Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour - Every day, any place, any time...


Take the lead on Climate Change. Kidsfreesouls joins the movement by WWF 'Earth Hour 2009' by switching off the light and lighting a candle of peace and hope. You too can Vote and join the world in making a statement against Global Warming to help nature conservation and environmental protection.

Earth Hour aims to reach over 1000 cities and a billion people round the world in the world in 2009. Make Earth Hour happen. Turn off your lights for an hour, record your vote and spread the message.

In India, WWF-India is one of country’s largest non-governmental organization working towards the conservation of biodiversity and natural habitats. The organisation works through a network of 60 state, field and divisional offices with approximately 300 staff working across the country to implement its mission and work. The secretariat is based in New Delhi and the organization is a part of the WWF International network, with its headquarters located in Gland, Switzerland.

This year 2009, India joins Earth Hour for the first time. New Delhi and Mumbai are among 825 cities across 80 countries and territories that have pledged their support to VOTE EARTH during Earth Hour 2009. This number is growing everyday. Noted film actor Aamir Khan is leading the campaign in India. Many companies such as HP, HSBC and Wipro are also supporting the campaign. Read further in Google News here - Vote for the future of your kids.

WWF is urging the world to VOTE EARTH and reach the target of 1 billion votes, which will be presented to world leaders at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009.

You can take a Photo, upload a video, blog or Twitter. List your ideas on how you will spread the word and join the movement. Switch of the lights, light a candle, organise seminars/group talks or even get children to make Projects on Earth Hour by lighting candles and helping them understand climate and global warming. Watch and share this You Tube video with children and explain them on global warming and the impacts of climate change.

Join Kidsfreesouls to show you care here and log on to WWF 'Earth Hour 2009' to switch off the light and join the movement.

Btw, Gujarat Government, Indian State, is the first in Asia to set up Global Warming and Climate Department, details of the news can be found in Kidsfreesouls News page.
Join me at Facebook and use the Earth hour application

Join Kidsfreesouls. Take the Lead. Light a Candle for an Hour or just Switch off the lights. Make a Difference!

Earth Hour cannot be for an hour! Switch off and join the movement any time, any day, any place, anywhere...check on the first news appearing on Google search and also find more here and on Kidsfreesouls Search.

- Ilaxi Patel
Newspaper for Kids

Search for keywords 'earth hour' 'WWF' 'global warming' 'environment' 'light a candle' 'save earth' 'global warming department in gujarat' 'facebook profile of ilaxi on earth hour' in kidsfreesouls Search here

Friday, March 27, 2009

"The Twitter Song" (Do the Twitter Dance) by Chris Thompson

Love Music? Love Twitter? Than here's your chance to FOLLOW ME - and even visit Kidsfreesouls

Watch the Twitter Song and even the Twitter show link here :

Btw, Life is 'Twouble with Twitters' and even 'Trouble without Tweeting' in real life and I even hear children for Reading, writing and rithmetic and Twitter! Educators in Britain are mulling proposed changes to educate children on modern web based application, communication and information. If approved, the applications will be added to school curriculum instead of teaching children on 'Wars'.

Kids will learn 'Twitter' and how to tweet along with phonics, maths, arts and more. Children will learn to write in 140 characters - this means, kids will have option of writing short and sweet instead of the long boring texts! Even, the modern habit of texting messages and web habits would enhance - skill to computing. Twitter is an Interesting choice. However, writing journals may end up with short texts and web based language too.

Check for more in Kidsfreesouls Google News here

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How to make children survive a loss in the family..Life goes on....

I never thought of a subject like 'How to make children survive a loss in the family.' Life is sometimes too cruel and death comes in chariot and takes away the soul, some say. In Gita, we have the 12th and 15th Lesson based on this being read during rituals of person no more. It's the hindu tradition and rituals we follow but when emotions are concerned, teenagers and children in the family are the most that I saw were affected who have to face a grief. Sorrow of losing a mother, grand-mother or an aunt.

Children and teenagers are old enough to grieve as they feel the sadness and yearning after the loss of a family member. As adults, parents face sadness to cope with their own grief but at the same time, children need support, love and care in such bad times. Like the book of Harold Khushner 'Why Bad Things Happen to Good People', it is here to understand the way of life and whatever happens, always do happen for good as god has fashioned life and destined. While coping our own loss, we need to support the younger ones in the family.

Some insight here while at a loss:

1. Young minds are often anxious and frightened as they find unusual and do not understand. Explain the word 'death' in simple way. Why a person will no longer walk, eat, drink - breathe life.

2. Help them cope up. Help them understand the feelings of sadness and anger which are just a normal. Help them express their feelings in acceptable ways.

3. Children are sensitive to your moods and behavior. Help them be with you as much as they need you. Children and teens are not likely to open up or vent their anger/anxious feelings and they sense your emotion and keep their feelings inside.

