Random Act of Kid-ness: Fresh Lemonade!

This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Sioux City, Iowa, where community members are setting up lemonade stands to raise money for their local Children’s Museum.  Children around the area are invited to participate and set up their own lemonade stand to get their community involved with this random act of kindness.  Stands were located in front of the Hy-Vee on Gordon Drive.

We love reading about community involvement and the efforts made towards creating a new, educational environment for children.  You can read the full article here. As always, let us know if you know a kid who has done a Random Act of Kid-ness, and we might feature her or him next week!

Random Act of Kid-ness: Sleeping in Cold to Raise Money for Homeless

Homeless simulation influences kids to raise more money

This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Dayton, IN, where 23 kids slept in cardboard boxes outdoors to raise money for the homeless. The kids are part of the Overhaul Youth Group from Dayton United Methodist Church, and they got sponsors to help them raise enough money- over $1400- to fill a food truck for the local homeless population. Their youth pastor Austin Bender said:

“A lot of them said they were just thankful for so many little things, like a bed or warmth.”

Because of this, the kids were even more determined to raise money because they realized how much they take for granted that homeless people live without.

To read more about this story, click here. As always, if you have suggestions for our next RAK, let us know!

Random Act of Kid-ness: Recycling Old Markers

This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from San Rafael, CA, where students in Mr. Land’s class at Sun Valley School decided to take action so that the markers they use every day don’t end up in landfills. They decided to contact Crayola and let the company know that discarded plastics, like those found in Crayola markers, is wasteful and unhealthy for the environment. The students are proposing a take-back program so the markers get re-purposed instead of becoming pollution. Some of the Sun Valley students said:

“I love your markers, but I’d like to tell you it’s polluting. So can I please send some of your markers back? I love your product, but hate pollution,” Zachary, age 9.

“I want to let you know that I am not a useless little kid. I can make a difference! By telling you to recycle your pens,” Dante, age 10.

”Will we ever be able to fix the hole in the ozone layer? I don’t like pollution because it hurts the Earth,” Georgia, age 7.

“If we all came from the Earth… Then why are we hurting it so much? Earth is all we have left,” Olivia, age 11.

The students started a petition on change.org here, and you can watch a slide show about this petition here.

We think this kind of action is great! We hope you get all the signatures you need and help save the environment!

Staff Spotlight: Sasha Karlova, Visitor Experience Manager/Arts Educator

It’s time again to meet another Zimmer staff member. Say hello to Sasha, our Visitor Experience Manager/Arts Educator!

Name: Sasha Karlova
Position: Visitor Experience Manager/ Arts Educator
A little bit about her: Sasha received a BA in fine art from the University of California, Santa Barbara. However, she started her art education at the age of eight and continued taking art classes at Pasadena Art Center while

020attending Fairfax High School Visual Arts Magnet. During her stay at UCSB she participated in several group art shows and was head curator of the 2009 Undergraduate Art Show in which she also exhibited her work. She has been a yearly muralist at the Pasadena Calk Festival since 2005 and interned with the Light Bringer Project, a non-profit arts organization. She continues to make art and exhibits her work whenever she gets a chance. An alumni of the Zimmer’s arts education outreach program, youTHink, Sasha loves sharing her enthusiasm for art with children and families here at the Zimmer.

Childhood hero: Darkwing Duck

Take me through a day in the life of Sasha at the Zimmer.
Each day at the Zimmer is different. That is something that I love about my job! I usually come in between 9/9:30 or 8:30 on Wednesdays for VIB hour! Then I walk through the museum turning on exhibits and lights and make my way to the kitchen. I feel like I’m waking the museum up as I turn everything on. Then it’s back upstairs to turn on the music, check my email and help at the front desk.  On Thursdays I skip my usual morning routine and head straight to the art room to teach Messy Masterpieces (I wear my artist clothes that day). The class is so much fun! It’s so amazing to see each child experience art in their own way! The rest of the day can be a mix of working at my desk, helping at the front desk, facilitating Open Art, walking around the museum to restore exhibits and make sure everything is safe and fun , or teaching crEATe – one of our baby classes that uses edible materials to introduce babies to art! At the end of the day I can usually be found resetting our exhibits or at the front desk waving goodbye to our visitors.

