Congratulations Powerful Kids!

clap and congratulations

Powerful Words, in conjunction with Dr. Robyn Silverman and

the Powerful Parent Blog want to congratulate:

Aaron M. who is a 10 year old Black Belt in the Junior Star program at Yuen’s  in Canada.

According to his instructor, Mr. Perry Bateson,

“This month, since our POWerful word is CITIZENSHIP, we are encouraging our students to be good citizens in our community. As a school we fund raise every August for Schools supplies for students who are less fortunate than others. Arron decided to collect bottles to recycle. He took them in and raised $20.00, Aaron then went to Staples and spent all his earned money on school supplies. He brought it into the school and put it in the School supply box and was about to leave looking for no recognition of his efforts. Way to go Aaron.

And Kari J:

Mr. Bateson went on to inform us that:

“One hour later Kari J. a 9 year Black Belt in the Junior Star program did the exact same thing as Aaron. Kari came into the school with two full bags of school supplies and put them in the school supply box. Kari gathered up $50.00 worth of bottles put them in the back of her moms truck took them done the bottle depot cashed them in and went shopping. Keri is an awesome Citizen at 9. We are very proud of these two students and I know by the end of the month this list will be very long.”

WONDERFUL, Mr. Bateson, Kari and Aaron! You are Powerful Kids!

And another congratulations goes out to Zoe L from Alpha Martial Arts in Seattle Washington!

Her instructor, Mr. Herrman, tells us that he issued Zoe a challenge to clean her room as part of Citizenship month.  Of course, character begins at home!

Here’s Zoe cleaning her room as her challenge this month! Congratulations, Zoe and Mr. Herrman!

Zoe from Alpha Martial Arts doing her Citizenship Challenge for Powerful Words

Please send in your photos and stories about your students and children exhibiting the powerful word of the month!  Congrats again!

Dr. Robyn Silverman signs

Dr. Robyn Silverman introduces the Powerful Word for August: Citizenship

The Powerful Word of the Month is Citizenship!

Citizenship Quotes

“Citizenship is about give and take.  We must take pride in our community but we also must give of ourselves.”  –Dr. Robyn Silverman

“Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are.” –Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” –Margaret Mead

“A man is called selfish not for pursuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbor’s.” — Richard Whately

“As the purse is emptied, the heart is filled” –Victor Hugo

“Every good citizen makes his country’s honor his own, and cherishes it not only as precious but as sacred. He is willing to risk his life in its defence and is conscious that he gains protection while he gives it.” –Andrew Jackson

“The first requisite of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his own weight.” — Theodore Roosevelt

“It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union… Men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less.” –Susan B. Anthony

“The job of a citizen is to keep his mouth open.” –Gunther Grass

“Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.” –George Jean Nathan

It’s going to be a great month!

Dr. Robyn Silverman signs

Salma Hayek Breastfeeds Dying Infant: Your Take?

Dr. Robyn Silverman

In partnership with Pampers, actress and humanitarian Salma Hayek has been spending time in Africa on a UNICEF mission to raise awareness for tetanus.  One child dies every three minutes from Tetanus, a preventable disease.

A recent ABC news report followed the actress and reported that Salma stood at a baby’s bedside as she took her last breath, as the 7 day old baby’s young mother, looked on. If the woman had simply been given a vaccine while pregnant, a medication that only costs 7 measly cents, the newborn would still be alive today.

At another clinic, Salma Hayek was so moved at seeing the suffering of a starving baby who was born on the same day as her little girl, Valentina, that she picked up the baby and nursed him.

salma hayek with daughter Valentina

Hayek appeared on last Thursday’s Today Show and talked about it. Kathie  Lee Gifford asked, “You found a child that was starving to death, the mother had no milk – and you nursed that baby?” Hayek nodded and then said, “It’s about women sticking together and we really need to help the children in any way we can.”

As a soon to be mother in 13 short days when we adopt our little girl, I had a visceral reaction to this story.  The idea of baby’s dying of preventable diseases and circumstances makes me feel both sad and frustrated.  We must continue to teach our children the Powerful Words of citizenship, generosity, kindness, empathy and compassion. Reading about some people’s comments about this “contraversial” story, especially those condemning Salma for nursing another woman’s baby, or calling it “disgusting”or “unnatural,”  leads me to wonder just how far away from “natural” we’ve all come.

