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Charity spotlight

A Natural Selection

What are your plans for Earth Day 2012? When you think of charities to help out, think trees and grass and critters, and the organizations working every day to protect them.

We love nature, so it's only natural that we love The Nature Conservancy too. This organization works around the world to save lands and waters for nature and people.

The Nature Conservancy has preserved more than 119 million acres of land and 5,000 miles of rivers worldwide — and they operate more than 100 marine conservation projects globally. With a foot in all 50 states and more than 30 countries, they protect habitats from grasslands to coral reefs in places all the way from Alaska to Zambia. Check Nature Conservancy out today.

Great idea

Earth Day is April 22, but you can celebrate all year long with clever craft activities!

One of our favorites is planting a simple herb garden. Just grab a grownup and a small planter. Decide on your three favorite herbs -- we recommend pizza toppers like basil and oregano, and mint for summer lemonade. Use a long rectangular planter and cluster the seeds in three areas so they grow together.

Start the seeds indoors now, and before you know it, you'll have a garden full of good taste. When the seedlings are sturdy in a few weeks, move the planter outside and enjoy your delicious greens!

Home For parents
For parents
Helping Our Kids Help Out

As parents, we see every day how children have a natural tendency to care about others. Putting that caring into action through service empowers a child and helps to shape character and increase confidence.

Studies have shown that kids who volunteer tend to do better in school. They have the opportunity to show initiative and develop as leaders. Many of the projects in The Good Fun! Book are geared for the classroom, but they usually need a couple of classmates to spearhead them.

Another way to support our kids' growth and development in this area is to try volunteering with them. Doing service projects that help others provides a perfect opportunity for families to spend some quality, meaningful time together.

Children who report that their parents volunteer are significantly more likely to help out themselves. It isn’t hard to find something that works for everybody in the family – whether it’s helping in a community garden or bagging canned goods for a food pantry – to share the experience together. And it’s possible to create a service project for just about any interest adults or children might have.

We’d love to hear from you! If your family is working on a project or has ideas to share with other families, send us an  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Use The Good Fun! Book's website to let other families know all about it.

And if you child wants to share his or her party with us, our publisher Blue Marlin just might write a check to benefit the charity you're helping! Blue Marlin will review submitted videos and essays (along with photos) every three months, pick a winning party, and send that party's charity a check for $100 on your group's behalf! Check out how you can do this by clicking here.

And please make sure to check out the tips for teachers and parents we’ve included in the book. There are time- and money-saving ideas, as well as other suggestions for a successful event.