Taking Action and Giving Service

Compassionate Kids http://www.compassionatekids.org - Compassionate Kids, Inc. is dedicated to helping teach children compassion towards the Earth, people, and animals. Their website has articles, book reviews, and free printable activities. There are local chapters all across the country that host compassion-oriented field trips and community service events approximately once a month.

Free Child Project http://www.freechild.org - The mission of The Freechild Project is to advocate, inform, about social change led by and with young people around the world. The Freechild Project works across the United States and Canada, providing tools, training and expert consultation in the fields of youth development, youth empowerment, and youth involvement. The web site lists dozens of issues with information and links explaining its significance in today’s world. It is geared toward high school and above, and must be recommended with cautions of internet safety as some of the links are free posting.

Free the Children http://www.freethechildren.com - Free The Children is a large network of children helping children through education, with more than one million youth involved in innovative education and development programs in 45 countries. The primary goals of the organization are to free children from poverty and exploitation and free young people from the notion that they are powerless to affect positive change in the world. Through extracurricular empowerment programs and leadership training, Free the Children inspires young people to develop as socially conscious global citizens and become agents of change for their peers around the world.

GenerationOn http://www.generationon.org - GenerationOn is the global youth service movement igniting the power of all kids to make their mark on the world. As the youth division of Points of Light Institute, generationOn has brought the nation’s leading youth service organizations and programs under one umbrella including New York-based Children for Children, The League, Learning to Give, Points of Light Institute’s Kids Care Clubs, HandsOn Schools, and HandsOn Network’s youth-driven programs. By partnering with teachers, parents, schools, community organizations and businesses, GenerationOn gives kids the opportunity to see firsthand the issues in their communities and the tools and resources they need to respond and become part of the solution.

Global Youth Leadership Institute http://www.gyli.org - This organization can provide teachers resources on conflict resolution, environmental sustainability, religious pluralism, collaborative leadership, multi-cultural identity, and building awareness in students. Its program encourages and helps middle and high school students from across the country to get involved in making change for the future.

Hugs Across America http://www.hugsacrossamerica.net - Hugs Across America began as a direct and intuitive response to the World Trade Center disaster. As a teacher at The Churchill School in lower Manhattan, Sue Lucarelli was charged with comforting children whose lives had been dramatically and tragically impacted when they saw the Towers fall on the morning of September 11, 2001. Many of her students lived in the area, others had family working there, and all were terrified. When classes resumed, one child said, “all I know is, I need a hug.” He was given a hug, of course, but also one of three teddy bears that happened to be in the classroom. All of the children felt the same need and those three bears were passed around, hugged and shared all day long. Mrs. Lucarelli promised the children that when she returned to school, each would have a teddy of his or her own to ease the many moments of fear. Lucarelli, with the help of Community Reformed Church in Manhasset, ended up providing each of her students and more than 58,000 New York City children with teddy bears in the weeks following the terror attacks. She then started Hugs Across America later in 2001 to brighten up the days of other distressed children across the United States. The program also places bears on fire trucks and in police cars so that emergency responders will have them to give to children at traumatic times. The total of bears sent to children in crisis since 9/11 now tops 750,000 and they have gone to children all across the United States and as far away as Japan.

My Good Deed http://www.mygooddeed.org - My Good Deed was created in 2002 by family members of victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001. It was developed as a way to honor all victims of 9/11 and preserve the spirit of unity and compassion that existed in the nation following the terrorist attacks. The organization encourages community service and allows participants to register their project for recognition on their website. It also has a page which offers ideas for individuals and classes to complete service projects.

Peace Corp for Kids http://www.peacecorps.gov/kids - The Peace Corps for Kids is a fun, interactive web site for children aged 10 and up that can be used in a classroom. The web site is a challenge game that puts a student in an area of the world where he/she must problem solve global issues and imagine to “win” the game. The student becomes a virtual Peace Corps volunteer, is introduced to international issues a resolution. This site can be used in the classroom or introduced for a child to use at home.

