The Kids Guide to Service Projects - Barbara A. Lewis

Kids Guide to Service Projects Cover Page
"Helping Kids Help Themselves" is the perfect way to describe this book in a nutshell. The Kids Guide to Service Projects, by Barbara Lewis, is a great resource for a teacher or other childrens' group leader in need of group projects as it tells how one person CAN make a difference and can help a child sort through creative ideas to find their passion. Within the first few pages, I thought 'this book has that often-used quote, "never doubt that a small (no pun intended) group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it's the only thing that ever has" written all over it.'

Project ideas are divided into topical sections (safety, friendship, health, homeless people, etc) and with such environmental suggestions as adopting a zoo animal to ensure that its living costs are covered, to creating a local recycling ordinance, to planting trees. Each chapter also includes contact information for local organizations working directly on the issues if you need more information. Some of the ideas can seem a bit cheesy ("trim a mitten tree" or the "crime clue box"), but then again from a kids point of view may seem like the perfect thing to do.This is not a book to be read straight through, cover to cover, but rather can be a good resource to jog ideas of what to do in your local community. The book is full of tons of ideas on what someone can do when it comes to getting started, but the HOW of accomplishing the project, well, that is up to you. While saving the planet and be daunting and sometimes downright depressing, this book gives bite-sized ways that students can change their environment, and their community for how they see that the world should be.

The author, Barbara Lewis, is a teacher in Utah who has taken on the challenge of looking outside the walls of her classroom to help inspire more than her select students. In case you're wondering whether any of this stuff is possible, Lewis' students alone have won several awards, including, two President's Environmental Youth Awards, the Arbor Day Award, the Renew America Award, and the A Pledge and a Promise Environmental Award. Whew, its amazing they have time for anything else.

Kids Guide to Service Projects is also the recipient of the Books for the Teen Age award of the New York Public Library and the Notable Children's Trade Books award of the Children's Book Council.
For more information, you can find the book online at
The publisher, Free Spirit Publishing, includes a free excerpt from the book for you to sample:

Free Spirit Publishing is a member of the Green Press Initiative, which prints its books on 30% post-consumer waste.