Category Archives: Kid Power

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

June 13, 2013

Make a BIG Difference in Your Community!

Posted by at 2:39 pm in Kid Power | Permalink

BeBig130Make a BIG difference in your community!

Remember Clifford? Scholastic's favorite big, red dog may be a distant memory (or beloved favorite!), but did you ever think he could inspire to you serve your community? With the BE BIG In You Community Contest, he can!

It’s easy to be inspired by his BIG ideas and incorporate them into your life in big and small ways. Whether it's helping your sister with her homework, sharing your favorite book with a friend, or putting your garbage in the bin instead of on the ground, there are lots of ways to BE BIG. But if you have an even BIGGER idea, the 5th annual Clifford BE BIG In Your Community contest might be just right for you. You can enter for a chance to win a $5,000 grant* to bring your BIG idea to life! We’re looking for ideas, big and small that can make a difference in your community.

Need inspiration? Check out some of our past winners, young people from all over the country just like you who were inspired by our dog to make a big difference. If you love sports, you could create an athletic group like last year's grand prize winner, Zachary did. He established SNAP, a Special Needs Athletic Program offering sports clinics to children with autism and other disabilities.

In 2010, Will used baseball as inspiration for his winning idea, Hits Against Hunger. Will recruited over 100 elementary age kids to participate in the project and found sponsors to pledge $1 to the food bank for every hit made in their baseball season.

Skyler was only 9 years old when he entered and won the 2009 BE BIG In Your Community contest. Through his winning grant, Skyler created Kids Care Packs and gave them to children in homeless shelters and hospitals throughout San Diego. Kids Care Packs are hand-painted knapsacks filled with school supplies, toiletries, a healthy snack, a book, a toy, and a note of care and friendship.

With one week left until the contest closes, we are looking for more BIG ideas! If you have an idea on how to make a difference in your community, we want to hear about it! But hurry! The contest closes on June 23rd! And good luck!

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. One grand prize: $5,000 grant to support winner’s community project. Five first prizes: $1,000 grant to support winner’s community project. Total grants: $10,000. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia. Contest ends June 23, 2013. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Subject to all applicable laws. For official rules, go to\cliffordbebig\contestrules.

TM & © 2013 Scholastic Inc. SCHOLASTIC and associated logos are trademarks of Scholastic Inc. CLIFFORD, EMILY ELIZABETH, CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG, CLIFFORD'S PUPPY DAYS, BE BIG!, and logos are trademarks and or registered trademarks of Norman Bridwell. All rights reserved.

April 25, 2013

National Volunteer Week

Posted by at 1:15 am in Kid Power | Permalink

BebigBE BIG during National Volunteer Week!

This week is National Volunteer Week, so what better time to discuss how you can make a BIG impact in your community? Service comes in lots of shapes and sizes, and can be as simple as helping your librarian put books back on the shelf, or as BIG as organizing a camp for young people with disabilities. BIG or small, what matters is that you are helping make your community a better place for everyone — and becoming a good citizen at the same time!

Continue reading

April 18, 2013

Earth Day No-Plastic Pledge

Posted by at 1:59 am in Kid Power | Permalink

EarthEarth Day No-Plastic Pledge!

According to Sierra Club, we throw away 24 billion plastic water bottles each year in the U.S. alone. And these bottles can sit in landfills for over 200 years without decomposing! Imagine all those billions of plastic bottles just piling up and piling up over the years! Gross!

Now, think about your lunch, your after-school snack, your sports practice, dance class, etc. Do you ever open up a plastic drink bottle and then throw it away when you're finished? We all do it at least once in a while, but today I'm asking you to take a pledge to reduce the amount of plastic drink bottles you throw away.

Repeat after me:

I, [state your name], refuse to open another disposable drink bottle. Instead, I will get a reusable thermos, fill it up, and carry it to school, practice, class, and anywhere I get thirsty. This is my pledge to planet Earth so I don't add any more to the growing pile of plastic bottles.

Did you take the pledge? Leave a Comment if you did, and get all your friends and family to take the no-plastic pledge, too. Every little bit counts. You CAN make a difference!

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

April 11, 2013

Save Energy From the Energy Vampires

Posted by at 1:55 am in Kid Power | Permalink


Save Energy From the Energy Vampires

Did you know that there are electronic vampires in your house? They suck out energy and contribute greenhouse gasses into the air, even while everyone is asleep!

"What?!" you say. "How is that possible? I never leave my electronics on when I'm asleep."

Even when the devices are turned off, they are still sucking energy through the power cord. TVs are the biggest culprits, but cable boxes, DVD players, video game consoles, cell phone chargers, and computers also have vampiric tendencies. 

"How can I kill these energy vampires in my house?" you ask. "Do I have to wear a garlic necklace, or drive a stake into my TV's heart? Does my TV even HAVE a heart?"

No, silly. All you have to do is unplug it. If you have a power cord, you can plug all your devices into the power cord, and then just flip the power cord switch off when you are done using the device. That will deprive all the vampires of their power source. It will also save energy and reduce the amount of harmful greenhouse gasses that go up into the atmosphere.

Now, go save your house from energy vampires!

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

April 9, 2013

Earth Day Activities

Posted by at 9:36 am in Kid Power, News | Permalink

EarthEarth Day Activities

Earth Day is April 22. Here are some ways you can celebrate our dear planet Earth and help inspire your fellow humans to treat our planet with more loving care!


What will YOU do to help save the planet this Earth Day? Let us know in the Comments.

April 4, 2013

Earth Day at School

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

EarthEarth Day at School

Earth Day is April 22, so let's think about ways we can make the planet more "green." Today's post is about how to make your school more environmentally friendly.

Try these tips today!

  • Turn off the lights in the classroom when you don't need them.
  • Don't throw away any paper until you have used both sides. 
  • Don't throw away any paper at all. Recycle it!
  • Bring a zero-waste lunch to school – everything in reusable containers so you don't throw away any plastic when you're done with it.
  • Ask your principal to lower the thermostat by 1 degree in the winter to save on heating.

Do you have other ways to improve the green factor at school? Leave your awesome ideas in the Comments and in the Save the Planet Message Board!

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

March 28, 2013

NanoDays 2013

Posted by at 1:59 am in Kid Power, Trivia | Permalink

NanoNanoDays 2013 are coming!

The festival of nanoscience programs created by Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network takes place March 30-April 7, 2013 in over 200 science museums, research centers, and universities across the country.

OK, but . . . uhh. . . what is nanoscience? Nanoscience explores the miniscule world of atoms, molecules, and teeny, tiny forces that can affect them. Here’s an example. You know how when it rains, your clothes get soaked, but water just rolls off the leaves? Scientists looked at the tiniest particles of leaves and discovered how they repel water. Then, they used this information to invent a coating with similar properties to keep the water out, and now we have amazing coated fabric that can do what leaves do naturally.

This coating actually has lots of uses. It is used to make graffiti-resistant paint, a clear coating that makes it impossible for paint to stick to a wall, so no grafitti. It is used to make a protective coating for eyeglasses, cell phones, and electronic tablets so they don’t get scratched or dirty. It is even used in “Magic Sand,” that crazy sand you can buy that doesn’t get wet when you put it in water.

So that’s just one aspect of nanoscience. If you want to find out more cool ways scientists and inventors are using nanoscience, check out your local Science Museum during NanoDays March 30-April 7!

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer