ADVOCATE FOR YOUR CAUSE
What issue does your family care about? Are you passionate about global poverty, empowering girls, environmental sustainability or benefits for veterans? Be an advocate for your cause! Hone in on your passion -- and educate others about the issue -- by exploring creative ways to raise awareness. Here are some ideas to light a firecracker under your campaign!
-Jenny Friedman, Executive Director
CREATING SOCIAL ACTION PROJECTS
Make a Difference.....
Write a newsletter: This is a fun way to provide others with information about your cause, and give your children an excuse for some summertime writing. Include articles, pictures or even activities! Give your readers ideas for taking action. Then send your newsletter to family and friends.
Produce a film: Filmmaking has become a popular way to engage an audience around important issues. Get creative in how you present your information, whether it be a drama, interviews or animation. Watch these moving videos on water, investing in girls and play to see how little films can create momentum around a cause.
Start a blog: Keep your followers up-to-date on your cause and your family's social action. If you're new to blogging, it's easier than you think. Sites like tumblr.com can get you started. Once your blog is set up, just start posting. Perhaps family members will take turns posting once a week, or perhaps you'll research, document and post together.
Host an awareness night: Host an evening (or afternoon) event to educate friends and neighbors about your cause and how they can get involved. Think about contacting a local organization to provide a speaker or materials on the topic. You may decide to add a fundraising component to help a nonprofit whose mission supports your cause.
DEVISING A PLAN FOR OUR PASSION
Talk About It.....
Chat with your children about the value of educating others about social issues.
- What benefits are there to raising awareness about a cause? How do you learn about different issues?
- What are some issues that you think others need to learn more about?
Have a family meeting to discuss what issues you might like to explore -- and the action plan for your campaign.
- Will different family members research different topics, or will everyone have separate roles in researching the same topic?
- What is your ultimate goal?
- Who is your target audience?
- What ways of spreading the word are most doable and appealing?
- What is your timeline? Will this be a one-time project or ongoing campaign
Learn About It.....
I Can Make a Difference: A Treasury to Inspire Our Children by Marian Wright Edelman. Ages 4-8. Literary jewels, these stories, poems and tales inspire children and let them know they have the power to make change.
The Guerilla Art Kit by Keri Smith. Ages 8 and up. A quirky and creative handbook filled with exercises, information, ideas and templates for becoming an artist for social change.
Real Kids, Real Stories, Real Change: Courageous Actions Around the World by Garth Sundem. Ages 9 and up. Profiles of 30 young people who have made a difference.
How To: Start an Awareness Campaign about Your Cause. Check out these 12 tips from dosomething.org, specifically for youth.
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
- Nelson Mandela
"When you know better, you do better."
- Maya Angelou