November 25, 2015

Small N Great

SNG.com logo

Small N Great is a sub-organization of Planet Kidizen, Inc., supporting its overall purpose to support children and families in their efforts to become knowledgeable, caring and active world citizens.

Small N Great is comprised of five (5) programs:

  • Service to Others
  • Community Building
  • Environmental Stewardship
  • Cultural Exchange
  • Personal Excellence

The Service to Others program builds valuable caring muscles in young people, allowing them to think beyond their own wants and needs, and helping them develop mindfulness around the needs of others around them.  This program helps children build many valuable thoughtfulness and consideration skills that are unfortunately in short supply among many of our youth currently and in generations past.

The Community Building program creates opportunities for young people to engage meaningfully in the human-populated environments in which they live and learn.  Students are given assignments such as reading to younger children at the local library, organizing a neighborhood chess or hopscotch tournament, or hosting a town-wide youth talent show at the local high school gymnasium. Activities such as these give students a deeper sense of community-connection and make for a stronger, more vibrant local culture.

The Environmental Stewardship program provides opportunities for young people to protect and sustainably interact with their local outdoor environments as well as supports their understanding of larger, real-world environmental challenges and opportunities.  Learning activities out-of-doors help engender a sense of personal responsibility for safeguarding local parks, beaches, creeks as well as the planet at-large for their good and that of future generations, as well assists in connecting young people with the joy and wisdom that comes with finding their place in the natural world.

The Cultural Exchange program helps young people gain a deeper understanding of their own unique cultural heritage as well as those of other people.  Students gain points in this program by availing themselves of opportunities to discuss their own culture and gain a deeper understanding of other cultures through sharing meals, conversation and in-depth study of various cultures.  This program also enables young people to meet young people from other countries while travelling abroad with their families or through an exchange program.  Language arts studies, dance, music, art, history and geography unique to the host country, are taught via partner organizations abroad.  Through their work with people from other countries, children learn to identify positively with foreign cultures and gain a deeper understanding, comfortability and appreciation for people who are both similar to and different from themselves.

The Personal Excellence program supports young people in their own personal goals, interests and passions.  Whether a child loves to create art, is on a swim team, or is a science wiz, this program supports their growth and development in whatever interests they are pursuing.  Coaches, mentors, and teachers are invited to write notes of encouragement and improvement vouchers that students submit for points in this program.  The added support and encouragement that this program provides helps keep young people stay positively focused on pursuing and improving in their individual areas of interest.

Additional components of the Small N Great programming, as provided via the SmallNGreat.com website, are Test Your Inner Strength quizzes which are fun yet thought-provoking multiple choice questions having to do with age-appropriate life decisions, and the Choose Your Path interactive videos which are a series of videos that allow members to view the beginning segment of a story and then select subsequent middle and end options depending on how the viewer thinks the story should develop.  Each video teaches a different lesson on how to make the wisest and best decisions in challenging situations.

 

Sample Small N Great Curriculum

Please Note: 

Each Small N Great activity that a member participates in MUST be participated with at least one adult member of the child’s family or with a legal caregiver / guardian or parent-approved adult, teacher or mentor.

If you have an interest in participating in an activity other than one of the ones listed here, please submit it in writing to the Small N Great Team for program approval and the possible awarding of program points:  [email protected]

 

Activities to earn points toward the Service to Others Global Achievement Badge

1 point awarded per activity. 10 program points required to earn the Badge.

Two ways to earn points:

1)  Write essay of how you assisted someone who needed help — Group 1 (aged 3-7) – 10 words, Group 2 (aged 8-12) – 50 words, Group 3 (aged 13-17) – 100 words, Group 4 (aged 18+) – 1,500 words

or

2)  Submit Photo Essay with written captions or Video of the beginning or mid-stage implementation of your plan to help solve broader societal challenges of socio-economic disadvantage at the local, regional, national or international level

The following activities qualify for the Service to Others Badge:

  • Volunteer at Soup Kitchen
  • Do puzzles with disabled/handicapped people
  • Cook a meal and deliver to housebound person
  • Deliver groceries to housebound person
  • Read book to elderly person(s) in nursing home
  • Sing songs or play piano to elderly in nursing home
  • Wheel a handicapped person around a park or track
  • Learn sign language and communicate with hearing impaired person
  • Learn braille or otherwise assist a visually impaired person
  • Volunteer time at local hospital
  • Read book to child(ren) at local children’s hospital
  • Cook meal and bring to family with a new baby
  • Bring bag of groceries to family in financial need
  • Cook meal for family in need
  • Tutor another child in an education area in which they need help
  • Organize a new corporate-matched donation to the charity of your choice

 

Activities to earn points toward the Community-Building Global Achievement Badge

1 point awarded per activity. 10 program points required to earn the Badge.

