So those of you who have heard me speak know that I love to tell the story of Laura Stockman and the good work that she’s been doing in her community and writing about in her blog “Twenty-five Days to Make a Difference.” Laura is only 11, but her willingness to do community service of all kinds and to share those experiences with others sets her apart in many ways. Through her blog, she’s been able to connect with people from every part of the globe, and she’s even been asked to teach other kids in other classrooms how to go about changing their own places for the better. Because of her efforts, Laura has been invited to the Special Olympics in Idaho this year to be a part of its Global Youth Summit. It’s all good stuff and I think a great testament to how even younger kids (with the help of their parents and, hopefully, their teachers) can use social media to sincerely “make a difference.”

Now, Laura has embarked on expanding the idea even more. With her mom, Angela, and Jenny Luca from Melbourne, Laura has started “Working Together to Make a Difference” which is an attempt to connect kids and adults from around the world in the name of community service. Teachers are beginning to bring service learning into their classrooms, and they’re sharing their work for others to collaborate with or to learn from. Right now, there are 44 members from Australia, Canada and the US, and they are looking for other classrooms that will participate because they want to, because they truly want to change a part of their worlds.

No doubt, this is a time when there are more people out there needing our help, and if we are to raise a generation of kids to be stewards of the world rather than simply consumers of it, we need to teach them the importance of giving and helping. Soap boxy, I know, but this is such a great attempt by one young woman to really have an impact, and it could serve as such a great model for your own students to follow and to become involved in. I really urge you to get involved if you can.