What are your reactions to this story?If your child asked you about it, what would you say?

Dr. Robyn Silverman signs

September 11th: The Day The World Changed (In Your Words)

September 11th: The Day the World Changed (and Your Responses)

Guest Post By: Jason M. Silverman and Powerful responses

Note: Very Long Post!

As you know, 7 years ago everything we thought we knew about our own personal safety was blown to smithereens as we witnessed 2 hijacked planes being driven into the World Trade Center. In memory of all who perished and all who stepped up in our time of need, I thought I’d share just a few words. If you are so moved to, please reply back to this note with anything that comes to mind (or heart).

It was just before 9am on September 11, 2001 and I was at my own powerful words member school. I’d just finished teaching a private lesson and was getting ready to start preparing some marketing campaigns to take further advantage of the back to school rush that we had been experiencing. Then I heard it on the radio – A plane just flew into the World Trade Center in New York City! I couldn’t believe it. I was shocked!

Before I opened my school, I had been a bond trader for Fidelity Investments. My office had been located in the Boston World Trade Center. Many of the people I did business with on a daily basis, however, worked in NYC at the building that had just been hit. My mind went to all the people I knew and I hoped that they were OK. It seemed like such a freak accident – but oh so sad. Then I heard the radio AGAIN – ANOTHER PLANE HAS HIT THE OTHER TOWER! THIS IS NOT AN ACCIDENT!

I felt my heart in my throat and for the first time in a long time I actually feared for my own personal safety and that of my family. I hated that feeling. After calling all of my family members (even those that for one reason or another, I’d not been that close to), I felt a little bit better and felt more comfortable when I got home to my wife, Dr. Robyn Silverman.

For the next couple of days, we were both glued to the Television and watched that horrific image of the towers coming down, over and over and over again until it became permanently burned into our memories. Then we watched in amazement as the first responders did everything they could to rescue those still alive and locate those that hadn’t been as lucky. I was proud to see the camaraderie that was displayed over the following days, weeks, and months after the attack.

Today, Dr. Robyn and I were watching the memorial services and listening to the children of those lost in the attack. All those same emotions came rushing back – it was quite powerful to tell you the truth. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family’s that were robbed of time, love and memories that awful day.

What I realized, and wanted to share with you, is that we know that all of what we have can disappear in just a flash just like 7 years ago. Being grateful is a mere understatement for how we feel about our lives and the path we’ve chosen to travel. We’re honored and blessed that we have the opportunity to help you change lives on a daily basis. It means the world to us that you’ve welcomed us into your schools and into your lives. Thank you for making our journey so amazing.

As I said earlier, I’d love to hear where you were (physically, mentally, and emotionally) 7 years ago if you’d be so kind to share.

Hope you have a Powerful Day!

Jason M. Silverman

Powerful Words Character Development


Dear Jason and Dr. Robyn,

7 years ago I was just starting my first September rush of enrollment since buying my gymnastics school the previous January. Fall classes had just started on Monday the 10th…I was just finishing dressing to go down to my gym for the AM preschool classes and my husband was in the shower when I saw the report and video on CNN of a plane hitting one of the twin towers. This had some meaning for our family since half of my husband’s family lives in and around NYC and the last problem there had affected his cousin personally.

I literally pulled my husband out of the shower and while we sat there watching CNN we got to witness the second plane hitting the second tower. I will never forget the look on Seth’s face and the pit of fear in my stomach as the realization that we were under attack hit us. In total shock we both went into automatic pilot and without ever losing sight of the TV we both finished dressing. Seth continued to his job and I went in to my gym. It never dawned on us, in our shock and our fear, to do anything else.

Preschool gym classes started with only a handful of children there. Many of the parents present were military parents because my gym is in such close proximity to both McGuire AFB and Ft.Dix Army Base. My instructors looked shell shocked and during breaks kept asking for updates. We kept all information away from the children and kept it “business as usual” with fun activities in class (talk about putting a game face on!). I stood in the lobby with the parents watching our tiny TV. As a group of 10-12 strangers stood there witnessing the towers crashing, the Pentagon getting hit (which REALLY hit home for the military families), and then the news that another airliner was missing, then had been reported as crashed we became bonded as strangers do in times of serious duress. I do not allow customers to see me in serious emotional states but that day

owner, parents, coaches, men, women, and soldiers became simply humans with tears dripping down our faces, hugging each other for comfort in our fear and horror. Then we did what we as resilient parents and humans do the best — we stopped reacting and began proactive.

