KIDS Consortium's Blog

Current Funding Opportunities for Youth-Led Projects

Posted in General, Service-Learning by KIDS Consortium on July 30, 2010

Now is the time to think about 2010-2011 school year service-learning projects! Here are a few current funding opportunities for youth-led projects:

  • Strong Communities Competition: This competition seeks innovative projects and ideas that engage citizens to steer change and build strong communities. Three winners will receive $5,000, and eight finalists will get to attend the Community Matters 2010 Conference. Community Matters has a special interest in receiving submissions from young people. Apply by August 11.
  • UnitedHealth HEROES Program: This service-learning, health literacy initiative developed by UnitedHealth Group and Youth Service America awards grants of up to $1,000 to help young people create and implement local, hands-on programs to fight childhood obesity. Applications available August 2.
  • Teens can apply for grants to fund their community service ideas by visiting, selecting “See Ways To Help” for one of the 16 issue areas, then clicking “Apply for a Grant.”  Rolling deadline.
  • KIDS Consortium Green Mini-Grants: We will again be offering mini-grants for environmental sustainability KIDS model service-learning projects in New England. Priority will be given to educators who have attended a KIDS Consortium Summer Institute for Educators. Apply by September 13.

There are several email lists and websites that list current grant and competition opportunities regularly. One that has many opportunities applicable to K-12 service-learning is, and you can subscribe to their email list from that page.

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What’s Next?

Posted in Blog, General by KIDS Consortium on June 14, 2010

This blog, launched at the 2010 Student Summit on Service-Learning and sustained through that event by one of the student planners from Lisbon Central School, TJ, along with Will Fessenden of Encompass Marketing and Design, now directs to something longer-term.

It’s still a place to keep you informed about KIDS Consortium’s events and happenings. To connect those who have been to a previous event but aren’t at the current one. To connect those who haven’t been to an event but will come to a future one. To show you the pictures, acknowledge the great organizations and people of all ages involved, to share insights gained from the work and the fun. We’ll bring you highlights of our Summer Institutes soon, and plan to stick around for many more service-learning Summits, trainings, and projects to share here.

In between events, though, this blog can be much more.

Several other blogs cover service-learning and related topics: The National Service-Learning Partnership blog is regularly updated with news links and a wealth of other information related to service-learning. VolunteerMaine’s blog, while focusing primarily on volunteer management issues, includes discussions of youth-led projects and service-learning–including a guest post from one of our own education consultants, Matt Robinson. Service-learning and its components appear regularly in blogs from sources such as Microsoft and other educational and technology companies, other nonprofit organizations, the founder of NYLC, and many teachers.

So what’s next for KIDS Consortium’s blog? It will be service-learning related. That’s what KIDS Consortium is and does. And there’s a lot of fertile ground for discussion. How do you create the collaborative environment necessary for high-quality service-learning? What is service-learning, anyway? How do you develop relationships with community partners (or, for community partners, how do you partner with schools and young people in your work)? What funding opportunities are out there for service-learning projects? This blog seems a good place to open up the discussion about service-learning, share a KIDS Consortium perspective, and hear from you.

Watch for more here, and please let us know what topics you would like to see covered on this blog!

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Beginning Day 2

Posted in 2010 Student Summit, General by tjlisboncentralschool on May 26, 2010

After the opening messages, kids will attend student presentations, in which they will see the work done by other kids to green their school. They will be able to ask questions and gain knowledge on what they can do to go green.

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Day 1 Review

Posted in 2010 Student Summit, General by tjlisboncentralschool on May 25, 2010

The first day of the Summit is over!! What a great day! It engaged, educated and entertained all. Here is a quick Day 1 Recap:

The first day of the Green Schools Student Summit is officially in the history books. And possibly the record books. “Today definitely surpassed all of my expectations,” said TJ Thompson, student marketing coordinator for the summit. “It was a great first day and Lisbon Central School kids are glad to co-host the event with the KIDS Consortium.”

