It Takes Courage, Examples and Tools to Stand Up
The news has been full of tragedy lately, stories of children taking their own lives because they were bullied fill our newspapers and TV sets. Part of that tragedy is that in many cases other children and even some adults knew that a child was in serious danger, and did nothing about it. Why are there so many bystanders?
We went to a church service last Sunday where the pastor asked people in the pews to reflect on the last time they did something for someone else. "What inspired you to do what you did?" he asked. He didn't want to hear what people had done, instead wanting to have people in the congregation share what had inspired them to do something. The question that I added in my own reflection was "What allowed or empowered you to stand up and do whatever it was you did?" For this month's newsletter, I wanted to share some great resources that help parents, teachers, organization leaders and children to become upstanders instead of bystanders.
Also in This Newsletter: The World Needs Your Kid
We've often heard parents quip "If only a baby came with a user guide!" Yes, there are tons of books on how to raise children but we've never seen a book like this one! While on the surface it appears to be a book about raising civic-minded, compassionate, and engaged people, there are also a bunch of amazing tips that will help you create a more healthy and loving family. The ideas presented range from profound to simple, from once-in-a-lifetime possibilities to every-single-day practical ideas. If you did nothing but read the 100 Small Actions Every Day compiled at the end of the book, your life and the lives of children you love will change for the better.
Check out The World Needs Your Kid at the Reach And Teach store.
One by Kathryn Otoshi
At Reach And Teach we've learned that behaviors and attitudes associated with bullying are sewn into children's lives before they even reach the age of five which is why we dedicate so much of our web site to anti-bullying resources. Our absolute favorite anti-bullying children's book is an award-winning picture book by Kathryn Otoshi called One.
Using just colors and numbers Otoshi weaves an incredible story of the bully, the bullied, and those on the sidelines. But they don't stay on the sidelines for long! And, unlike many tales where the bully gets pummeled in the end, in this story, the bully ends up getting included, befriended, incorporated, into the whole group. It just takes ONE to stand up for another and more often than not, that ONE will be surrounded by others who were just waiting for the chance to stand up. Check out One at the Reach And Teach store.
Real Kids, Real Stories, Real Change
All too often these days we hear people say "There aren't any real heroes any more!" Really? There are lots of them! A whole book full of young heroes can inspire young people to stand up and Real Kids, Real Stories, Real Change is just that book! Our favorite in this realm used to be The Doggy Dung Disaster and Other True Stories AND... this is actually that book, with a new title and some new stories.
10-year-old Jean Dominic who won a battle against pesticides, 11-year-old Tilly who saved people from a Tsunami, 13-year-old Bethany who lost her left arm to a shark but became a competitive surfer, and finally, 12-year-old Hakura who tackled the Doggy Dung Disaster!
The Kid's Guide to Social Action
Getting young people inspired to stand up is just one part of the equation! What's a kid to do once inspiration hits? One of our favorite resources is called The Kid's Guide to Social Action by the amazing Barbara Lewis. This is a cookbook for civic engagement that is easy to use, comprehensive, practical, and fun. A parent came up to us at a home-schooling conference and told us that the book had become her daughter's "bible" for changing the world. Her daughter wanted to get AMTRAK to install recycle bins at a local station and she used the guide's step-by-step ideas to make it happen. It worked! Now mother and daughter are using it to take on the world together.
50,000 Young People Commit a Year to Changing the World
I started this newsletter asking why there were so many bystanders, but the reality is, there are many upstanders as well. In the last month Free the Children has held two Me to We days in Canada, where thousands of children launched their one year commitment to do something to make the world a better place. The Me to We Day gatherings were like rock concerts, with thousands of screaming kids, thrilled to be part of something amazing. Visit Free the Children and Me to We to learn more about what they're doing and get involved.
You Don't Have to Be Young to Change the World!
Reach And Teach is honored to carry Free the Children and Me to We resources in our store (on the web and in our San Mateo shop). But in case we haven't mentioned it, Reach And Teach is NOT just about children! We also have tools for adults who want to get out there and raise some.... Well, the title of this book says it all. If you're ready to get out there and get involved in "Direct Democracy" we've got the book for you! Click here to check it out.
Quick Links to Great Resources for Upstanders
Here are three take-aways from this newsletter:
Here then is a list of resources we recommend:
- The world needs your kid and needs more upstanders
- The world already has lots of upstanders and we can all learn from their experiences
- There are a lot of resources to help you and the children in your life be upstanders
Change the Story and Pass it On (and get 10% off)!
Let's work together to reduce the number of times people stand by instead of standing up. We do it by example, we do it by story-telling, we do it through encouragement, we do it one-small-or-giant-step at a time. Thank you all for being our partners in peacemaking!
Your coupon code for the next month is [ed: only subscribers to our FREE newsletter get the code] (enter that after you've placed an item in your shopping cart and you'll get 10% off your entire purchase.
If you found this newsletter helpful, and you appreciate what Reach And Teach does, please share this newsletter with others. We need your help to spread the word about what's going on here at Reach And Teach. Tell your friends to use the coupon code for the next month (through November 28) and they'll get 10% off anything purchased through the reachandteach.com web site.
And... one other great way to introduce your friends and family to Reach And Teach is to give them a gift certificate! You can purchase a gift certificate through our web store. We make it easy! For each gift certificate you purchase you designate an email address and we'll send the gift certificate directly to your gift recipient. Use the coupon code and you'll even get 10% off your gift certificates! Click here to order gift certificates.
Live in the Bay Area - Place Order Online and Pick Up at San Mateo CA Store (FREE)
If you live in the SF Bay Area you can place an order through our web site and select "Local Pickup" as your shipping option and just stop by our store at 178 South Blvd. in San Mateo Tuesday through Saturday, 10am to 6pm, and pick up your order.
Blessings of peace,
Craig Wiesner and Derrick Kikuchi