Two ways to earn points:

1)  Write essay of how you assisted someone who needed help — Group 1 (aged 3-7) – 10 words, Group 2 (aged 8-12) – 50 words, Group 3 (aged 13-17) – 100 words, Group 4 (aged 18+) – 1,500 words

or

2)  Submit Photo Essay with written captions or Video of you building up your community

The following activities qualify for the Community-Building Badge:

  • Hold a feed your neighbor day where you cook your favorite meal and invite your neighbors
  • Help organize or volunteer at a local parks and recreation clean-up day
  • Volunteer at a local community hall
  • Volunteer at a local Grange or Grange Farm School
  • Host an international festival
  • Organize a youth talent show at your local High School Auditorium
  • Volunteer at a local fire station
  • Volunteer at a local church
  • Volunteer at a local nursing home. Play chess, cards, board game or puzzles with the residents. Read aloud or play a musical instrument.
  • Hold a benefit for your local fire house
  • Organize a rally for your favorite cause: write essay on your participation in driving awareness of current events, ballot measures, protests, local initiatives, community events.  Publish it on one of your local newspapers.
  • Organize a Block Party
  • Hold a treasure hunt looking for things peculiar to your community
  • Organize a bring your neighbor day at your church
  • Organize a read-a-thon for local preschoolers at the local library, or volunteer at the library
  • Get out the vote activities, youth voting registration
  • Volunteer at Local Family non-profit organizations
  • Visit your State’s Capital – tour the Capital Building and surrounding Government Buildings.  Set up time to meet with a local state legislator, Assemblyperson, or other government worker.  Ask at least 10 good questions about what they do, what they’re currently working on and what their vision is for the geographic area they represent.  Record the conversation.
  • Meet and volunteer with legislators in your State Capitol or in Washington D.C.
  • Participation in the CLOSE-UP and/or GenerationNation programs
  • Help organize a swap meet/book signing/spoken word/hobby day at a local community halls
  • Participate in an international festival in your city or town
  • Book a booth at one of your local fairs.  Share, display or sell something you are involved in. Talk to fair goers about community challenges, opportunities and successes.
  • Organize a spaghetti or crab feed at one of your local churches to benefit the youth program
  • Organize or help out at a book sale at your local library to benefit the Children’s Story Hour

 

Activities to earn points toward the Personal Excellence Global Achievement Badge

1 point awarded per activity. 10 program points required to earn the Badge.

If you have an interest in participating in an activity or focus other than one of the ones listed here, please submit it in writing to the Small N Great Team for approval:  [email protected]

Pick two of these three ways to earn points:

1)  Write essay of how you improved in your chosen area of focus, including a filled-out goal-setting form (see Personal Excellence page on the website) — Group 1 (aged 3-7) – 10 words, Group 2 (aged 8-12) – 50 words, Group 3 (aged 13-17) – 100 words, Group 4 (aged 18+) – 1,500 words

or

2)  Submit Photo Essay with written captions or Video of you practicing, excelling, or improving in the area of focus of your choice

Or

3) Submit a letter from your coach, teacher or mentor describing measured improvements in your technique, form, team play, enthusiasm, execution, sportsmanship, or overall excellence in your chosen area of focus.

Activity in the following areas of focus qualifies for the Personal Excellence Badge:

    • Pop Warner
    • Aquatics
    • computers/technology/programming
    • Soccer
    • Football
    • Go Biz Kids
    • Gymnastics
    • Basketball
    • Swimming
    • Chess
    • Tennis
    • Writing
    • Biking
    • Boating
    • Skiing
    • Snowboarding
    • Track and Field
    • Math
    • Science
    • Literature / poetry / written composition
    • Agriculture
    • Volleyball
    • Field hockey
    • Water polo
    • Ice hockey
    • Music – singing
    • Music – instrument
    • Music – composing
    • Art

 

Activities to earn points toward the Cultural Exchange Global Achievement Badge

1 point awarded per activity. 10 program points required to earn the Badge.

