Source
Scholastic Kids Press Corps
The Scholastic Kids Press Corps is a team of about 50 Kid Reporters around the nation.  The interactive site brings daily news to life with reporting for kids, by kids.
(Front, from left) Hayden Wilson, 6; Isahiah Naranjo, 5; (back, from left) Kid Reporter Jacob Schroeder, 10; Corey Silva, 10; Joe Holian, 8; and Joel Silva, 11 volunteered at Joy Junction on Thanksgiving. (Photo courtesy Jacob Schroeder)

Kids Help Out

Young volunteers get creative to help others

By Jacob Schroeder | December 10 , 2009

Times are tougher than usual this year, and kids are feeling the pinch. They are also working to help make things better by volunteering and raising money.

"It's important to be thankful for what you have because there are a lot of kids in need," said Caley Backstrom, a 9 year old from Vista Grande Elementary School in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Caley and her family volunteer for Joy Junction, the largest homeless shelter in Albuquerque, and the only shelter where families are allowed to stay together.

The Backstrom family volunteers regularly, helping serve food to kids and their families who would otherwise go hungry during this holiday season. Caley said she plans to keep helping out throughout the holiday and into the next year.

Hard Times

The number of homeless children living at Joy Junction has increased rapidly recently. Due to hard times, more families are unable to afford the price of housing or food. According to Jonathan Matheny, the volunteer coordinator for the shelter, 80 children currently live at Joy Junction. Last year during the holiday season, there were only 45 children living at the shelter.

Matheny said that families end up at a homeless shelter for many reasons that include job loss and illness. He and his family were once homeless and received help from Joy Junction.

The increased number of homeless families requires extra volunteers. Those helping out include kids who have never volunteered before and kids like Caley Backstrom's little brother, Caleb, who started volunteering when he was 4. Like the Backstroms, these young volunteers gave up their Thanksgiving to help serve turkey at Joy Junction.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Joy Junction served 1,700 people at its service at the Convention Center in Albuquerque, and hundreds more at the shelter.

Children help out by working together to put dinner rolls on plates and carry food, drinks, and dessert to the tables. Volunteers also help to set up and clean up after meal services.

"I am worried about kids in need," said Autumn Silva, 13, of Las Lunas Middle School in New Mexico. She is a first time volunteer and served food along with her brothers, mother, and grandma. "We're here because we are worried and want to do what we can to help out. Problems with our economy hurt kids in lots of ways. Class sizes are getting bigger and there have been big budget cuts."

Silva said that because of school funding problems, her school didn't have enough money to pay for supplies for sports programs or for extracurricular activities.

Kids at Silva’s school and the community joined together to volunteer to give back to the community in rough times, just like she and her family are doing by helping serve food at Joy Junction.

"It's not all bad, because I think the economy is making kids be creative and kids are learning to help others," Silva said. "At my school we had less instruments for band, so we came up with new ideas for fundraisers like holding a chili night and having frozen food fundraisers to get the money we needed."

Check out a slideshow of kids volunteering at Joy Junction over the Thanksgiving holiday!

Kids and the Economy

Kid Reporters take a look at the economy and how it is affecting kids and their communities during this holiday season in the Kids and the Economy Special Report.

NEWS FOR KIDS, BY KIDS

Get the latest on national and international events, movies, television, music, sports, and more from the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

About the Author

Jacob Schroeder is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps,

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Comprehension Clubs Complete Grade 8 Set

    Comprehension Clubs Complete Grade 8 Set

    Authored by Dr. Irene Fountas and Dr. Gay Su Pinnell, Scholastic's Comprehension Clubs for Grades K-8 brings deep reading, deep thinking, and deep discussion to the whole class. This new full year curriculum, soon available for grades 6-8, was specifically built for the Common Core State Standards. Comprehension Clubs gives students and teachers the opportunity to talk, think and write about text through Student Book Clubs and Interactive Read Alouds. As middle school students advance in their reading abilities and develop their analytical skills, Comprehension Clubs provides teachers the scaffolding to create student-driven conversation guided by meaningful questions and diverse overarching themes. Students of all levels are given the agency to voice their opinions and share perspectives with peers.

    Each grade level set includes:
    • Teaching Guide by Fountas & Pinnell
    • 30 Read Aloud picture books
    • 30 Read Aloud lesson cards
    • 24 Book Club titles (24 titles, 10 copies each, 240 books)
    • 24 Book Club lesson cards
    • 24 Audio books
    • 6 Unit folders

    Set Includes:
    • 564700 Comprehension Clubs Grade 8 Theme Set: Alliances
    • 564701 Comprehension Clubs Grade 8 Theme Set: Transformations
    • 564702 Comprehension Clubs Grade 8 Theme Set: Weird Science
    • 564703 Comprehension Clubs Grade 8 Theme Set: Becoming Resilient
    • 564704 Comprehension Clubs Grade 8 Theme Set: Fighting for Freedom
    • 564705 Comprehension Clubs Grade 8 Theme Set: Mystery and Suspense

    Call 1-800-387-1437 for more information!

    $1,999.00 You save: 37%
    Paperback Book and Streaming Audio | Grade 8
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Comprehension Clubs Complete Grade 8 Set
    Grade 8 $1,999.00
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    I'm Like You, You're Like Me

    I'm Like You, You're Like Me

    by Cindy Gainer and Miki Sakamoto

    This colorful, inviting book helps kids appreciate the ways they are alike and affirm their individual differences in terms they can understand. Includes two-page adult section in the back providing tips and activities.

    $5.21 You save: 25%
    Paperback Book | Grades PreK-1
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    I'm Like You, You're Like Me
    Grades PreK-1 $5.21
    Add To Cart
Privacy Policy
EMAIL THIS

* YOUR FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S EMAIL ADDRESS

MESSAGE
Here's something interesting from Scholastic.com