Fall 2011Volume 16 Number 4 ▪ About this issue...by Jane and Larry Levine and Christina Schiavoni▪ Letter to our readers...by Jane and Larry Levine

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Fall 2011

Volume 16 Number 4

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About this issue...by Jane and Larry Levine and Christina Schiavoni

Jane Larry Christina

Larry and Jane Levine and Christina Schiavoni

This issue is always a bittersweet moment for us. It is a time of reflection and anticipation of what lies ahead for KIDS.

This year end issue traditionally is the time when we report to you, our readers, on the state of KIDS. We also combine this report with our annual appeal. As most of you are aware KIDS is a self-funded program of the International Educational and Resource Network (iEARN) and as such are dependent upon the generosity of our readers and receipts from the sale of the KIDS Teacher Guide to continue our work.

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A letter to our readers...by Jane and Larry Levine

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Larry and Jane Levine

As the Chinese Curse goes, “may you live in interesting times.”

2011 was certainly “interesting” on both a personal and professional level. We won’t bore you with the personal aspects, as many of us faced challenges in this eventful year. Thanks to the past generosity of people like you, KIDS was prepared to weather the economic storm and fund the various projects scheduled for 2011.

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The right to fish: maintaining fish as a public resource...by Andrianna Natsoulas

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Andrianna Natsoulas

Elements of food sovereignty are seeping into the consciousness of people who are looking to create, or re-create, a food system based on respect, sustainability and community. Through this awareness, the food sovereignty movement is finding its legs in the United States and is uniting with the global movement. Food sovereignty recognizes that food is a basic human right of all people and affirms the right of all communities to define their own agricultural, fisheries, and food policies. It calls for a food system where food production and distribution are under local control in order to meet the needs of the community and ensure the environment is treated with care.

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Biting off a piece of revolution ...by Jen Chapin

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Jen Chapin

A few years ago I had lunch with a stranger. We had connected, briefly, at the memorial service for a mutual friend and had made a plan to meet again.

My new acquaintance was an appealing young woman who worked as a journalist and lived in my Brooklyn neighborhood. We talked of our departed friend and his passion for music. Soon after, our lunch evolved into a recruitment session for the “Revolutionary Communists” discussion group of which she was a member. Though I’m not much intrigued by revolutionary communism as an ideology, I listened for common ground, seeing as the two of us were united in an interest in economic justice and social change and dissatisfaction with the status quo.

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Putting hunger into a global context through student-to-student interaction...by Ed Gragert

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Ed Gragert

Students of Deanne McBeath, a third grade teacher in New Jersey, are exploring the root causes of hunger with students in Bangladesh, Nigeria, Lebanon, Trinidad & Tobago, Pakistan, Canada and other parts of the US. They are engaged collaboratively in interactive surveys on the existence and scale of poverty and hunger around the world, descriptions of what a typical school lunch looks like (finding that there is no lunch option at some schools) and learning about food distribution patterns and what countries determine those patterns. This global interaction is part of the “Finding Solutions to Hunger” project developed by Kids Can Make a Difference, a program within iEARN (International Education and Resource Network).

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Three kids who are changing the world...by Kristof Nordin

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Kristof Nordin

The necessities of life come from nature. If we think about the things that are essential for human beings to live—nutritious foods, clean water, fresh air, building materials, fuel, fibers, even natural medicines—all of these things come from the environment. The type of environment that we surround ourselves with will often have a direct impact on the quality of our lives. If our air and water become polluted, it will have a negative impact on our health. If we only plant one or two types of crops in our field, it becomes difficult to provide our bodies with all the nutrients we need to grow and stay healthy. And if we allow practices that deplete our surroundings, we end up creating “environmental poverty.”

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Field of teens: if you pay them, they will come...by Fred Bahnson

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Fred Bahnson

In North Carolina, a rural community garden grows into something unexpected: A cure for the unhealthy teenager.

In 2005, Anathoth Community Garden was just an empty field, a group of strangers, and an idea. Church and community leaders in Cedar Grove, N.C., wanted to start a community garden as a way to strengthen their rural community, but didn't have a firm plan for how to get started. I was the eager new garden manager who the local Methodist church hired to get it all going, a transplant to this one-stoplight hamlet. Not content to start small and expand slowly, I decided we needed to dig an entire acre-and-a-half of raised vegetable beds. By hand. Our members were initially enthusiastic. But many were aging, obese, or suffering from mental illness. If I was going to get this garden built, I needed strong backs. That’s when I discovered the endless source of free labor known as community service volunteers.

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