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Category: Ways to step Forward and be a CHAMPION

One American Classroom

One American Classroom

by Jacob Martin

I took national statistics about all students in America, and shrank them down to represent an average-sized classroom. If you have a child in school, these could be their classmates. If you had the chance to spend time with these students, each one a stand-in for millions of kids like them, imagine what they could teach you.

If all kids in America could be represented in a single, 25-student classroom, 16 put together a puzzle or played a boardgame with a parent this week; 12 went to the library with a parent this month; 8 are having some difficulty reading; 8 are going to have an anxiety disorder by the time they’re 18; 5 are going to be bullied this year; 1 will be pushed, shoved, or spat on; 3 will be robbed, assaulted, or raped, 1 while at school; 5 live below the poverty line; 2 aren’t sure that they’ll get their next meal; 1 may lose their home; 2 will never graduate. Get involved in your community. There’s a classroom that needs you.

Details and Resources

Parental Involvement
In a 2012 survey, 64% of parents or guardians of kindergartners through fifth-graders reported playing board games or doing puzzles with their children in the previous week.
Table 207.20
In a 2012 survey, 44.8% of parents or guardians of kindergartners through fifth-graders reported visiting a library with their children in the previous month.
Table 207.30

68% of all 4th grade students were tested to be at or above the Basic level, denoting “partial mastery of the knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work at a given grade.”
Table 221.20

Mental Health
A 2010 study found 31.9% of adolescents, aged 13-18, met criteria for at least one anxiety disorder
Table 2

In a 2013 survey, 21.5% of students, ages 12-18, reported being bullied at school during the school year. This does not include cyber-bullying which affected 6.9% of students surveyed.
Table 230.40
In a 2013 survey, 6% of students, ages 12-18, reported being pushed, shoved, tripped, or spat on at school during the school year, of which 20.8% reported a resulting injury.
Table 230.40

Violent Crime
In a 2013 survey, 10.7% of students reported experiencing “serious violent victimization,” which includes the crimes of rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault. Note that robbery entails the use of force.
In the same 2013 survey as above, 4.9% of students reported serious violent victimization while at school, which includes inside the school building, on school property, and on the way to or from school.
Table 228.20

In the 2013 Current Population Survey, 21.5% of children and youth under the age of 18 were identified as living below the federal poverty line.
Table 3

A 2014 survey found that in households with children under age 18, 9.4% of children were food insecure, 1.1% of children were categorized as having very low food security. Food security indicates that people have consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life through the year.
Page 16, Figure 2

In HUD’s 2015 report to congress, 2,830,000 million families with children were in worst case renting scenarios (renters with very low incomes [below half the median in their area] who do not receive government housing assistance and who either paid more than half their monthly incomes for rent, lived in severely substandard conditions, or both). The report found an average of 2.09 children per household in severe housing situations. There were 116,030,000 total households in 2013. Therefore, 2.439% of households with children were in worst case renting scenarios and could be projected to have 2.09 children per household, meaning a projected 5.098% of children live in worst case renting scenarios.

A Fall 2013–Spring 2014 school year survey found 1,301,239 public school students (pre-k through 12th grade) experienced homelessness as defined by the McKinney-Vento Act.
Page 8, Table 2
In Fall 2013, 50,045,000 students were enrolled in public school (pre-k through 12th grade).
Table 203.10
The 1,301,239 students experiencing homelessness would account for 2.6% of all enrolled students, or .65 of 1 student in a hypothetical 25-student representation of all American public school students.

In a 2015 survey, 6.8% of the population were “Status” dropouts, meaning they were civilians age 16–24, not enrolled in school, and have not completed a high school program or equivalent certification such as GED.
Table 219.70

Classroom Size
A class size of 25 was chosen as a rounded average (from 25.30) using a 2011-2012 school and staffing survey of class sizes in public primary, middle, and high schools implementing departmentalized instruction. Departmentalized is defined as instruction to several classes of different students most or all of the day in one or more subjects. Departmentalized instruction classrooms were chosen as they are the most common type of classroom. All classroom types, including self-contained, combined-grade, and specialist classes, would average out to 20.84.
Table 7

10 Simple Ways Kids Can Volunteer Infograph

10 Simple Ways Kids Can Volunteer Infograph

Volunteering Ideas for Kids of All Ages

If you’re looking for ways your family or kids could give back in your community, check this infograph! Showing and teaching kids how to volunteer in their local communities is a great way to help them learn new skills while learning about life’s diversity. Of course, each suggestion can be tailored to match your child’s age & level, or could be used as a family activity.