Children and teenagers follow the grievance process in many ways as :

Physical : restlessness, irritant, weakness, change in sleep patterns and even appetite
Social : They shun talking to people, feel awkward and become more dependent on parents or caregivers
Emotional and mental stability: Feeling alone, scared, numb or hard stare, flat expressions and confused. They are in disbelief. Some teenagers have forgetfulness and lack of concentration as they get more focused on the loss of a person.
Blame Game: Many children and teenagers, blame god. They vent their anger and stop the faith. They lose hope and lose faith in future and wish to die or get lost in thoughts as to what is life.

It is in our hands to support and stand by children in our grief period. Forgive, forget and take charge of own thoughts by not blaming family, social happenings related to the person. Nor blame god, curse heavens or get emotionally weakened. The time soon pass away. Recognize and support child/teenager's pace through grief and include them in remembrance rituals or comfort in thoughts on spirituality, questions related to heavenly abode or saying prayers.

Life goes on...It's only getting involved in your 'Karma' that remains with us and Knowing Nothing is yours.....
- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

2 sms I had received this week:
Rivers don't drink water, they carry itTrees
don't eat fruits, they bear itClouds don't bath, they showerSo be involved in
your KARMA - Knowing 'Nothing is Yours'

We think there is enough time to live,
but we never know which moment might be our last, So, share, care, love and
celebrate each moment of life.

World Water Day - Every Day 'Save Water'

International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day.Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater. On this page, you will find a brief overview of the different themes that have been the focus of World Water Day celebrations.

Many countries are already facing increased scarcity of water. It is expected 1800 million people will be living in countries or regions with water scarcity and two third of the world's population would be under Stress. As population and economy grows, demand of water is on a rise. Globally, an estimated 125 million children under the age of five live in households without access to a safe drinking-water source. Special focus this year is laid on Transboundary waters. The 2009 Theme is "Shared Water-Shared Opportunities." Last year, 2008 was 'Sanitation' theme. You can find India Events and more Information on this page too.

Science City in Ahmedabad has organised a 4 Day event from 20-24th March as a part of this campaign on World Water Day. Children and visitors will get an insight on Sun, Earth, Water, Climate and importance of forests and trees.

Btw, here's kids page of UN website. Also play a Game by Unicef and be informed with Water Alert. Unicef provides clean water and sanitation in over 90 countries and here's the Tap Project site with World Water Week from 22-28, 2009 in US cities. Watch this video on Tap Project too.

21st March is set for World Poetry Day and as Water is the main source of living, why not encourage kids to write a poem on Water? As teachers or parents, try writing a Poetry yourself and even participate here on William Waterway's 'Water Poetry Contest - Water voices from around the World' - Organize Water Day and find ways to conserve Water.

Add your picture to Photo Gallery or Watch the Best of the Photos

- ilaxi patel

Search for keywords 'world water day' 'water day events' 'water games for kids' 'water projects for kids' 'articles for kids' 'newspaper articles on water' in kidsfreesouls Search here

Monday, March 16, 2009

Examination Tips

Examination fever grips young minds and a mind boggling course to complete in too short a time. It so happens, stress takes it toll with Panic Signs - just battling for the boards or appearing for final exams. Stress symptoms vary in children as:

Irritated nature
frustration and nervousness
disinterest in studies
glued to television
sleep for longer hours
lack of concentration
loss of memory
aloneness, anxious attitude

Though we find a lot of counsellors trying to solve the problems of children and parents, it often happens, assistance is just soothing layer when the problem need to be identified months earlier before the exam. Coping with Homework Hassles from the start is important and so is, Setting Goals.

Parents and teachers should take care to identify the weaker areas and help kids to make timely study plans during examination with following tips:

1. Boost confidence : Often the child loses confidence and is confused whether she can do better or not. Build the confidence level by saying 'You can Do It' and encourage to engross in lessons

2. Don't let your Anxiety transferred: Give emotional support. Do not transfer your anxiety to the child. This will only make the child anxious too and often irritated

3. Share smiles : Humour relieves stress. Exams often bring stress to parents and parents stress is kids stress too. Instead, spread smiles, share a joke, soften the atmosphere to wipe off tension.

4. Manage Time : Plan schedule. Time frame each subject lesson and follow time table. Organize the routine to add more hours for study.

5. Capacity of Child : Do not overburden the child during exam time. Identify the capacity of the child and chart out jointly what lessons need to be covered up. Give priorities to what he do not know.

6. Keep the calm : Family conflicts need to be avoided as anxiety over exams cause stress and this leads to verbal wars between the parents due to the child's exams. Hence, keep a calm as this phase will pass soon.

