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DORA THE EXPLORER "BEYOND THE BACKPACK"

Just as Backpack helps Dora prepare for new adventures, Nickelodeon's pro-social initiative Beyond the Backpack provides parents with tools to prepare their children to excel in life's next big adventure: kindergarten! Beyond the Backpack offers tips, activities, and resources focused on four major areas: Cognitive Skills, Social and Emotional Skills, Health and Wellness Basics, and Parent Involvement in Schools.

The initiative includes dedicated celebrity-endorsed public service announcements, community outreach, as well as a website with an online Kindergarten Readiness Quiz and printable checklist, customized school readiness plans and skill-building activities, and resources for parents and educators. The quiz and checklist were created by educators and developmental experts in consultation with the Beyond the Backpack Advisory Committee.

National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) leads the initiative's on-ground support as the signature grassroots partner. The child advocate organization is the co-author of the Kindergarten Readiness Toolkit, available to more than 5 million parents and educators nationwide. The Toolkit has also been developed in collaboration with the members of the Advisory Committee. All materials are available in both English and Spanish.

For downloadable activities, storybooks, customized gameboard, qiuz and information on the "Beyond the Backpack" partners and their work in the area of school readiness, visit Beyond the Backpack.

Nick News
UPCOMING EPISODES ON NICKELODEON:


Nick News with Linda Ellerbee: Big Fat Failures
Airdate: Sunday, February 19, at 9:00 PM EST
Kids and famous former kids reflect back on some of their failures and what they have learned from them. Celebrities include: Julie Bowen, George Lopez, Tina Fey, Nick Cannon, Jimmie Johnson, and Manny Pacquiao.

Nick News with Linda Ellerbee: A Class Act: Kids Fight to Learn More
Airdate: Sunday, March 18, at 9:00 PM EST
With less money to spend, schools have been forced to cut programs, after school activities, student transportation and even teachers. This is a show about kids believing in education and being willing to fight to get a good one.

Also, check out the lesson plan from the Betty Ford Center Foundation and Betty Ford Institute available here.

The plan is based on Nick News with Linda Ellerbee: Under the Influence: Kids of Alcoholics. To view the special please visit http://www.nick.com/videos/clip/kids-of-alcoholics-full.html



PREVIOUS NICK NEWS SPECIALS AND LESSON PLANS!

VISIT TURBONICK TO VIEW FULL EPISODES: http://www.nick.com/videos/nick-news-videos/

For daily updates and more information on Nick News:http://news.nick.com/


Nickelodeon and the American Psychological Association Partner for 9/11 Anniversary

With the 10th anniversary of 9/11, young kids were exposed to information and images regarding the tragedy. To help parents, caregivers, and educators talk to their kids about the difficult topics that arose, Nickelodeon partnered with the American Psychological Association (APA) to create a discussion guide for families. The guide is in support of Nick News with Linda Ellerbee: What Happened? The Story of September 11, 2001, which addressed some of kids' misconceptions, answered their questions, and offered them a forum to talk about the events of that day.

More information about the special and guide:

The special aired commercial free on September 1, at 9pm EST on Nickelodeon. It is available as a free download on iTunes.

For adults, resources include tips written by the APA and a letter from Nick News host Linda Ellerbee as well as the downloadable discussion guide available at http://pro-social.nick.com/9-11/.



THE BIG HELP

Last Earth Day, Nickelodeon teamed up with the National Wildlife Federation and 4-H for a Big Help project in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, an area affected by both Hurricane Katrina and the BP Gulf oil spill.

Victorious star Victoria Justice and cast mates Leon Thomas and Daniella Monet, alongside 50 students from Chalmette High School, planted Cypress trees at the base of the levy on Docville Farm. NBA All-Star and Olympic Gold Medalist Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets was also on hand to lend support and raise awareness for the ongoing effort to save the wetlands.

The day included a Big Help community celebration for over 400 students, teachers and community leaders, with an appearance by SpongeBob and Patrick, and music courtesy DJ. J. Boogie.

The Big Help is Nickelodeon's commitment to engage kids to take action and make a difference by connecting them to issues and current events they are passionate about. The campaign focuses on four key concerns that affect the current generation of kids: the sustainability of the environment, the need to improve on health and wellness, the right to a quality education and becoming more active in their community.

Visit The Big Help to participate in on the ground activities, log your Actions, and for more on the campaign.

Connect with The Big Help partners--as they have education information and resources that can help you with your classroom preparations.

National PTA--Learn more about parental engagement in schools. www.pta.org

National Middle School Association--Access resources about middle school education and adolescent kids. www.nmsa.org

National Wildlife Federation--Inspire the next generation of environmental stewards by helping your students to learn about nature, wildlife, science, and what they can do to make a difference in their world. Some say it takes a village to raise a child. We say: it takes a backyard, a playground, a park. Make a difference in the health of a child: Take the Be Out There pledge today!

