Thursday, March 11, 2021

Problems? Be the Change in Your Community by Megan Kopp

Everyone would like to be a hero. All of us complain about things around us.

Mahatma Ghandi worked to make the world a better place... in peaceful ways. It wasn't easy. It took courage and strength.

Along the way Ghandi became the first president of India in 1948, but he'd be the first to say that making change is not easy. After all, if it were easy, it would probably have already been done! And...

He believed that anyone could do it.

Small good deeds are good. But those that effect many more people are better.

Can you work in a community garden? Even if you don't like green beans and squash, you can water the ones in the garden and someone else will love them! Can you help make a neighborhood playground and park? Even if you've outgrown the teeter-totter, there are always toddlers coming along who will find it exciting! Even if you've read all those books on your bookshelf, there are always younger kids who would love to read them, too. Your outgrown shoes will be new and just right for another kid.

When he was eleven, Nicholas started the Gotta Have Sole Foundation, for homeless kids in 35 states.

How do you get started changing your community? Megan Kopp's Be the Change in Your Community (Crabtree Publishing) offers the steps in a plan of action. First, the author says to just look around and see what kinds of things you can do. Can you mow lawns? Find someone or someplace that needs a mower--like a little park or a neighbor. Is there too much trash in your playground? Research the problem. What is the problem? Who will it help? Are there others who can help? How can you sign them up? What will they need to do the job?

Kopp's brief chapters offer color photos of samples of posters and flyers to advertise for workers and users to find out about the project. Especially valuable in her section titled SHARE IT!" in which she explains how posters, flyers, on-line notices and invitations, blogs, photos, and news articles can publicize a project and sustain it over time. Remember: Kids in the middle grades have energy and time and like to get together. Ten fourth graders can probably clean up a playground faster than a crew of city workers! Working in teams is a good way to try new things, meet new people, and learn about how things work in a community.

For youngsters, Author Kopp's how-to book offers an appendix with assistance in the form of websites, the names of volunteer organizations to join, and a bibliography of books for young leaders to be to be the change they want.



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