What’s your favorite exhibit at the Zimmer?
It’s so hard to pick a favorite exhibit! I have so much fun in all of them! But… if I HAVE to choose I think I’d pick the Mann Theater. Since I spend a lot of time near that exhibit I always get to see fun plays and performances put on by our visitors. I am always amazed by how creative kids can be with just a costume, a stage and their imagination. I also love to see how children and parents play together here. This exhibit is also my favorite because that is where Friday Sing Along and Freeze Dance happens!

What is the most memorable thing you have been involved in at the Zimmer?
It’s difficult to pick just one most memorable thing since we do so many great things here at the Zimmer. If I look back at this year something that really stands out is participating in the LA Marathon 5K to raise money for the museum and our programs including youTHink. This event stands out because I had a chance to talk to so many people and tell them why the Zimmer and youTHink were important to me personally. It gave me a chance to bond with my coworkers, get to know our visitors better, and I had a great time running in the rain with so many dedicated people! I’m looking forward to fund raising and running again this year in March. If you want to donate to my cause you can do so here. You can make my first donation for this upcoming year!! 😀

Thanks, Sasha! Stay tuned for our next spotlight!

Random Act of Kid-ness: Unity Day

This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Ardmore, OK, where students from Lincoln Elementary School took a stand against bullying on Unity Day. Unity Day was created by the Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights National Bullying Prevention Center as a day that creates awareness about bullying. Activities encouraged include wearing orange and pledging to end bullying. Fourth-grader Rida Malik said:

“You need to be respectful of others because when you are respectful, others will be nice to you.”

Read more about this great story here.

At the Zimmer Children’s Museum, we know that creating a culture of kindness is essential in early childhood education.  Join us the week of Sunday, October 21 – Friday, October 26 for Cool To Be Kind Week in recognition of National Anti-Bullying Awareness Month as we encourage children to develop empathy and compassion through stories, songs, arts & crafts, and more! More information here: http://zimmermuseum.org/programs.html

Random Act of Kid-ness: Petition to End the Sexualization of Girls in the Media

This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Walterville, Maine, where 14 year old Julia Bluhm started a petition on Change.org to get Seventeen Magazine to stop manipulating images of girls’ bodies. Manipulated images can contribute to eating disorders, depression and low self-esteem among girls as young as 8, so Julia hoped that her petition would help curb some of these very serious problems.

Julia Bluhm of Waterville, Maine, holds up a copy of Seventeen magazine as she leads a protest outside Hearst Corp. headquarters in New York in May. Seventeen's Editor-in-Chief Ann Shoket responded to the campaign in the August issue with a letter acknowledging readers' concerns and vowing never to alter girls' bodies or faces, giving Bluhm more than she'd asked for.

Her petition worked, because magazine editor Ann Shoket has made a promise to Julia that if Seventeen does manipulate images, they will post before and after pictures on the magazine’s Tumblr for full transparency. Shoket also wrote up a “body peace treaty” that says the magazine will always feature healthy girls and models, regardless of clothing size.

While Julia and her fellow bloggers and petitioners do not see Ann’s response as a total victory, they are working hard to make even more progress. They have already started another petition targeting Teen Vogue.

We love when kids take a stand for what they care about! Read more about Julia’s story here.

Do you know a kid working hard for what he or she believes in? Let us know!

Random Act of Kid-ness: YOUTH!

This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes all the way from Indonesia! Two girls named Fara Shabrina Muntu and Farah Amalia started their own nonprofit called YOUTH!, which stands for Young United Through Humanity! From their website:

What’s our cause? A better community. [Whether] its through promoting children’s rights, fighting poverty, raising awareness of the environment, working for gender equality, and or many more. Again, we strive to unite the youths. 

YOUTH!’s first project in May 2011 was called Buku Untuk Mereka, meaning “Books for Them.” During this project,  the girls collected 1,684 books for kids in Kaimana, West Papua (far East of Indonesia). Wow!

As always, if you have suggestions for future random acts, please let us know!

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“Once you begin to acknowledge random acts of kindness – both the ones you have received and the ones you have given – you can no longer believe that what you do does not matter.” -Dawna Markova