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Congratulations, 2014 Summer of Giving Winners!

Congratulations, 2014 Summer of Giving Winners!

In June 2014, Champions for Kids launched an incredible #SIMPLEService campaign with Tyson Foods, known as Summer of Giving, encouraging people to find small ways to serve the food insecure children in their communities. In return for their service and stories, three winners were chosen for a $25,000 award for their local school district.

We owe so many thanks to all that participated and are so thrilled to announce our three winners!

Fuel for School, Smyrna Elementary School

In a small county in Tennessee, Smyrna Elementary desperately needed support for a feeding program. The “food insecure” children at Smyrna counted on two meals a day (breakfast and lunch) during the school week, but often went home to empty pantries over the weekends. The school provided “backpacks” of kid-friendly meals and snacks to only 30 out of the 100 qualified children in need. The Sunshine Circle at the United Methodist Church set an initial goal to provide 5 more children with “backpacks” each week.

The “backpacks” were made of one gallon zipper food bags, and included the following: One milk, one fruit juice, two breakfast items, two dinner meal items, and two healthy snack items.

“Often times when we feel we are too small to make an impact on an issue as serious, desperate and vast as childhood hunger, it strengthens our morale to hear of programs like the Summer of Giving. We can see and hear about others like us, which with support from larger groups, can make a tangible difference in the lives of our communities’ children,” shares Sherill Pitts of the United Methodist Church.



Boys and Girls Club of McGehee

In McGehee, Arkansas, 100 children visit the Boys and Girls Club every day, ages 6-18, for summer programs. This includes a summer food program that provides breakfast and lunch. In working with the Boys and Girls Club summer programs, volunteers decided to follow the guidelines of Summer of Giving and combine cooking, nutrition, and cultural awareness. Volunteers took six children to Walmart and the kids picked Tyson products from the freezer section to use for the breakfast and lunch programs.

The children (under the supervision of adults!) made rice and cooked a stir fry meal, using a wok and chopsticks. A few days later, the kids prepared and served wings for movie day. For a carnival, corn dogs and chicken fries were the treat of the day! Good nutrition was also taught with servings of broccoli and quinoa, plus a discussion about the benefits of olive oil and fresh herbs. The kids were thrilled to be in the kitchen wearing aprons and learning about preparing food and the change of pace was welcome.
“Serving them and watching them eat was such a blessing. They were so proud that they prepared the meal themselves,” Amanda Pambianchi explained. “I learned long ago that every child wants to be a leader and wants to be recognized. By giving THEM the opportunity to shop, plan, prepare, serve, and learn, they will carry these memories. It may inspire them to share their time, talents, and resources.”


McGehee Boys & Girls Club

Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter

Mondelez International’s corporate dream is to create “delicious moments of joy” through their snacks, and when they learned of the Summer of Giving program, they knew exactly how to inspire and lead from the heart. When Walmart Northwest Arkansas LPGA Championship asked for product and truck donations for their Drive for Hope initiative, benefiting the NWA Children’s Shelter, the folks at Mondelez International didn’t hesitate to say “Yes!”

NWA Children’s Shelter provides a round-the-clock safe haven for neglected, abused, and abandoned children. Now in its 20th year, NWA Children’s Shelter has opened its doors to more than 7,200 children who usually arrive with only the clothes on their backs. The shelter provides protection, education, counseling, and nutrition for its guests.

“We know that by responding, in even such a relatively small way – by leading from the head and the heart – we have potentially played a part in positive transformations for dozens (and perhaps even hundreds) of kids,” said Todd Hanus, Customer Vice President of Mondelez International.

NWA Children's Shelter

Congratulations to our winners and a huge thank you to our incredible sponsors – Tyson, Birds Eye, and State Fair! You are all Champions!

6 Creative Ways to make Brushing Teeth Fun

6 Creative Ways to make Brushing Teeth Fun

Teeth are an important part of our lives. Imagine what you would do with no teeth. Some of us don’t like to brush our teeth. Some days it feels like just one more thing to do, but I know how important it is to care for my teeth so I do it anyway. Kids especially don’t always see the point to brushing their teeth. After all, they are JUST teeth. But they aren’t. Unhealthy teeth can make us sick and also make eating a difficult thing. I don’t know about your kids, but mine sure love to eat. It’s important for kids to develop healthy teeth habits while they are young. The easiest way is to make teeth time fun time. You might ask “But how? It’s teeth!” We are here to share 6 creative ways to help kids brush their teeth.


