Be a (Candy) Changemaker

I've known author Laurie Thompson for years, and I'm happy to say that her new book for teens, Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something That Matters has a candy game! Here's how you can use candy for a get-to-know-you team event*:

1) Use any item that has lots of pieces and is inexpensive, like candies, chocolate chips, or pennies. Pass it around the group.
2) Tell your team members only "Take as much as you think you will need." Don't tell them what it's for!
3) After the participants have taken their items, tell them that for each piece they took, they must share something about themselves with the team.
If you wish, you can assign categories for different colored items: yellow might mean people have to share something personal about themselves, red might mean they share why they joined the team; green might mean they share something they're good at.

I thought this book would be very useful for a teen wanting to make a difference in the world, whether it's through fundraising, forming an organization to teach Ultimate Frisbee to kids in the Phillipines, doing outreach, raising awareness of an issue like domestic violence, or something else. Laurie includes the basic steps for any effort, including forming a group, finding mentors, creating a mission statement and focusing on a plan, writing and following a budget, making money, doing PR, and more. These kinds of things are also useful for grownups wanting to start a business or try a new venture. As a mom writing about science and trying to raise awareness of nutritional issues, I found a lot of good information that I'll be able to use myself.

*Paraphrased from Be a Changemaker by Laurie Thompson, pg 72

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