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One Billion Rising Youth Task Force 


Nearly 60 youth from all over New York City gathered on November 30th at the Global Kids offices to learn about One Billion Rising, the global campaign to bring an end to violence against women led by V-Day. Over 170 countries are planning events on February 14th, 2013 to dance, strike, and rise as a call to action. Believing in our mission to empower young people to be leaders in their communities, Global Kids made a call for any young people who were interested in leading the New York City youth effort for the campaign. 



The session covered what the campaign is and why is it important. Students reflected on some of the facts that were shared on the One Billion Rising site and came up with three areas of focus: schools, public spaces, and social media. They broke into groups and brainstormed some actions they could take within each area. As a final task they were interested in doing some early social media work by creating gifs that explained why they are rising and supporting the campaign. 


View photos from the session on our flickr album and check out some examples of the gifs the students created by clicking read more! 


P4K Citywide Prepares as Youth Facilitators  


GK's Playing for Keeps Citywide program is now in its seventh week and a lot has been accomplished so far. Our five returning youth from last year have had the chance to become peer leaders by co-facilitating parts of workshops, helping new students, and brainstorming new activities.


In these seven weeks, youth have learned game design terms and concepts, become familiar with Gamestar Mechanic, and have started using Stencyl to design games for the first time. In December, in addition to playing and making games, the group will also transition to learning about how to write and a facilitate workshops. This is because from January to March, they will be leading introductory game design and game critique workshops at various locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx to prepare youth around the city to submit their games to the National STEM Video Game Challenge.


There will be a lot to prepare for as these GK Youth Leaders take on the role of facilitators and educators in a new capacity, but they are more than up to the task!


Global Kids at Machinima Expo 2012 


This past weekend saw the 5th annual Machinima Expo which celebrates the best in machinima online. The event screened a plethora of films and fascinating panels to explore all aspects of the film community. Global Kids was invited to serve as a panelist during a session titled The Machinima Is The Message: Politically Direct. During the session we focused on our work with youth this past summer to create our climate change film The Future We Want and discussed how machinima is an asset to our students.


The panel was held in Second Life and broadcasted via Livestream to dozens of attendees. Watch the full panel below. 



Race to the White House - Election Day final event 

On election day, November 6, Global Kids leaders who participated in the "Race to the White House" this past summer, presented the results of their program at the Brooklyn Public Library. Race to the White House was a program that used GPS technology and Geocaching to create a game to engage the public in a conversation about the presidential election and to discuss issues that were important to participating youth and their community.


The youth placed GPS-linked "travel bugs" (metal tags) with questions related to public policy issues in public locations and posted the coordinates online for other geocachers to find. The students selected policy issues ranging from internet censorship to college tuition costs. Players in New York can vote on the importance of each issue by choosing to physically move the bug closer to, or farther from, the White House, and writing about why they made that choice on the geocaching website. The students monitored the responses to their challenge and the location of the bugs and presented the results to other youth including other GK leaders from John Adams School. 


See the video below, where the GK leaders talk about their participation in Race to the White House and what they learned




GK Highlighted at the National Summer Learning Association Conference 

Global Kids' digital summer program is highlighted in Pittsburgh's Kidsburgh, an online news source related to children and educational issues. In their article, "Big ideas for fixing the 'summer slide' hit Pittsburgh's national conference", high quality summer programs that were part of the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) Conference in October are mentioned.


Global Kids, a recipient of the National Summer Learning Award, received funds from the NSLA to partner with teacher fellows for their Summer Pathways for Innovation project. Two different teachers collaborated with GK's Online Leadership Program staff to develop programs using new media tools such as virtual worlds to explore environmental justice and geocaching to learn about electoral politics. The teachers were able to help connect the curricula to Common Core Standards and you can see how they did that here.


Russell from Scotland in the background of our group photo