"We must remember that one determined person can make a significant difference, and that a small group of determined people can change the course of history."—Sonia Johnson
Should you ever want to change the world, I mean really change it, I'd suggest forming committees of children to sit around the table and collectively create a plan to turn lemons into lemonade.
They are the most compassionate and creative creatures I have come to know.
My fifth-graders' hearts are heavy for the people in Japan. Their first concern was for a fellow classmate who moved here from Japan two years ago.
"Is your family OK?" "How about your friends?" were a couple of questions asked as he made his way to his seat the day after the earthquake and tsunami.
With sadness, he reported that although his friends and family were all fine physically, many lost their homes and furniture was damaged. The earthquake and tsunami had taken quite a toll on the community he left, he said.
These children know how to wrap their arms and minds around the most unfortunate circumstances and find that silver lining to even the darkest cloud or, better yet, create sunshine in a place where none was shining.
It was in the goodwill of children's hearts that "Kid's Hour" was born in my third-grade classroom two years ago.
I was sharing information about "Earth Hour," which started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia. Then, 2.2 million people and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour— starting at 8:30 p.m.—to take a stand against climate change.
More than 50 million people across 35 countries have since participated.
Global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge, the Colosseum and the Eiffel Tower have stood in darkness as symbols of hope for a cause that becomes more important as our awareness grows.
"What about kids who have to go to bed before 8:30? They don't get a chance to participate?" one of my students asked.
"That's really not fair," said another.
"Well, what can we do about that?" I asked.
"Let's have our own "Earth Hour" and we'll call it "Kid's Hour," a student suggested.
The kids were crazy with enthusiasm. They loved the idea that they created something new and liked the idea of supporting "Earth Hour" with their own spin.
We created a "business" called K60—Kids Make a Difference in an Hour, with a business plan, and set forth to round up 5,000 people to participate.
Students spread the word not only at Greenbrook, but within the district and to families and friends, some reaching as far as Norway.
I have some of the same students in my class this year as fifth-graders.
"We are going to do Kid's Hour again, right?" they asked.
So, K60 is up and running this year and we are asking for your help!
One day before "Earth Hour" on Friday, March 25, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., or at another time that works for you, the students at Greenbrook Elementary are asking you to turn off all non-essential power.
Let's help these students reach (and exceed) their new goal of having at least 6,000 people participate.
Leave a comment on our blog or on this story to let us know you will participate. Be sure to let us know how many people will participate.
Let's show these children that when they put their mind to doing something, great things can happen. They can make a difference, one hour at a time.
"And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time." — Libba Bray