Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday April 24 is Global Youth Service Day

To be honest, when I sat down earlier this week to write this post, I was totally out of unique, creative, and fun ideas. Now, if my post day was April 22, easy topic: Earth Day. If my post day was April 21, of course: National Creativity Day. Even April 15th, Leonardo Da Vinci's birthday, had some great content for a blog post.
So, let's see, what "day" is April 24th? Of course, I quickly consulted google. Arbor Day could be a good topic. National Pigs in a Blanket Day might not have much content.
Now, this looks interesting - The 20th Annual Youth Services Day. Eureka! We have a topic!

Global Youth Service Day 2009 is April 24-26

Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) is a time in the year when we come together to focus the world’s attention on what young people are contributing every single day.

GYSD is organized by Youth Service America with the National Youth Leadership Council, the Global Youth Action Network, and with thousands of partners in the U.S. and across the world. Learn more about the partnerships that make Global Youth Service Day possible.

During Global Youth Service Day, millions of youth around the world organize community service projects to address the needs of their local communities through service, to be recognized for their contributions, and to be a part of a global youth service movement.

GYSD is held during a weekend every April in over 100 countries in every region of the world.

In 2009, the event will be April 24-26.

From the Global Youth Service Day Website.

From many sources, community service and volunteering is quickly becoming a major trend in this economy. President Obama on Tuesday signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act authorizing a major expansion for funding to federal community service programs. Calling for 25 percent increase in funding, it passed with strong support from both sides of Congress.

What can our children do? What community service projects are there? How can we light a spark to engage a student's volunteering spirit? There are so many areas that need help, but how do our youth find a cause that engages them?

This week, as part of National Volunteer Week, my son's elementary school held an assembly to honor all the PTO volunteers. There was music and beautiful speeches by the students. Each volunteer got a red rose. What a wonderful way to set an example for the children to show that volunteering is honorable and giving thanks to those who do is respectable.

Here are a few of the more current books on community service for kids, which will hopefully begin a life long, character building passion for helping others.

Be the Change! Change the World. Change Yourself.
by Hundreds of Heads (Author)
Tom Brokaw (Forward)
Michelle Nunn (Editor)
David Hume Kennerly (Photographer)
Hundreds of Heads 2006

Very inspiring book that honors many individuals shows how each one of us can make a difference.

Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Journey to Change the World... One Child at a Time

by Sarah Thomson (Adapter)
Greg Mortenson (Author)
David Oliver Relin (Author)
Jane Godall (Forward)
Puffin January 2009

This adaptation for young readers of the bestselling Three Cups of Tea tells the story of Greg Mortenson. The book engages kids into Greg's story by relating the story to kids. An interview of his daughter, Amira, gives a wonderful perspective of the experience through a 12 year-old's eyes.

Listen to the Wind

by Greg Mortenson (author)
Susan Roth (illustrator)
Dial January 2009

This picture book version of Greg Mortenson's Three Cups of Tea is told through the Pakistani children and their experience of the story. Beautiful, captivating illustrations.

77 Creative Ways Kids Can Serve

by Sondra Clark
Wesleyan Publishing House September 2008

Very up-to-date and fun book for kids.


Lori Calabrese said...


I've been hearing so much about Three Cups of Tea lately. It seems to be popping up on a lot of the blogs and sites I visit- I'll have to check it out!

Thanks for the recommendations!

All the best,

Marni said...

I'm reading the Young Reader's Edition of "Three Cups of Tea" with my kids right now. Such a wonderful story, I'm glad they've made it so accessible for kids in that and the picture book. Mine are already talking about saving their pennies to help out.

Another excellent book on making a difference, "Do Hard Things" by Alex and Brett Harris, twin 19 year old books. Written for teens, but it's been incredibly inspiring for me. My son is next in line to read it.