Great Ways for Kids to Make a Difference

Get Inspired
Today’s kids don’t need to wait to be the change they want to see in the world. Girls – and boys, too – can take inspiration from the remarkable tales of 50 young women under age 20 in Rad Girls Can, the third book in a series from the best-selling East Bay author-illustrator duo Kate Schatz and Miriam Klein Stahl. The profiles cover historic and well-known figures, such as Anne Frank and Malala Yousafzai, but also introduce lesser-known but no less impressive change-makers including a 13-year-old who created an anti-cyberbullying app and a Syrian teen who rescued 20 refugees from a sinking boat and went on to compete in the Olympics. Ten Speed Press, 2018. $16.99.
Get Involved
Many of us want to model community service for our children, but it can be tough to find volunteer opportunities that welcome kids. National nonprofit Doing Good Together makes it easy by identifying volunteer gigs that welcome kids and families. From sorting food and cooking meals to cleaning up creeks and working at community events, the organization’s website and subscription list offer monthly opportunities in the Silicon Valley and East Bay. There are also ideas for at-home service activities. FREE. .
Start Young
Have fun while teaching your kids to make a difference with the Kindness Crate from Mountain View’s KiwiCo. The kit, for ages 5-8, includes a book about 4-year-old Alex Scott, who started Alex’s Lemonade Stand to fight pediatric cancer, plus crafts to help your child start his or her own lemonade stand: a DIY chalkboard shop sign, lemon eraser and cash register with a working calculator. Twenty-five percent of sales from the crate will be donated to Alex’s foundation, and your child is encouraged to donate her proceeds, too. $32.95.
Reward the Right Stuff
Which of your child’s traits make you proudest? Is it their curiosity, courage, kindness, patience or gumption? Reward these virtues – and 43 others – with a gorgeous certificate from the Patagucci Institute. The brainchild of San Francisco educational therapist Terry Regan, the posters are designed to acknowledge individual strengths and deepen personal growth. Each certificate includes a letter from the “headmaster,” and both posters and letters can be personalized for your child. $20-24. .
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