One of the major components in a lot of schools today is service learning. This is often difficult for parents and students alike. It always seems like no one knows what to do, where to go and even how to find something that’s not drudgery for parents and students!
That’s where this comes in:
Do Something! A Handbook for Young Activists by Nancy Lublin is geared for students right in the heart of service learning – starting right around 4th grade. This awesome, spiral bound workbook helps young people figure out what area of service matters most to them and how to go about creating change and doing service in the area that is of most interest to them.
The book is put out by Dosomething.org, which is a not-for-profit foundation that encourages young people to get out and change what they see wrong with the world instead of complaining about it or thinking they can’t do anything about it.
Instead of chapters, the book is divided into sections, and each part is a project. Each of the 32 projects lead young people through the steps of creating a project that meets their interest, carrying it out, and then reflecting on it.
So, how do you know WHAT area to even focus on?
The first section takes care of that with a quick quiz called “what’s your thing?”
The quiz is a simple check list of one of the major areas – the more checks, the more interested you are in the area! It helps you really find “your thing!”
From there, the workbook takes on a new life. It helps you really design a project that means a lot to your kids, you and maybe your community. The good thing is that the section with the project ideas is color coded by each “thing.” This makes it easy to just go to the area that interests you and find the projects.
So, since this is a workbook, what happens when you run out of pages, or mess up a page?
That’s when you head to the book specific Do Something site!
This has the Bonus resource section, which has spares of some of the most used pages in the book. These are printable and easy to add into your book and keep safe with the pockets in the front and back cover!
Even though the book is written for the tween demographic, there are parts that can be used for younger kids with supervision.
When I got the book, my son Isaac was really moved by the animal welfare section. We used the book as a springboard for age appropriate discussion about what we can do to help animals. He decided that he wanted to bring toys to the local animal shelter to help the cats and dogs pass the time.
This is the kind of thing that the book encourages! He felt awesome to “do something” and not just feel like a 7 year old who can’t do anything!
One small caveat… if you are using the main Do Something site for the “what’s your thing” or “take action” project areas that are available, you may want to preview it. There is a section that is not included in the book and may not be what you want your child to see when they are trying to view the site for ideas.
I was elated to find this book accessible, fun and useful for kids (and adults!) who really want to change the world around them. What I found is one of the neatest aspects of the book is that there are profiles of both celebrities and kids who have really done something. They’ve created their own projects and made them work.
Want the book to help your tween plan their own project? Want it to help you do service in a favorite area as a family?
One more thing…
On Thursday, August 18, 2011, VH1 aired the Do Something! Awards, hosted by Jane Lynch from Glee. This show honored the best of young activism (people ages 25 and under) in 17 different categories. Each of the nominees got a $10,000 grant for their community and the top winner, determined by public voting, received a $100,000 grant. The show promised to be a stunner, with performances from Demi Lovato, B.o.B, OneRepublic and Foster the People. Lots of celebrity presenters and inspiring projects. Make sure to catch the re-run.
WIN! 3 WINNERS will each receive their copy of the Do Something handbook!
Winner will be emailed after the giveaway closes and also announced on this blog under the featured “Recent Giveaway Winners” section on the homepage of our blog-azine. Winner will have 72 hours to respond to our email, or another winner will be drawn. We never share your email with third parties.
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