In a now controlled state of fear, I closed the gym for the remainder of the day — which was fortunate since they put NJ in a state of emergency and all highways were to be cleared by that afternoon. In my first really official act as a leader in a serious situation, I sent all my staff and parents home to be with their families. I called my neighbor and best friend and we cried together on the phone. No one in her family had heard from her brother, a Port Authority Cop who was on the scene after the first plane hit. His cell phone was not working so no one knew if he was still alive (fortunately we were to find out a day later that he had vacated the first tower and was running people down the street when the tower fell — his police cruiser was crushed but he was spared.) Together my friend and I called our children’s schools and we made a plan of how to pick up the six children who at that time were attending 3 different schools with 3 different pick up times. No bus rides home that day — we wanted our children with us!

By 3:00 PM all of my children were home with me, my husband was home from his job. My older two sons (age 13 and 15) sat with us watching CNN reports throughout the night. My youngest son (age 8) simply was not able to handle that. To this day, I will forever salute the Nickelodeon station — while all other stations had coverage of the horrors of the day, Nick kept the cartoons running! My 8 year old NEEDED that as did

many other children in this country who simply did not need the emotional overload of that day. He would come up to say a word or two to us, then retreat back to his TV. No one ate dinner that night and even my teenaged boys wanted nothing. No one except the 8 year old even got any sleep.

Besides fear, grief, and a sense of loss my biggest impression of that night was the SILENCE. It was eerie and I have never heard that kind of silence in my area before or after that night. No one was out, and the only noise you heard was crickets and the occasional sound of sirens going up the turnpike as emergency crews from all over went to help. I remember thinking how weird it was that the crickets would just keep going as normal but why would I expect them to do anything else? No planes, no cars, no one outside, nothing but silence and sirens for the entire night. This was the silence of a nation in shock and it was not the type of silence that “peace and quiet” usually brings. It was the silence of loss — the loss of our security, the loss of friends (with both my husband and I having our MBA’s we knew quite of few people in the twin towers who were lost), the loss of our childrens’ innocence, the loss of personal freedom, and the loss of optimism. I was always a “glass half full” person, until that day. It took many months for my optimism to return — and I still seem to struggle with overdoing the “what-if” scenarios.

Last night my husband watched several specials commerating the 9/11 tragedy. I simply could not sit and watch for more than a minute before all that loss began to overwhelm me again — I began to cry once again (much like I am tearing up simply writing this) and I came to the realization that I do not need to watch specials to remember. I will

NEVER forget. Now, with my 22 year old in the military, I now live with a different fear generated from that day — Iraq is still a reality for many families and it is a direct result of 9/11. While our nation remembers the losses of 9/11, the armed forces are continuing to suffer losses which keeps 9/11 alive for many families every day. I used to go through periods of months where I would not think about 9/11 but ever since my son enlisted I think about it every time he puts on his uniform to go on duty.

I have dedicated my life to working with children, in helping them develop into great people (and sometimes great athletes), and more than anything else, 9/11 instilled in me a greater sense of my purpose. A parent mentioned to me that she was glad that her daughter had gymnatstics last night because the TV specials are very upsetting and this gave her daughter a place to be instead of home watching TV (and I will point out that this is a teenaged child). I am not simply a person who likes to wear sweat pants and run around playing with children for fun — I provide a safe, structured environment for children where they can learn life lessons without trauma. I provide them with something positive to look forward to even when the outside world is crazy. I help shelter them from the bad, put them on an equal footing with their peers no matter their grades in school, athletic skill, or family situation. We (because I do have a great staff that works with me) lead and mold them in to becoming great people. I was very positive about my business before 9/11 but afterwards I realized exactly WHAT I actually provided and what my role was in this world. Remembering 9/11 is always painful but it also reaffirms my purpose.