Peace First http://www.peacefirst.org/site/ - Peace First (formerly Peace Games) began as a response to the sky-rocketing youth homicide rates in the early 1990s, as an approach to look at children as problem-solvers, rather than witnesses, or victims of their surroundings. Peace First was conceived at Harvard University in 1992 as an annual festival where children gathered to play cooperative games and share their dreams of peace. Peace First was student-run until 1996 when it became an independent non-profit organization under the leadership of Harvard graduate, Echoing Green fellow and Ashoka fellow Eric D. Dawson. Peace First has taught over 40,000 students critical conflict resolution skills; created over 2,500 peacemaker projects that improved communities and instilled a sense of civic engagement in students; recruited over 4,000 volunteers who provided 400,000 hours of volunteer teaching service; and trained 2,500 teachers in conflict resolution and classroom management skills.

Peace Pals http://www.wppspeacepals.org - Peace Pals is a program designed to encourage young people ages 5-19 to become peacemakers dedicated to living within the ideal of May Peace Prevail on Earth. A World Peace Organization program for youth, Peace Pals sponsors art contests and activity guides for teachers for lessons on promoting peace.

Points of Light Institute http://www.pointsoflight.org - Born after the attacks on September 11, Points of Light encourages community service for all youth through corporate entities. Contact the organization to be matched with a community need in your location. Points of Lights also sponsors a high school level youth leadership training program.

Seeds of Peace http://www.seedsofpeace.org - Seeds of Peace is dedicated to empowering young leaders from regions of conflict with the leadership skills required to advance reconciliation and coexistence. The Seeds of Peace model begins at the International Camp in Maine and continues through programming in regions around the world through innovative initiatives in the form of conferences, regional workshops, educational and professional opportunities, and an adult educator program. Students are accepted into this program from all over the world, including the United States, and are taught as well as encouraged to be leaders of peace.

The September 11 National Day of Service http://911dayofservice.org - The September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance is supported annually by MyGoodDeed Inc. and HandsOn Network, which together serve as co-chairs of the National Organizing Committee. MyGoodDeed Inc. led a successful eight-year campaign that culminated in 2009 in the official establishment of September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance under federal law. Many other prominent organizations also participate as Strategic Partners. Students, teachers, schools and communities can get started making a difference by exploring causes that need help. Everyone can voluntarily support charitable causes, perform good deeds and engage in other service activities in observance of the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

School Girls Unite http://www.schoolgirlsunite.org - School Girls Unite is a project of Youth In Action. It is a group of twenty young teen age girls who support education for all girls worldwide. It is a great model for classroom groups; it is a model of how youth can, in fact, make a difference.

ServiceNation http://www.servicenation.org - is a campaign to increase service opportunities and elevate service as a core ideal and problem-solving strategy in our society. Reaching an estimated 100 million Americans through over 270 member groups, ServiceNation played a leading role in the drafting and April 2009 enactment of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which authorized the greatest expansion of national service in America since the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression. Originally convened by Be the Change, Inc., Civic Enterprises, City Year, and the Points of Light Institute, ServiceNation was launched September 11 and 12, 2008 with the ServiceNation Presidential Candidates Forum and Summit in New York City, where Presidential candidates Obama and McCain publicly endorsed its policy framework.

Stayin’ Alive http://www.malarianomore.org/what-we-do/stayin-alive - Stayin’ Alive was conceived by a group of high school students in Melbourne, Florida as a simple but effective means to fight malaria in Africa. The website gives support and instructions for sponsoring a dance to raise funds to provide medical care to children in Africa.

Youth Activism Project http://youthactivismproject.org - The Youth Activism Project believes that everyone can make a difference in the world, no matter how old or young one might be. Their motto is “Kids should be seen AND heard.” They sponsor a web site that promotes youth activism, provides resources and ideas for youth and teachers, and features a special section that highlights projects sponsored by schools and/or individuals. This is a great site for ideas for young children.

Zoom Into Action http://pbskids.org/zoom/activities/action/ - Zoom is a PBS program aimed at children ages 7-13. This website offers ideas for community volunteer projects, as well as an area where a child can post their project on the website. Printouts on volunteering are also available on this site for teachers.