Students started arriving at the University of New Hampshire at around noon.  The opening remarks by Moira Lewerk, an 8th grader from Lisbon Central School, included gracious thanks to KIDS Consortium ( staff, teachers and volunteers.

The first official act of the Summit was a keynote presentation from Cameron Wake. Wake is a research associate professor with the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space at the University of New Hampshire. He also has a joint appointment in the UNH Department of Earth Sciences.

Cameron spoke to the kids at the summit about how you can be green, but to really help the environment, you also must have sustainability. When asked about his message to the students and educators attending the summit, he responded, “My message is, the future is you. We have a lot of problem that need to be addressed. A big part is, yes we are greener, but we must learn to be more sustainable. The message is it is about you and what you will do to make a difference.”

Cameron’s interactive presentation engaged the students and teachers, asking them to take a look at the world in which they live and suggesting they ponder important questions.  Cameron asked students to consider “what it means to be environmentally friendly” and how we can all be more energy efficient.

Following the keynote, participants took part in an icebreaker activity in which kids were given cardboard puzzle pieces, asked to decorate them, and then had to put them together as a team. Everyone participated, kids and adults alike.

The afternoon was filled with student presentations, where kids showed off their work to green their schools. Each presentation included time for questions from the audience, which led to good discussions of issues such as composting school cafeteria waste, encouraging school-wide participation in recycling programs, and other environmental topics.

Following a dinner break, various student musicians from across New England performed.  Many of the acts and songs performed contained a message of “staying green.” One particular hit was a guitar duet by Luke Cloutier and Albert Tulli IV from Lisbon Central School. The duo performed “Rise Today” by Alter Bridge. “It’s Not a Christmas Story,” a green take on the 12 Days theme performed by Longfellow Elementary School students, was a real crowd-pleaser.

The “Green Schools Got Talent” show was a great ending to a great first day of the 2010 Green Schools Student Summit!

Teambuilders and more

Posted in 2010 Student Summit, General by KIDS Consortium on May 25, 2010

The second session of student presentations is in progress. The Summit has been flowing very smoothly. We can feel the excitement in the air. (The heat of the day can be felt too…it’s a very sunny, hot day for the Summit!)

Teambuilding activities are always a fun highlight of the Student Summit on Service-Learning. School teams mix and meet each other.

We won’t give away too much…more teams participate in the teambuilders tomorrow.

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First Round of Student Presentations

Posted in 2010 Student Summit, General by KIDS Consortium on May 25, 2010

The first of four sessions of student presentations is complete. Twelve teams of students presented the results of their service-learning projects.

Hilltown Charter's presentation

Students from Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School presented in the first session.

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Environmental Scavenger Hunt

Posted in 2010 Student Summit, General by tjlisboncentralschool on May 25, 2010

An Environmental scavenger hunt has just begun here at UNH. In the exhibit hall, all the project boards from all of the present schools are set up. Kids were given a paper with clues to which project they need to find. When they believe they found the correct project, they mark that project’s number on the paper. Papers will be corrected at the end of the hunt and prizes will be awarded following dinner. The winners will be posted at that time.

Scavenger Hunt

Attendees search the exhibits for the facts on the green-themed scavenger hunt.

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Q and A Session with Cameron Wake

Posted in 2010 Student Summit, General by tjlisboncentralschool on May 25, 2010

Question: “What is your message to the students and educators that are here?”

Answer: “The future is you. We have a lot of problems that need to be addressed. A big part is…Yes we are greener, but we have to discuss how to be more sustainable. It’s going to require the generation that is coming up now to address that challenge. The message is it is about you and what you will do to make a difference.”

Q: “What would it take to get people to realize what they were doing to the environment and change their ways?”

A: “I would argue for our society to act it will require transformational change. The change is going to start and be driven by those educated about the issues and the solutions. Much of the discourse in this county is about one side or the other side. Instead of taking a side-based approach to the problem, address it with facts and solutions.”

Q: “What role can service-learning play in educating students about climate change?”

A: “Kids need resources to get things started. Getting students involved in service-learning is very important. There is theory and there is practice. Service-learning enables students to practice and learn as opposed to hear a theory.”