The first thing to do is to teach them the importance of their teeth. One way to do this is to have them pretend they have no teeth. Let them list all the things that would be hard to eat without teeth. Chat about it during dinner and point out all the ways our teeth help us. Teach them that we build good teeth hygiene habits now because even if we get to “lose” our baby teeth, the next set is our very last. We need to treat every single tooth like a little treasure.


  • “Time to Brush Teeth Party” – Have a party where everyone brushes their teeth together in the evening. The family that brushes together, stays together. (They also smile together!)
  • Give kids an option to pick their toothbrush each night. Let them have some of the control over the task. Give your kid 4 toothbrushes and let them choose which to use that night.
  • Fun toothbrushes – Have you seen all the cool things toothbrushes can do? Next time let them choose their own toothbrush at the store. With musical toothbrushes, cartoon characters, and toothbrushes that let you know when time is up, there are plenty to choose from to make that boring morning and bedtime routine time something to look forward to.
  • Toothbrush Dance – Make up a special toothbrush dance for brushing kids’ teeth, or look up the toothbrush dance on the internet.
  • Have a special 2 minute song that you play every night while you brush teeth. Time’s up when the song is over.
  • Buy kid friendly toothpaste in a flavor kids will enjoy.

Pull out those toothbrushes and have a brushing party with these 6 creative ways to help your kid brush their teeth.

How do you get your kids excited about brushing their teeth?

SIMPLE giving is running is select Walmarts across the U.S.! To find out more out the SIMPLE giving program visit our info page.

10 Unique Fundraiser Ideas to Save Your Music Program

10 Unique Fundraiser Ideas to Save Your Music Program

Has your school had to cut their music program? Are you tired of doing the same fundraisers every year? Here are 10 unique fundraising ideas to save your music program by getting kids and the community involved.

10 unique fundraising ideas for your music program


10 Unique Fundraisers

  • Kids’ Art Auction – Set up the school gym as an art gallery and have sections with different types of art to be bid on. Kids can practice what they have learned and feel a sense of accomplishment when their art is displayed.
  • Parents’ Night Out – Parents pay for 2 hours of sitter service. Teachers and high school students volunteer their services to have a kids’ game night while parents get a break.
  • Costume Party – Businesses in the community sponsor booths. People pay an entrance fee or buy tickets for activities to cash in on crafts, activities, and food inside, all while wearing a family-friendly costume. Hold a costume judging contest with the winner announced at the end.
  • Clean it up – Kids do age-appropriate jobs for people or for a community space in exchange for a donation to the music program.
  • Host a concert – Sell tickets to a concert with area talent or hold a concert put on by kids in your school.
  • Hold a school-wide community rummage sale with proceeds donated to the music program.
  • Have some great local history? Hold a local history tour. Host a fancy dinner at the end with local food and drinks donated by area restaurants.
  • Cupcake/Baking contest – Local bakeries make cupcakes or other baked goods in several categories. The community can pay a fee to come in to taste and judge them. Have a cash bar. Make sure you sell glasses of milk!
  • Wine, cheese, and chocolate pairing – Why stay with the traditional cheese and wine? Dress up fancy for the evening and hold an elegant wine, cheese, and chocolate pairing event. Enlist businesses and restaurants for donations or services.
  • Hold a dance-a-thon – Participants pay a small entrance fee and people donate a certain amount of money for each hour the participants dance. Have local businesses sponsor a prize for the winners.

Have fun with these unique fundraising ideas for your music program. Make a conscious effort to involve your kids and community in whatever fundraisers you do, so every one can share in the feeling of accomplishment your successful fundraiser brings.

Ways you can #PayitForward with your Wedding

Ways you can #PayitForward with your Wedding

It’s February!  Valentine’s Day is the time of year when love is in the air and so many couples are getting married or starting to plan weddings.  You can turn your day of wedding bliss into a beautiful time to inspire change in your own community. Here are 4 ways you can use your wedding to pay it forward and be Champions for Kids.

give back and pay it forward at your wedding

  • Make your venue count for change. Knowing your site fee is supporting a place of value will add to the character of your wedding day.
    • Hold your wedding reception at a nonprofit or a place that offers services to kids in the community.
  • Think of how unique and beautiful your reception would be to host your wedding at a park that provides a safe place for schools.
    • Hold it at a museum or historical site.
    • A botanical garden could provide a beautiful background for your wedding while providing children in your neighborhood a continued place to thrive.
  • Flowers used twice are even more nice:

    • After photos have been taken and the petals have been scattered, send the remaining bouquets to children battling illnesses in a hospital.
    • Imagine a bride stopping at a pediatric wing to give a cancer patient her bouquet.  That bride and groom would definitely be a champion for kids.   
  • Who needs favors when “Change” can be made?  Instead of spending change on favors, be the change you want to see in the world.