Terry Veit-Harmening

EnVision Gymnastics, LLC


Seven years ago, I was here at work and was told by a co-worker what had happened. Believe it or not I hadn’t heard yet as I got to work at 7:00 am. We then turned on news through a computer inside the office where it played all day long. We were in shock, our parent’s were in shock as they came in the door for their child’s class.

The whole day we had CD’s playing in the stereo so as not to upset the children and putting on happy faces all the while we were crying inside. There are no words adequate enough to convey the feelings of that day.

I wish Americans would still behave now as we did then. You felt proud to be an American because WE knew we were not going down without fighting. Our pride needs to show 24/7 365 days a year not just when tragedy strikes.

I am proud to be an American and proud to be the daughter of a United States Marine who was a veteran of the Vietnam War.

Casey Tanon

V.P. & Secretary

GymStars Gymnastics, Inc Stockton, CA


Oh yes Jason, that memory still burns in me everyday! In addition to my school I have been a fugitive recovery agent since the early 1990’s. I was sitting on my sofa that morning getting ready to go arrest a fugitive when I seen the news begin to cover it live. I thought how the hell did a plane get off coarse to hit the WTC. Then I personally saw the second plane hit the WTC. I knew right at that second we were being ATTACKED!!!

I remained frozen on my sofa felling numb. I didn’t even care about the person I needed to go arrest. At the time he wasn’t a bad guy to me. Just someone who broke the law. Then the ATTACK just kept coming, hitting the Pentagon, then the plane in Penn. It was at that time I remembered that the President was in Sarasota just over the Skyway bridge from us. I thought these people ATTACKING us mean business and they will be going after the President as well. My mind began to run, thinking of what else could happen!! My wife and I ran to our kid’s schools, got our kids home and we all couldn’t even move from the TV until late at night when we couldn’t stay up any longer. However we I went

to bed I only could lay there listening to the TV all night long. What a memory!!! The next morning I finally started to come to the reality that these people really, really, really hate Americans and this is the Holy war that is at hand.

After the incident what I remember is what I believe America needs the most. A coming together and bonding as one body. It was phenomenal what America did to truly become one, it only is a little sad that we can’t keep that sense to stay so strong as it was shortly after the event. I only work on striving to uphold this true American sense of being, myself with each and every person that surrounds me in my life.

To close this flash back, every moment of the rest of my life I will feel so blessed to be an American and how blessed to still have my family with me!!! My only thing left to say is…

May GOD bless those people who lost someone that day and may HE bless America and keep his hand of protection on us all!!!

Jason thank you for allowing me to share this special moment.

Master Tim McCahan

St.Petersburg, Fl


Jason and Dr. Robyn,

I spent 20 years and 20 days in the service of the NYPD.

On September 22,  2000 I retired. I spent about 8 years of my career in Manhattan.

Those buildings were majestic and every time I stood in front of them only one thing used to enter my mind. What if these building ever fell, I always thought that if they fell they would tip over never thinking that they would implode on themselves.  On September 11, 2001 my fears became reality.

When I turned on the TV I saw the first tower fall I. truly believed my brother was dead. My brother Michael worked in the building. I didn’t realize that many of the occupants had enough time to escape.  He was lucky ones to escape without injury.

But the scars of the day remain.  He witnessed people jumping from the floors to escape the fire.   One of my student’s brother wasn’t so lucky, he lost his life in the building. My childhood friend Battalion Chief Orio Palmer lost his life in the building trying to save people and so did a colleague Police Officer John D’Allara. We worked together in the 46 Precinct.   I will never forget the people that lost their lives that day and the rescue people that continue to lose their lives from the toxic fumes that our government told them were safe.  I really do not believe that the whole story is being told and I hope to live long enough to get the true story.

Thank Y ou
Shihan Gary Gione
Elite Defensive Tactics, NY


Hey Jason,

I clearly remember the events of that morning as well. I had also just finished a private lesson and was stopping at a convenience store to grab some breakfast when the first reports came over the radio. I called my wife and asked her to check out CNN and see if she could figure out was going on. She turned on the TV just in time to witness live the second plane impact on the tower. I can still vividly remember how I felt, holding on to my 5-month old daughter, watching the first tower collapse, and wondering what kind of world I’d brought her into. Every protective instinct in me was on fire, to shield my family from that horror. I’d have to say that in light of and maybe because of the events that day, I have tried to appreciate each day for the miracles it reveals, and that I’ve not only grown closer to my family but to God as well.