Q: “How did you get interested in learning more about and sharing you knowledge about climate change with others?”

A: “I think it is an evolution over time. As a kid I rode a bicycle. I lived in a place where I could ride a bicycle. My desire to inform and to act was a progression. The more I look into how the earth’s  climate has changed, the more I have looked into how human action has contributed to the change in climate. I feel I have a viewpoint that is informed by the date and the facts which are driven by my desire to change something.”

Cameron Wake, Keynote Speaker

Posted in 2010 Student Summit, General by KIDS Consortium on May 25, 2010

Cameron Wake’s keynote at the Green Schools Student Summit taught a lot about climate change and what young people can do to achieve environmental sustainability.

Cameron Wake, Keynote SpeakerCameron Wake, Keynote Speaker

His presentation was very fun and educational and we were able to do a short Q and A session with him. The session will be posted later.

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Cameron Wake’s Presentation Going Very Well

Posted in 2010 Student Summit, General by tjlisboncentralschool on May 25, 2010

Cameron is doing a great job. All the kids seem to like him. His presentation is very interactive and enjoyable. Cameron’s current question: What is sustainablility?

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Welcome to the 10th Annual KIDS Consortium Student Summit

Posted in 2010 Student Summit, General by KIDS Consortium on May 25, 2010

Students set up the Memorial Union Building at the University of New Hampshire’s Durham campus for a great Green Schools Student Summit.


TJ from Lisbon Central School will be posting most of the news today. The Environmental Club at Lisbon Central School planned and is hosting the entire program.

Green Schools in chalk

Amazing artistic work from Lisbon Central Schools' Matt.

School Names

Students from schools thoughout the Northeast were welcomed to the Student Summit.

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Summit to Start Soon

Posted in 2010 Student Summit, General by tjlisboncentralschool on May 25, 2010

Everyone’s very excited: The 2010 Green Schools Student Summit will start soon! Registration is moving along smoothly, and all the schools are getting their project boards set up.

The opening speeches will begin momentarily, followed by a video tour of UNH and the keynote speaker, Cameron P. Wake. A Q and A session with Cameron will be posted after his presentation.

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Portland and Falmouth Students Take Downeaster to Summit

Posted in 2010 Student Summit, General by KIDS Consortium on May 25, 2010

Student teams from Longfellow Elementary School, Lincoln Middle School, and Falmouth Middle School boarded the Amtrak Downeaster early this morning to travel “green” to the Student Summit on Service-Learning, hosted this year at the University of New Hampshire, Durham campus.

Students waiting to board train

Longfellow Elementary students waiting to board the Downeaster at the Portland Amtrak station

“I’m excited to be taking the train,” said Elizabeth Meahl, a teacher at Longfellow Elementary School. Her team and the two others decided to take the train to reduce their carbon footprint in their travels to this year’s Student Summit. Teachers and students were looking forward to the event, where they will present the results of their environmental service-learning projects. “I’m excited to see the presentations,” Ms. Meahl added.

The Lincoln Middle School students worked this year to replace Styrofoam trays in their cafeteria with cardboard trays. They brought a stand that they use to collect the trays for recycling in the cafeteria.

Lincoln Middle School students board the train with their props

The Lincoln Middle School team brought along their exhibit on the train from Portland to UNH.

“It’ll be a fun experience. I haven’t done this before,” said Christine M., a fifth-grader in Elizabeth Meahl’s class at Longfellow Elementary School. She hopes to ask the other students at the Summit about things they’re doing in their classrooms.

Falmouth team at the Amtrak station

The Falmouth team was excited to take the train to begin their Student Summit experience.

Welcome to the KIDS Consortium blog

Posted in 2010 Student Summit, General by KIDS Consortium on May 22, 2010

The new KIDS Consortium blog will launch in conjunction with the 2010 Student Summit on Service-Learning, which will take place May 25-26, 2010. Check back for more information about service-learning, Green Schools projects, the Student Summit, and more. For more about KIDS Consortium, visit our website,, or just check the About link above.

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