Two ways to earn points:

1)  Write word essay of how you connected with people of other cultures: Group 1 (aged 3-7) – 10 words, Group 2 (aged 8-12) – 50 words, Group 3 (aged 13-17) – 100 words, Group 4 (aged 18+) – 1,500 words

or

2)  Submit Photo Essay with written captions or Video of your exposure to elements of culture other than your culture of origin.

The following activities qualify for the Cultural Exchange Badge:

  • Travel the world and be more than just a tourist.  (Scholarships available for children and families who need and qualify for assistance with international travel expenses).  Go on vacation with your family and spend time at local museums and places that showcase the indigenous culture, history, dance, food, architecture, music, gastronomy, genealogy (how those who inhabit the place got there), landscape/geological aspects, art, textiles of the locale.  Spend time with the locals.  Talk with them about their homes, towns, country.  Ask good questions.  With permission from them, record the conversation to hold on to the special memory.
  • Organize, host or participate in an international dinner – invite kids of other cultures to your home or hold it at a local community hall.  Give everyone present an opportunity to share their unique culture of origin or that of their adopted culture.
  • Learn about the culture of the international location you’re visiting: history, art, gastronomy, architecture, music, dance, geneology (how those who inhabit the place got there)
  • Attend and participate in international festivals locally
  • Attend and participate in cultural dance workshops or classes
  • Attend and participate in local college or university culture seminars or classes
  • Learn and converse in a language other than your first language with people other than your family at least twice per week
  • Eat a local restaurant serving international fare, talking with the chef about the food’s origins

 

Activities to earn points toward the Environmental Stewardship Global Achievement Badge

Two ways to earn points:

1)  Write word essay of how you protected and worked toward the good of the planet: Group 1 (aged 3-7) – 10 words, Group 2 (aged 8-12) – 50 words, Group 3 (aged 13-17) – 100 words, Group 4 (aged 18+) – 1,500 words

or

2)  Submit Photo Essay with written captions or Video of you working toward the good of a natural environment

The following activities qualify for the Environmental Stewardship Badge:

  • Hold a cleanup your local park day
  • Ocean Conservation Learning and Activities with Jean Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment or at one of the participating Ritz-Carlton hotels
  • Organize Recycling efforts at school or at part/time job or at home or in your neighborhood or town
  • Plant a garden in urban neighborhood
  • Start and keep a compost bin or pile
  • Work on alternative energy production science project
  • Labs at science museums
    • Museum of Arts and Sciences
    • Shedd Aquarium
  • Organize or join a local Community Garden Club or plant a community garden
  • While on vacation, participate in an environmental protection project (e.g. release baby turtles into the ocean in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, clean up a local park or beach)
  • Ocean Conservation Learning and Activities
  • Attend a Recycling or Composting seminar at your local waste disposal plant
  • Organize or participate in a local plastic bag ban initiative in your local community.  Make reusable bags and disseminate them to the people in your city or town.
  • Organize or participate in the planting trees in deforested areas.
  • Organize or participate in an alternative energy production program.
  • Purchase and keep alpacas.
  • Begin an apprenticeship at a local farm.  Become a partner/helper with local produce.  Learn the supply chain from farm to table.  Come up with ways to reduce the use of fossil fuels in the shipping and distribution of the produce to stores.  Open or help out at a booth at a local farmers market.
  • Begin an apprenticeship with animals at a local farm or ranch.  Become a partner/helper with the animals at a local farm or ranch.

 

Advanced Projects for Kids Who Earn Their 5 Badges Early in Their Age Group:

  • Plant a Community Garden in Your Area
    1. Get donations from Your Local Garden Supply Stores
    2. Organize your peers to do leg work and involve the community
    3. Plant Gardens with indigenous plants
    4. Research green gardening / harvesting techniques
    5. Sell products at farmer’s markets
    6. Hold a community event to support the garden
    7. Give away meals prepared with veggies to local soup kitchens
    8. Hold local international dinner where everyone brings a dish that has a veggie grown in the community garden
  • Conduct outreach, town halls, focus groups to get info on the needs of your community
    1. Generate awareness of what you’re doing
  • Improve in a personal excellence were listed in your areas of interest
    1. Coach another student in that area of focus
    2. Create an advanced group and recruit committed members to that area of interest

What are your ideas?

How far do you want to take your work in this area?

What are the needs of your community?  Your school?  Your family?  Your neighborhood?