May our country never have to suffer a wound like that again. May we also never forget.

God Bless America!

Rob K.


Hockessin, DE

Landenberg, PA


Please share your stories…

Modeling Compassion for Children: 4 Easy Hands-On Examples

We often hear that parents must serve as role models for their children. “Monkey See, Monkey Do.” Since the Powerful Word of the month is compassion for all Powerful Words Member Schools, it’s a great time to demonstrate ways to be compassionate at home. After all, when you show kindness, your children will learn kindness, and demonstrate kindness. When you show intolerance, impatience, and injustice, they will learn to behave in the same ways.

Here are some hands-on ways to understand how to pass on the ability to be empathic and compassionate to your children.

1. Compassion for Other Family Members

Scenario: It’s the weekend. Mom and Dad have been doing chores all day long. Both are tired. When they decide to call it quits for the day, Mom offers Dad something cold to drink and they sit together on the couch. Dad massages Mom’s feet after a long day.

Effect: Little Matt sees that both Mom and Dad feel for and understand each other. Little Matt learns what empathy and compassion look like. He also sees the positive effects such kindness has on others.

Teaching Moment: Talk to Matt about the importance of showing compassion to others in the family. Even if you’re tired or even if you’re a child, you can still show kindness is easy, helpful ways. These acts of kindness make people feel good inside– both the receiver and the giver!

Participation: Let Little Matt bring a cookie for Dad or let him massage Mom’s fingers.

These little ways of contributing to others will send the signal to Little Matt that he can make others feel good by showing compassion.

2. Compassion for Animals

Having pets in the home is a great way to teach children compassion.

Scenario: Polly the cockatoo is making a raucous in her stand. Mom checks her out, sees the seed bin empty, and the water cup empty. Mom cleans the containers, places some seeds and pours fresh water.

Effect: Little Matt understands that if pets need and deserve attention.

Learning moment: Explain to Little Matt that the bird became noisy because it couldn’t fend for itself and she was hungry. Just like when he was a little baby, and he was hungry, he would cry. Mom treats Polly as a member of the family who needs caring, Little Matt would treat Polly in the same way.

Participation: Assign Matt to be the “listener” for Polly’s cries or the “food checker” every other day. When able, he can put seeds and pour water into the container.

3. Compassion for Playmates

Scenario: While playing in your backyard, Little Matt’s friend, Tommy, bruises his knee and starts crying. Mom washes his bruises, blowing to keep the pain away, and placing antiseptic to make sure the bruise doesn’t get infected. All this time, Mom explains to Matt what she is doing.

Effect: Little Matt sees the pain in his friend and sees Mom try her best to take the pain away. Again, Little Matt learns empathy and compassion.

Learning Moment: When our friends get hurt, we need to stop what we’re doing and take care of the. That means helping them when they trip or getting an adult when they need some extra assistance.

Participation: Let Little Matt join in blowing the pain away. He can also get the band-aid out of the cabinet or the cotton-ball out of the container.

4. Compassion for Others

Scenario: One of the local charities called and they’re doing a big clothing drive. Mom and Dad start putting their old or unworn clothes into bags and marking them “Charity.” Matt’s Mom explains what she’s doing. Matt’s Dad tells his son that the clothes are going to people who need clothes but are unable to buy them.

Effect: Little Matt sees that his parents participate in giving to charity. He will likely want to join in and help the people in need as well.

Learning Moment: Matt’s parents teach him that there are many children that rely on nice little boys and girls for toys, clothes, and household goods. While he may not like his Sesame Street Comforter Set anymore and he may not read his “board books” anymore, other little boys and girls may love them! What can he give away to help others?

Participation: Matt can put his clothes from last year that he no longer wears, into a bag for charity. His parents tell him that his clothes are going to other little boys who will love everything Matt gives to them! They will be thinking, “thank you, Matt!”

Note: Many of our Powerful Words Member Schools do great charity drives in August! We’d love to have you join in and donate your unwanted clothes and household items!