    • In place of favors give to the “Help Kids Thrive” fund or give to a favorite charity that serves children in your neighborhood. Put place cards on each setting stating that a donation was made in their honor.
  • Want to have a different kind of bachelorette or bachelor party? Be “that couple” who helps.
    • You can join an effort to paint an after school room that serves latch key kids.
    • Get together and create care packages for nurses and doctors who are champions for kids daily.
    • Bridesmaids will always rally for their brides.  Rally and get it done. Spend a day doing a Simple Service Project to give the children in your neighborhood something beautiful.

No matter where you hold your wedding there is always a way you can turn it into a world of good and be Champions for kids in a beautiful way. Make your “I do” a promise to the world and change your small corner for the better.

10 of our favorite quotes about education

10 of our favorite quotes about education

An education is an important thing. Imagine your world without the ability to read, to add and subtract. Where would you be? How would you survive? Here are 10 great quotes on education from men and women from all walks of life who knew how important an education is.


  • Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
    ~Nelson Mandela
  • One of the few things a person is willing to pay for and not get.
    ~William Lowe Bryan
  • Education is a progressive discovery of our ignorance.
    ~Will Durant
  • The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.
    ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.”
    ~Margaret Mead
  • Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”
    ~Henry Ford
  • Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”
  • The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.
    ~Albert Einstein
  • The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who’ll get me a book I ain’t read.
    ~Abraham Lincoln
  • An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.
    ~Benjamin Franklin

Some of the biggest Champions for Kids are educators! Help support our teachers through simple service projects.

8 Quotes that encourage Volunteers and Volunteer Work

8 Quotes that encourage Volunteers and Volunteer Work



“Wisdom is knowing what to do next; virtue is doing it.”
– David Star Jordan
Educator, author, and peace activist

“The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die.”
– Edward “Ted” Kennedy
US senator

“How can we expect our children to know and experience the joy of giving unless we teach them that the greater pleasure in life lies in the art of giving rather than receiving.”
– James Cash Penney
Founder of J.C. Penney Corporation

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
– Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Indian political and spiritual leader

“Research has shown that people who volunteer often live longer.”
– Allen Klein
Author and motivational speaker

“One of the things I keep learning is that the secret of being happy is doing things for other people. ”
– Dick Gregory
Civil rights activist, writer, and comedian

“There are many wonderful things that will never be done if you don’t do them.”
– Charles D. Gill

“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.”
– unknown

We hope you enjoyed some of our favorite quotes. If you are looking for ways to get involved in your community, try out a simple service project idea that others have used and get your friends and family involved. Champions for Kids works to make it simple to give kids in your community the resources they needs to thrive.

Make and Stuff a Stocking for those in need: 3 Stocking Patterns

Make and Stuff a Stocking for those in need: 3 Stocking Patterns

Last week, I shared 30 stocking stuffer ideas that kids need to thrive. This week I want to share with you some simple ways you can make homemade stockings to fill as a family. I searched all over the web, and these are my 3 favorite links.

20131208-234342.jpg1.Out of all of the stocking tutorials on the net this is one of my favorites. I am sure you can use this simple pattern to give a disadvantaged child in need a stocking full of items needed to thrive.


2. Check out these burlap stockings that are cute. I am sure that these fabric stockings would be so fun to make and sturdy to hold many items for kids in need.

3.These felt stockings are so adorable. This quick video was a “must share” with you all. My family will be looking forward to making these and filling them with items that kids need to thrive.

Once you have made your stockings, filled them with needed items, and donated them to kids, please visit to tell us all about it!

Tuesday Giving: Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Kids in Need

Tuesday Giving: Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Kids in Need


Hygiene Products
Dental Floss
Expandable t-shirt or towel

School Supplies

Glue Sticks or Tape

For Hungry Tummies

Mini Cereal Boxes
Beef Jerky
Granola Bars
Ramen Noodles
mini applesauce packets
gram crackers