As part of our ongoing occasional series on helping kids grow into world-changers, check this out! Here’s the kind of book I want every kid in the world to have a copy of.
Here’s what it’s all about, and a bit from one of the creators, Kirsten Liepmann. Enjoy!
Hello! We are Karen Ng and Kirsten Liepmann, the co-creators of Little Book for Big Changes. We are two friends trying to do our part to support positive change in the world. We met at business school, where we connected over a shared passion for social impact and a desire to help others achieve impact as well.
Karen comes from the world of social impact investing, helping people and organizations to invest in a way that makes the world a more inclusive and sustainable place. Kirsten’s experience is in education: previously an elementary school teacher, she now works on strategy in an education nonprofit. We hope to help bring people together by starting from the beginning: developing a shared sense of responsibility and values among today’s kids.
We have invited Simona Karaivanova, a talented illustrator, to bring our book to life.
We want to help prepare future generations learn how to take on big, complex issues so that they feel they can participate in and drive the changes and improvements they seek. There is really no time like the present, especially as we face political, environmental, and social instability across the globe. To effect positive and lasting change, the power lies with today’s youth – tomorrow’s leaders.
What’s in the book?
Our book has 12 chapters, each devoted to one global challenge. We divided the chapters into three sections: People, Community, and Planet.
In the People section, we highlight issues such as poverty and health that can affect people’s livelihood. In the Community section, we look at ways we can address challenges that affect communities as a whole – how can we work towards social equality? What is needed to sustain a modern-day city? Finally, we turn to issues related to our natural environment in the Planet section, like clean energy and climate change, and explore how we can protect the environment together.
How does Little Book for Big Changes empower children to drive positive change?
Our book’s design is guided by Oxfam’s approach to global citizenship education, which involves three steps: Learn – Think – Act.
Each chapter provides readers with information to develop a basic understanding of these challenges by breaking down these complex issues into concepts that are more tangible for children.
For example, one of our activities is to build a solar oven so that children can learn about the sun’s power, thereby laying a foundation for the concept of clean energy. Activities throughout the book encourage kids to explore and reflect on their ability to make a difference.
Finally, we provide additional ideas and resources to encourage them and their families to engage with these issues further.
We want make it fun and engaging for children to explore these topics, so we have included a wide range of activities such as
- word puzzles
- arts and crafts, and
- scientific explorations.
But our book alone will not create informed and active global citizens. Kids need the support and guidance of those around them to explore these topics and form their own ideas. This is why we are creating a Grown-up’s Guide to go along with our book and activities. We want adults to be involved to help kids learn more and connect concepts to their own lives.
How did this come together?
Karen and I started working on this project about six months ago. The most difficult part is working around our schedules across two different time zones, as I am based in California and Karen is based in London.
We both have full-time jobs so we have to squeeze in time to write content for the book and communicate with one another after work and on the weekends. It’s definitely been challenging to juggle all of this, but we are certain it’s worth it!
What do kids think of the book?
As we tested out some of our book’s pages, it’s been incredibly rewarding to get feedback from kids themselves. They’ve helped us adjust the content but they’ve also shown us their excitement and engagement with activities. One even said the book should be published “ASAP.”
I also have say this book has pushed me to learn more about many of the global challenges we face today. Plus, I have fun testing out the hands-on activities we are including in the book. Trust me, the solar oven works and makes delicious s’mores. This book is fun for kids and kids at heart.
How can we support you?
Thank you for your support! You can pre-order a copy of the book on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter until 28 December. The money raised from this campaign will enable us to finish and deliver this book to children around the world. Over 200 backers have already helped us reach our funding goal to bring this book to life.
But, we would like to share this book with more people, so we added a stretch goal: if we raise enough funding, we will be able to donate a total of 100 books to two charitable organizations that our backers will choose. We are very close to achieving this!
There’s also a super cute video on Karen and Kirsten’s Kickstarter page, so do go and check it out. I’m so pleased about this book!
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