Each time we take a moment to include our children in the process of giving to others and showing compassion to others, they learn valuable lessons about kindness and empathy that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Start early—start today!

Earth Day in May: Teaching Children That Everyday Should Be Earth Day

It’s May 1st. We’re leaving behind another month of Obama vs Clinton, the woes of Miley Cyrus, and…Earth Day. But while Obama, Clinton, and Cyrus, will all likely get a lot more air time before next April, Earth Day may not be so lucky. As educators and parents, we need to teach children that everyday should be Earth Day– not just April 22nd.

For all those of you who attend a Powerful Words Member School, today marks the beginning of Compassion Month. We’ll be talking about the ways that our children and our teens (as well as ourselves) can show compassion to each other, people across the world who are in need, endangered animals and homeless pets, and yes, our planet.

Kids may think they’re too young to make a difference. Some parents may think their kids are too young as well. But Powerful Parents know better. While young children may not be able to join massive reforestation projects or major clean-up movements, they can contribute in many simple ways. They can start at home. They can start with you. They can start now.

Here are some things that you can teach your kids to do to celebrate Earth Day everyday:

Here are some things that you can teach your kids to do to celebrate Earth Day everyday:

  1. Garbage management. There are many ways to teach kids the value of proper garbage management.
    • Reuse, reduce, recycle. Train them to be on the lookout for the recycling symbol on products you/they want to buy. This is an assurance that the materials used for packaging are environment-friendly and may be recycled.
    • Teach them the importance of separating their garbage. You can even turn this into a game: Let’s see if you can shoot this plastic bottle in the blue recycle can.
    • If there are no trash cans in sight, instead of littering, teach them to bring their trash home.
    • Reuse half-use or lightly used paper for drawing and writing. Explain to your children that paper comes from trees, and if they save paper, they can help save trees.
    • Use reusable or biodegradable containers/bags for their school lunch instead of disposable brown bags or plastic sandwich bags.
  2. Walk. When it’s not too far away and it’s safe, walking is a great alternative to driving. Children can walk to school, to their friend’s house, or to the neighborhood store. You don’t have to use the car everywhere you go. Walking is not only good exercise, it also helps reduce the build-up of carbon monoxide that cars produce. This change therefore doesn’t only affect our health but it can also greatly affect the air we breathe. (Need an alternative? Use the bike!)
  3. Go Organic. Produce grown the organic way helps keep air, water, and soil clean because they don’t use toxic pesticides. There are already a variety of organic foods in the market today – meat, rice, milk, juice, eggs, butter, and a lot more. You can also get some of these items from the local farmer’s market which helps to support local farmers and family-owned farms. Buying and eating these items can offer a healthier solution to processed, mass produced foods and can be better for the environment.
  4. Care for the plants. Plants don’t only make our surroundings look nicer, but they also give us fresh air. Kids should learn to respect them. Don’t: Kick at the bushes, throw plastics on the shrubs, break off the tree branches, or pull at the leaves. A better idea? Plant a tree in your yard! Cultivate a garden! This could be a nice activity to do as a family.
  5. Care for the animals and other living things. Of course we care for our pets. That’s important. But there are other important living things—even the smallest of creatures–like bees, worms, spiders play a critical role in our environment. Bees pollinate flowers. And worms make our soil richer. Spiders can help farmers grow safer crops. All living things bring balance to our world. We need to teach children that just because insects and small creatures don’t take up much space, they still have significant and important jobs—and therefore we must take care of every part of our environment.
  6. Help other kids think Green. Spread the word. Spread the habit. If your kid’s school doesn’t have a green program yet, prompt your child to talk to the teacher about it. Make an activity out of cleaning the park with your kid and his/her friends.
  7. Be informed. Read websites with your child. There are a lot of kid-friendly sites that talk about Earth Day. Some of these sites provide games, crafts and activities for kids to do.
  8. Save water. Though water is continuously being cleaned through our natural water cycle, we use up our fresh water supply faster than the earth can recycle it. So, instead of simply consuming water, kids can help to conserve it.

· Take shorter showers. Leaving the shower 30 seconds earlier can make a big difference.

· Remind them not to leave the faucet on while they’re brushing their teeth or soaping up their hands.

· Check if their bathroom has a leaky faucet or toilet.