7. Inspire and encourage : Talk about your experiences during exams. How you coped up and let the child feel at ease. Show him your tricks of learning and how to shrug off the panic at the last moment.

8. Feed Well, sleep well : Cook healthy meals as per the choice of the child. Do not stuff too much nor starve. A calm sleep is equally necessary to feed the brain.

Here are move Examination Tips from the Counselling Column. Here's on Stress, coping methods and relaxation. You can find some more Examination Tips here.

Handwriting is also equally important while appearing for exams. As Gandhiji Quoted, "Bad Handwriting is the sign of incomplete Education". Hence, here are rules for Better Handwriting. Examination time is to get rid of unreasonable fear as it is a stepping stone to reach goals. Follow a Healthy Attitude guide and Examination Tips While examinations are on.

It's role of a parent to allow children to live a carefree childhood and focus more on their morals, knowledge and spiritual development. However, important is that children should not be over burden nor over stuffed - either with anything, education or food.

Here's wishing Happy Learning and Best of Luck! Keep the Faith.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Search for keywords 'examination tips' 'setting goals' 'handwriting tips' 'exams for kids in India' 'articles for kids' 'newspaper articles on examination for kids' in kidsfreesouls Search here

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Gandhiji's Salt Satyagraha and 12th March!

12th March 1930, Gandhiji in his boldest act of civil disobedience against British rule, began a long march to the sea in protest of the British salt tax. Gandhi and his followers eventually reached the Arabian Sea, where they made their own salt by evaporating sea water. The march, which resulted in the arrest of Gandhi and 60,000 others, earned new international respect and support for the leader and his movement. Gandhi's nonviolent methods, including dramatic hunger strikes, eventually did bring great results to his goal of Indian independence in 1947.

In the land of the Mahatma, on the Ashram road, there are about seven bridges among which the Ellis bridge was the first to be constructed way back in the year 1869. But, before that there was the Dandi bridge which was actually not a bridge but an embankment which used to get washed over during heavy rains. As till date, this wooden embankment, which saw history in the making when Mahatma Gandhi walked across and started his famous salt march to the gulf of cambay in the year 1930 is almost neglected.

I hear about the revival of this famous Dandi Bridge. The bridge will now be access to riverfront. A special promenade will link Dandi bridge to the river front. Keeping in mind the aim of the Ashram, every piece of architecture will symbolise peace, tranquillity and encourage introspection.

Well, 12th March is ever been my Dad's birthday and the birthday of Sambhaav too. It's just going back, down the memory lane and thank all the people who inspire us to scale higher in life.

Btw, Gandhiji's Profile on Kidsfreesouls is a highly surfed page and I am sure, teachers and parents will like to bookmark the same and use the information for making Projects. Gandhiji wrote a Constructive Programme Plan in 1941 but times have changed now. In today’s Technology Age, Can one follow the simple basic Gandhian Ideology and if so, to what extent?

Frame your own ‘Student Constructive Plan’ to follow the footprints of the great and find the difference. You can find more Projects here esp. March Project and children can explore Kidsfreesouls while following NIE Tips too.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Barbie's Birthday Celebration

Children in cyber world creating imaginary places and spaces with their fondest activities is no new now with the already popular Club Penquin, Disney, spozgirl, Barbie and many more.

As Barbie's Birthday is celebrated on 9th March, it's a celebration that took place of 50 legendary years as children's favorite icon - fashion icon, pop culture princess and an inspiration. She has been outfitted for 108 careers - an Astronaut and White House Candidate as well. A new bathing suit Barbie released to mark of her birthday and she gets a facelift as Mattel celebrates at Barbie Malibu Dream house.
Well, click to the Resources page and you find more links here apart from Barbie website. Play Games, watch videos hang out or just about engage into activities you like.

Girls in Ahmedabad are fond of Barbie kits and reading books. Ask a Carmelite and she would be visiting Crosswords but books is just fun glance while Barbie is in-thing. I had students who talked about their Game n things and they love to dress up and even act like Barbie. They are fascinated with everything about Barbie. Children love to have a Barbie Theme Party and a Barbie Dress Up, Barbie Tea and Cake, Barbie and Ken Dance Party, etc. are some of the theme choice. You can find some here on Birthday Party Ideas.

Are you a fan of Barbie? Here's a record collection of Barbie Dolls by a Fan Bettina Dorfmann who has Guiness World Record. She owns 6000 Barbie Dolls, a display of 1500 in an exclusive room and 1000 in other rooms in her house with 500 more in boxes in the Cellar. She intends to collect 10,000 Barbie Dolls. Now, this is a Record, isn't it? Find more on this here.

Well, Barbie is the best doll ever and I hope, she wouldn't have had a break up with Ken coz I like the Character as well. Here's an Interesting site exclusively for Parents and Teachers (though a media center) and I am sure, you will like to read all on Barbie and go back memory lane to your very own childhood days. Just as much as I remember my days with the dolls and games of yester years. Enjoy!

