One World Children’s Fund (OWCF) [http://www.oneworldchildrensfund.org/] is powered by Champions. How so? The Champions are U.S. residents who, in their travels around the world, have come across grassroots programs that are making a real difference to disadvantaged children. They are eager to help, but how? That’s where OWCF comes in. Their Champion Program [http://oneworldchildrensfund.org/model.html] builds partnerships between effective local programs and the fundraising Champions. OWCF screens each project carefully, shares best practices with the Champions, and ensures that donations are tax deductible and that 100 percent goes directly to the project.
OWCF co-founder Patricia “Savitri” Burbank suggests, “Some grandparents give a donation in the grandkids’ name during the holiday season and give the grandkids a special card from OWCF telling them how the donation helps children. If you would like to do this, send a note to email@example.com.” More information on OWCF activities or becoming a Champion is in their newsletter [http://oneworldchildrensfund.org/OWCF_2009_Newsletter.pdf].
Wise men say…
Tips for smart holiday shopping (if you’re already tapped out after Black Friday, remember them for next season):
• Allocate a certain amount for each person and don’t exceed your total budget.
• Look online first for special internet prices offered by many big-name stores.
• Pay cash when possible, and only charge what you can pay off at the end of the month.
• Model good buying habits for your grandchildren and don’t overspend.
• Consider something sentimental you can make instead of buying trendy gadgets.
• Do family activities over the holidays that take the focus off spending.
• Starting December 26, stock up on wrapping paper and cards for next year (stores offer deep discounts on these items immediately after the holidays).
• Put money aside for holiday purchases ahead of time [OK, something to do next year for sure!]
Read to succeed
Too many of today’s teens will be at a disadvantage in tomorrow’s job market because of their poor reading habits. That’s the conclusion of a report by the National Endowment of the Arts [http://www.arts.gov/research/ToRead.pdf] and as reported by Bob Thompson of The Washington Post [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/18/AR2007111801415.html].
“We are doing a better job of teaching kids to read in elementary school,” says NEA chairman Dana Gioia in the Post report. “But once they enter adolescence, they fall victim to a general culture which does not encourage or reinforce reading. Because these people then read less, they read less well. Because they read less well, they do more poorly in school, in the job market and in civic life.”
“What will these kids do when they grow up? And what can grandparents do to stop America from becoming a nation of burger flippers talking about nothing on their cell phones?” asks Jonathan Micocci, president of GRAND Media.
Let’s get creative! GRAND readers, how can we make a difference in the reading lives of our grandchildren? And on a grander scale, what can we do as a society to motivate and prepare literate generations ahead? Send your ideas to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll feature as many as we can in a future issue.