Pearson Foundation--Encourage kids to read books to donate another free book to another kid. www.WeGiveBooks.org

Common Sense Media--Nickelodeon has joined forces with Common Sense Media, the leading voice for parents and a key advocate, to best prepare kids to survive and thrive in the digital age. The collaboration unites the best practices for reaching kids with a specific focus on cyber-bullying and the related issues of privacy, reputation management and trust online. For more on becoming a good digital citizen visit http://www.nick.com/thebighelp/digital-citizen-hub-page.html

Nickelodeon has joined forces with Common Sense Media, the leading voice for parents and a key advocate, to best prepare kids to survive and thrive in the digital age. The collaboration unites the best practices for reaching kids with a specific focus on cyber-bullying and the related issues of privacy, reputation management and trust online.

For more on becoming a good digital citizen visit http://www.nick.com/thebighelp/digital-citizen-hub-page.html



Beyond the Backpack and DonorsChoose.org Join Forces!

Dora's Beyond the Backpack and DonorsChoose.org have teamed up to help young kids get ready for success in school! Nickelodeon will fund 50 percent of Pre-K through first grade school projects supporting cognitive development, literacy and math skills, social and emotional skills, physical wellness, and parent involvement in schools. Visit www.DonorsChoose.org/BeyondtheBackpack to post a project request to raise funds for the supplies your students need or to donate!

DonorsChoose.org, a Beyond the Backpack Advisory Committee member, is an online charity where public school teachers from across America post classroom project requests that range from pencils for a poetry unit to violins for a school recital. Individuals can browse requests and give any amount to the one that inspires them. After reaching its funding goal, DonorsChoose.org delivers the materials to the school and donors receive photos and thank-you letters directly from the students.


MANIAC MAGEE

Maniac Magee is available on TurboNick by popular demand. Watch the video with your students and choose from one of the lesson plans written by the National Multicultural Institute.

The movie, which is based on Jerry Spinelli's book, is about a boy named Jeffrey Lionel "Maniac" Magee, who confronts racism in his small town of Two Mills. The book won the 1991 Newbery Medal and is a teacher favorite.



GET SCHOOLED

Viacom joined with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to create Get Schooled, a national program that seeks to inform, inspire and mobilize students, parents and government officials to find effective solutions to the problems facing our education system. Get Schooled applies the power of Viacom's diverse brands from BET Networks, MTV Networks and Paramount Pictures to raise awareness about the challenges facing America's public education system. Get Schooled is dedicated to identifying sustainable and effective approaches that will increase high school and college graduation rates, improve postsecondary readiness and promote the fundamental importance of education.

For more information visit Get Schooled!



HEALTH & SAFETY

Educators, BAM! Body and Mind is a resource for you to incorporate CDC health, safety, and science topics into your classroom. The site also offers your students interactive content to investigate topics for school or for a personal interest.
For more information visit BAM!



KIDS PICK THE PRESIDENT!

Help your students understand the election process, visit http://www.nick.com/kpp

NICKELODEON SUITES RESORT

Partners in Education

Have the SLIME of Your Life! Follow Dora, Cosmo, and the gang to Nickelodeon Suites Resort - the wildest, wackiest family vacation destination in Orlando, Florida. For more information, visit Nick Hotels.

Stay tuned for special offers for educators!

Noggin: Get Ready to Read
NICK JR. BOOST

The Nick Jr. Boost site is designed for preschoolers through first graders and provides personalized learning experiences that are guided by national standards in preschool education. Boost makes the most of the time children spend playing online with a "connected learning" approach. For more information visit www.nickjrboost.com

GET READY TO READ

NickJr.'s "Get Ready to Read" Builds Early Literacy Skills and Helps Kids in Need!

Help NickJr. & First Book Donate Books

Nick Jr. has joined with First Book to generate 1,000,000 new books for kids in need. You can help simply by visiting Nick Jr. and clicking the red button. It's that easy!

First Aid Book
FIRST BOOK

Find Out How Your School Can Receive Books!
First Book is a national nonprofit organization that provides new books to kids through eligible community organizations that serve children from low-income households. If you would like to find out how to receive books, visit FirstBook.org or e-mail staff@firstbook.org.

Family Table
NICK AT NITE'S FAMILY TABLE

Share more than meals!
Click here for more information on The FAMILY TABLE.

More Resources
MORE RESOURCES

Cable in the Classroom: The cable industry's commitment to education

Nick and the Kaiser Family Foundation's Talking with Kids About Tough Issues.

Nick Jr.com: Play-a-long for preschoolers and kindergartners

Choice, Control, Education. How can you control what your family sees on TV?

Cable puts you in control.

Cable in the Classroom and National Cable & Telecommunications Association