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids with resources for parents and teachers

Sunday, March 08, 2009

International Women's Day:Award on IWD - TV9 Live Interview

Wherever she is, there is Eden.....

On International Women's Day, I am honoured this year with an Award for 'Outstanding Personality' by Ahmedabad Medical Association, Women's Wing. Earlier, it was 'Outstanding Journalist', an award conferred upon me by Kadva Patel community in 2005.

This year, Ahmedabad Medical Association Women's wing organized a special Program to honour 5 Outstanding Personalities on 7th March at Ahd.Medical Association Hall. Apart from me, other winners were Dr. Maya Kodnani, Minister of Women and Child Welfare, Guj; Dr. Varsha Sagdeo, MBBS and Incharge of Cancer Care Unit, Dr. Radhakrishna Hospital and Research Centre, etc.

Due to IWD ocassion, Dr. Varsha Sagdeo gave an insightful Presentation on Stress Management. She explained why Stress Management is necessary in today's fast paced life which affects our body and mind. She said, "Remember, our heart and head are always at loggerhead with each other" and this is the main hurdle that affects our body, mind, behavior and actions, reactions.
Started in 1966, the Women's Wing is currently managed by it's President Dr. Jayshree K. Soni, who is an MBBS, DGO and Art of Living Organizer and Healer. AMA Women's wing is active in Ahmedabad with various activities like social service, medicine and health awareness, women's development programs, environmental themes, child development, caring for Old People, etc.Most of the members are Doctors and Doctor wives who take out time from their busy schedules.

I am happy to be honored by them who recognize the spirit of women and here's my page on Women and Awards too.

Btw, I also appeared for an Exclusive Coverage on TV9 on ocassion of IWD and shared the platform with Paru Jaykrishna and achor Kalgi Thakar at the live show. The Event is also covered on IWD Website. Find more details on Women's page on Kidsfreesouls.
I thank all my readers and well wishers online and without your regular visits, it would be an empty space for me. So, stay tuned....
- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids with resources for Parents and Teachers

Friday, March 06, 2009

Michelangelo - Pasteboard

Here is Michelangelo's Profile as this artist was born on 7th March. Son of a Government agent, Michelangelo made marble statues and paintings. Most of his work is found in Sistine chapel where we find the Painting of Ancestors of Jesus and The Last Judgment. He also painted prophets seated on thrones, who are believed to have foretold the coming of Messiah, scenes from book of Genesis – Creation of universe, Adam & Eve and illustrating the story of Noah.

Being an artist is really interesting for kids as they love to hold the brush and paint their imagination on the canvass. Children at Swagat Library submit their paintings to clip up. They even have fun drawing me and clip it on the board.

As I took a lot of competitions earlier, I found children drawing and coloring on various themes. This gave a rise to a thought of organizing a Poster Competition. All children can not excel in drawing or coloring. Like some are not good in singing or playing piano! So, we took a unique Poster competition and allowed kids to draw, color and even paste stickers. This resulted into children creating a unique Poster with their imagination and those kids who were not good in drawing and painting, were happy to participate and came out with unique ideas. If you have got your piece of art and wondering what to do, send to kidsfreesouls to paste on color paste board on kidsfreesouls.

Btw, here's Kidsfreesouls Poet (ess) of the year 2008 and Josie's Corner with Poems. Explore.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for kids

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Literature Profiles and Mount Carmel Ex Student meet

Lives of all great men remind us, We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing leave behind us,
Footprints on the Sands of time......

Last week of February, we had two Authors featuring on Kidsfreesouls Literature Profiles - Victor Hugo and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. And, I am sure, many of the students are quite familiar with these two as they are taught in every school texts. I remember, we use to write the above lines in Autograph books while we had our last days of the school before we became Ex-students.

On the School soft-board at Mt. Carmel
Life sure trails on a faster pace and we really miss on a lot more things on Internet as we sure enjoy more in real life. Life itself is a celebration especially when we are in a most developing state like Gujarat. I missed on adding a blog note with the Happy Hours of week-ends and getting into much lively living. I even had a chance of meeting all Ex-Students of my School at Mount Carmel meet. Nothing changes and the memories stay alive in our hearts especially when you are a Carmelite. Everything comes back to memory lane - the classrooms, friends, teachers, canteens and yes, the Hall, the Library and of course, the church where we prayed, day in and out!

On the School soft-board at Mt. Carmel
Well, you can find Mount Carmel School song ("A Happy Band, from far and near....") that we sang years ago and still, hopefully, girls are singing the same....You can also find 'Swagat Song' that I composed for my classroom here. Enjoy.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids
Author of Guardian of Angels