
October 4, 2012
How to Deal With Bullies
October is Bullying Prevention Month and we care a lot about preventing bullying. I know every school has its groups and some kids don't fit in. Maybe they look different or act different, but NOBODY deserves to be bullied. If bullying is a problem in your school, you can make a difference. Don't let anyone be bullied, no matter who they are or how different they are from you.
Here are some tips for how you can prevent bullying in your school.
If you see someone being bullied . . .
- Look the bully in eyes and say, "Stop. That's not cool."
- Tell an adult. It is not tattling; it is protecting someone who is getting hurt. Also, kids are more likely to bully others if no one speaks out. As long as you're quiet about it, they can keep doing it.
- Be a good friend to the person being bullied. Go out of your way to be nice.
- Stick together with all the different kinds of people in your school, and stand up to bullies! Make your school a place where everyone belongs.
If you are being bullied yourself. . .
- Ignore the bully. Walk away. Don't give them the attention they want. This works for online bullies too. Avoid online drama! Walk away from the computer and don't reply.
- Stick together with the nice people in your school. Bullies feel stronger when they find you alone.
- Remember that you have rights. You have the right to feel safe and protected. It's the law and no one is allowed to take that away from you. If you don't feel safe at school, tell an adult.
- Remember to be your own awesome self! Bullies want to make you feel bad about who you are, but don't let them! Be strong in your inner awesomeness.
- Tell an adult. Even if there is nothing they can do, it helps to tell someone how you feel. You do not have to suffer alone. You might feel ashamed about being bullied or even think it's your fault somehow. Trust me – it isn't. Don't let that stop you from telling an adult. Bullies want you to keep quiet so they can keep bullying you. Don't give them that silence. Speak up for yourself.
When all else fails, read a book! Lots of book characters have faced bullies, and you can learn from their experiences.
- Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick
All Max's life, he'd been called stupid. Slow. So Max learned how to be alone . . . at least until Freak came along. Freak was weird, too. Together Max and Freak were no longer "special ed kids." They had each other, and together they were unstoppable. Together they were Freak the Mighty.
- Medusa Jones by Ross Collins
In ancient Greece lived a little girl called Medusa Jones. Medusa was a Gorgon, but apart from that, pretty normal. So she has snakes for hair instead of gorgeous blond ringlets like Cassandra. Is that any reason for the popular kids to be SO mean?
- Warp Speed by Lisa Yee
Entering 7th grade is no big deal for Marley Sandelski, but when he draws the attention of the biggest bully in school, his life has officially moved from boring to far too dramatic.
If you have a problem with bullies in your school, try these tips and leave a Comment to let me know how it goes. Also if you have any others tips for how to prevent bullying, let us know in the Comments.
— Sonja, STACKS Staffer
August 16, 2012
Rachel Beckwith was almost 9 years old when she heard about Charity: Water, an organization that works to get clean water to kids in Africa. Until then, she had no idea that kids her own age around the world didn’t have clean water to drink, and she was determined to make a difference. So instead of asking for presents for her 9th birthday, Rachel asked family and friends to donate $9 to the charity. She had a big goal of $300, but only made it to $220, still a pretty awesome gift!
Sadly, Rachel died in a car accident a month after her birthday. Rachel’s story spread, and people all over the world were so inspired by what she had tried to accomplish that they began sending in their own gifts towards her goal. One month later, over 30,000 people gave more than $1,200,000!
August 9, 2012
Military Working Dogs
Dogs are the most common pets in the United States, but did you know that they have also been fighting alongside the U.S. military forces since the Civil War? They officially became part of the military during World War II, and today are invaluable members of military groups stationed around the world.
Find out more about these amazing heroes, and how YOU can help them after they retire. . .
August 2, 2012
Oscar Pistorius: first double amputee runner at the Olympic Games!
I'm sure by now you all know about the 2012 Olympics taking place in London this week. But do you know about the Paralympic Games? They will take place immediately following the close of the Olympic Games. "Para" is the Greek word meaning "beside," used to emphasize how the two Games exist side-by-side. Paralympians are athletes with physical disabilities (such as vision impairment, limb deficiency, or intellectual impairment) that would otherwise prevent them from equally competing with other athletes. They compete in the same sport events (swimming, volleyball, rugby, archery, etc.) as other athletes, but in their own league.
July 26, 2012
Imagine if a mosquito bite could kill you. There are parts of the world where they can! Mosquitoes in tropical regions around the Equator can carry malaria, a really scary disease that can be deadly. Treatment of malaria is very expensive for most families living in Africa, and they often don't get treatment until it's too late. But there is a simple solution: sleeping under insecticide-treated bed nets so the mosquitoes can't bite.
Here are some net facts:
July 19, 2012
Kid Power: Wild Pets!
When I was 7 years old, I begged my parents for a pet dolphin. ”Pretty please? We can keep it in the bathtub!” I pleaded. But alas, my dad pointed out that dolphins need a lot more space than a bathtub. They need a lot more space than just a swimming pool, too – they need a whole ocean!
Sadly, however, many dolphins are endangered in the ocean. Pollution and dangerous fishing gear have made the waters, where they used to roam freely, unsafe. Dolphins, like many other animals, are finding that their homes are no longer livable. It’s really sad, because dolphins are the most amazing creatures. They’re super-smart team players that travel in groups, fishing together and communicating through a complex system of sounds and whistles. They’re playful animals that love people and have, many times, saved them from shark attacks!
July 16, 2012
Writing Prompt: Kid Powered Invention
Did you know a 15-year-old boy invented earmuffs back in 1858? Chester Greenwood needed to keep his ears warm during bitter Maine winters, and made 2 ear-shaped loops from wire, and asked his grandmother to sew fur on them. He later patented the design and made a fortune selling them to soldiers during World War I.
There's also a 6-year-old from Singapore, Peh Yong, who invented a cooling umbrella to be used in the hot weather.
And Krysta Morlan, a 10th grader with cerebral palsy, invented a device to relieve irritation while wearing a cast called the Cast Cooler.
These kids all used their hearts and their smarts, and started somewhere! If you could think of any invention to change the world, and make it a better place, what would you invent? Would your invention tackle things like pollution, hunger, poverty, world peace, or diseases? Big or small, this week’s Writing Prompt prompts YOU. Let us know your invention in the Comments below!
— Ratha, Stacks Writer
July 12, 2012
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry, Ron, and Hermione form a secret organization called Dumbledore’s Army (D.A. for short). Its purpose is to stand up against High Inquisitor Dolores Umbridge, and practice Defense Against the Dark Arts (which she has forbidden). Harry, Ron, and Hermione recruit members from all the Hogwarts houses, bringing everyone together for this common purpose. Together they prepare to battle against and defeat Voldemort.
This got us thinking . . . what if YOU could form your own Dumbledore's Army? If you could start a real live group to deal with the problems of the world, what would you fight against? Would you want your army to bring food to hungry countries? Work on cures for certain diseases? Find homes for all abandoned animals? Clean up the earth, and punish corporations who do damage? The sky is the limit.
What kind of change would you want to see in the world? We want to know what's most important to you. Let us know what your Dumbledore's Army would do in the Comments below.
— Ratha, Stacks Writer