Kids' voices are powerful. They think about what CAN be done, instead of why it can't. That's why I love it when I'm asked "what can I do to help?"
It's a great question, with some great answers.
For kids, I think the easiest thing to start with is to share their passion with classmates, because they're already friends. Kids can talk about the difficulties orangutans or elephants or rhinos (or whatever animal you're interest in) are facing. They can share their knowledge through class projects or reports.
Kids should look outside their school, too, and think about friends or family that are in other social circles. They can help spread ideas too.
Another powerful method is to share stories. Kids can write a status on Facebook or send a letter to newspapers. They can educate people around them, especially their parents.
I agree wholeheartedly with a young anti-ivory activist from Hong Kong that I wrote about in February 2013, Celia Ho, who believes young people's voices can be far more powerful than grown ups.
It's true. Young people’s voices are always noticed by others.
But the first step is to care and make global connections. To know that their ideas matter and that they DO have power. That's why I write. To help folks care.
While my story of Orangutan Houdini doesn't deal directly with current threats to orangutans in the wild, teachers can connect the story with current issues such as loss of habitat due to palm oil production. Many of these topics are included in my Teacher's Guide to Orangutan Houdini (available on my website here).
I'll be speaking on Making Global Connections at Bear Pond Books this Saturday, January 24, 2015.
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