Gear Up for Earth Day

Kelly Curtis - Professional speaker, writer and counselor*** Monthly Feature Column ***

Positively Speaking
Building Assets in your Kids

by Kelly Curtis, M.S., author of Empowering Youth: How to Encourage Young Leaders to Do Great Things.

On April 22, 1970, our world celebrated its first Earth Day, after the tireless efforts of a forward-thinking US Senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson. Forty years later, with continual growth in global stewardship and eco-friendly initiatives, our planet is on the mend.

Search Institute has identified Service to Others and Responsibility as two of the 40 Developmental Assets. Research shows these are characteristics of healthy, caring, resilient kids. The more assets youth have, the more likely they’ll resist risky behaviors in the future.

There are many ways we can get our kids involved in the excitement of Earth Day.

Pick 5 for the Environment at the EPA.
• Make a compost bin – here are instructions for several projects.
• Work with your school or community agency to host a paper drive.
• Establish a “coat swap” at your school or church, to hand down used winter clothing, and swap to the next size up.
• Plant trees! The Arbor Day Foundation explains the proper way to do so.
• Pick up litter at the park or register your family to participate in the Great American Cleanup.

Even young children can learn about stewardship through earth-friendly craft ideas. Here are a few good places to start:

Planet pals
MailJust4Me Playground
DLTK’s Crafts for Kids

What will you do for Earth Day?

Thanks for joining in to build assets in your kids! I look forward to seeing you again next month for Positively Speaking.

Kelly Curtis is a Wisconsin school counselor and author of Empowering Youth: How to Encourage Young Leaders to Do Great Things. To read more about Kelly, please visit her Weblog, Pass the Torch or follow her on Twitter.


  1. says

    Hi Gretchen – I tried all the links just now and they seem to be working. Perhaps the compost bin site was down for a bit. Hope it works for you – thanks for reading!

  2. says

    Mu dd is in preshcool and she is having a build with junk day! we have a huge trashbag filled with cardboard boxes, etc…its exciting for her to learn about this stuff at such an early age.

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