  • 9. Save electricity: Generating electricity creates pollution, uses a lot of water and oil, and causes the weather to change (and not in a good way!). So by saving electricity, kids can help save the earth.

· Turn off the lights when no one is in the room.

· Open the windows so it will be cooler, and they won’t need to turn on the air-conditioner.

· Turn off electrical appliances such as computers (don’t forget the monitors and speakers), television, radio and electric fan. In fact, it might be a good idea to unplug these appliances from the outlets when you’re leaving for a long time, because they consume some electricity even when they’re off and plugged in!

These are only a few things that your kids can do to help save our planet. Small steps? Yes. Easy to do? Certainly. But can children really make a difference?

Imagine this. If a thousand children believed that their contribution did not matter, a thousand gallons of water would be wasted every year just by leaving the water flowing while washing a thousand pairs of hands. If just a thousand children chose not recycle a plastic bottle each day, 10 years from now we would accumulate over 3,650,000 more plastic bottles in land fills. That’s an impressive number. However, it’s tiny and just a drop in the bucket. In fact, each day in the US more than 60 million plastic water bottles are thrown away.

Now let’s flip the coin. If a thousand children decide to start making a habit of being earth-friendly, thousands of parks could be cleaned. Thousands of reams of paper (and trees!) would be saved. Thousands of bottles, bags, and cans would stay out of the landfills. And, by spreading the habit, thousands will turn into millions! Yes, children can make a difference.

With family’s help, we can have Earth Day in May. We can celebrate Earth Day everyday.

Some more resources to help children learn about the environment:

Environmental Kids Club

Environmental Education for Kids

The Green Squad: Kids taking action for greener, healthier schools

Nature Challenge for Kids:

Greena, Planet Slayer: Animated teen that saves the earth

Natural Resources Defense Council: Lots of links to help kids save the planet

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Idol Gives Back: A Way to Teach Gratitude

Sometimes, the media can be used for the power of good. Perhaps some of your children stayed up to watch “Idol Gives Back” last night, a star-studded charity show used as a vehicle to raise millions of dollars for several children’s charities around the world.

Since we’re focused on gratitude month in all Powerful Words family member schools, it’s important to find examples of giving and giving back. As you will see in the last week of this month’s curriculum, we will be talking about what charity and giving back has to do with gratitude. Questions such as; Can giving back feel as good as receiving? What does giving have to do with gratitude; and How do you feel inside when you give to someone and it’s appreciated? Will help the children tie gratitude to giving, not just receiving.

These questions, along with others, will help children, who are so often focused on “what’s in it for them” to focus on others who don’t have as much. This helps in several ways; (1) They recognize how blessed they are; (2) They see that while they may not have everything they want, they have what they need; (3) They can discuss the “people in need” that many are working to help and support across the world; (4) They can see powerful words such gratitude, charity, citizenship, and empathy in action; and (5) They can connect the power of giving to the powerful word, charity.

Idol Gives Back:

Charities: The Children’s Defense Fund, The Global Fund, Make It Right, Malaria No More, Save The Children, U.S. Programs and the Children’s Health Fund.

Celebrities: Annie Lennox, Celine Dion, Bono, Carrie Underwood, Brad Pitt, Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker, Billy Crystal, Dane Cook, Kiefer Sutherland, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Jennifer Connolly, Elliott Yamin, Fantasia and Amy Adams, Reese Witherspoon, Miley Cyrus, Mariah Carey, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Fergie, Chris Daughtry, John Legend, Snoop Dogg, Maroon 5, Heart and Gloria Estefan.

If your children did watch some or all of Idol Gives Back, take the opportunity to talk to them about giving to charity and being grateful. Even if you believe the concept has flaws, you can use the media hype to discuss something very meaningful. Why do they think so many celebrities got involved? What stuck out for them? How do the celebrities give back? Tell them how you feel about giving to others and how you have given of your time, effort, or money to assist others in need. How would they like to help? Perhaps they would like to give some of their money to charity (i.e. allowance or birthday money). Perhaps as one of their spring activities, they’d like to donate their time to a local charity. There are many things they can do, that don’t cost any money at all, that can really help others and fill the heart with gratitude.

In the spirit of gratitude, we thank you.