Posts Tagged ‘NPR’

Service of Contests for Kids: We’re All Winners

Saturday, August 18th, 2018

Contests that teach, encourage and reward kids to better themselves and/or their communities help us all.

Author Karen Russell told NPR “New Yorker Radio Hour” listeners on a recent August weekend about how proud she was to treat her family to a pizza when she was a kid. An avid reader, she’d qualified for a free pie with one topping through Pizza Hut’s Book It program. She’d read 10 books.

Books tossed recently at the Millbrook, NY Transfer Station

Book It was founded in 1985. It runs from October 1 to March 31 for children from Kindergarten to the sixth grade and homeschoolers can also participate.

Things may have changed since Russell won her pizza. She read printed books and today many children use Kindles and other tablets. Some may still record their books on paper and some access an app that reaches teachers who track their participation. But the goal remains–to promote reading.

The National Road Safety Foundation [NRSF] conducts contests for kids to help its campaign to drive down the number of traffic accidents, deaths and injuries here. I know about it because a colleague, David Reich, runs and promotes the contests. One is “Drive2Life,” in its seventh year, in which teens submit messages to be turned into public service announcements [PSAs] to warn drivers about the dangers of speeding. This year’s winner, a California 8th grader, received $1,000 and a trip to New York where he collaborated with Emmy Award-winning producers to script, film and edit his winning PSA, “Cars Aren’t Toys.” The PSA aired on “Teen Kids News” on 150 TV stations.

Photo: fcclainc.org

In addition to Drive2Life, there are NRSF Drive Safe student contests in Washington DC, LA, Chicago and Atlanta as well as Safe Rides Save Lives for members of Family Career and Community Leaders of America [FCCLA] and #DrivingSkills101 for Students Against Destructive Decisions [SADD] Chapters nationwide.

Can you name other great contests for children? Did you participate in any when you were a kid?

Photo: washingtonautoshow.com

Service of Crying

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

Photo: avmedia.info

Crying was the subject of Maria Hinojosa’s NPR’s Latino USA program the other week. The focus was the role of crying in Latino life and the discussion focused on whether Latinos cry more than others.

Photo: psychologytoday.com

I didn’t hear the whole show, got lost in a description of a microscopic survey to analyze the number of times Latino men and women cried over a period of weeks, and assume the point of the program was to illustrate that tears come fast and furious for Latinos.

More importantly, it got me to thinking about crying.

Photo: askmen.com

One of the guests on Hinojosa’s show mentioned that crying is the pressure cooker for the soul, that it’s comforting and nice. I disagree. I’m the family weeper, doubt there’s an ounce of Latino blood in me and I’ve always hated not being able to control my tears. I envy people who can and those who never feel like crying. Only an actor in a role that requires tears would find that troublesome.

I don’t mind when other people cry and think it’s healthy that American men feel more comfortable crying these days.

Do you think that certain nationalities are more prone to tears? Is yelling a form of crying? Do you have techniques to stop yourself from crying when you don’t want to? Do you cry easily? What turns on your tear faucet?

Photo: shinemagazine.co.uk

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