Each month, we showcase kids who are accomplishing amazing things. We hope that by telling their special stories, we will inspire other kids to accomplish their own amazing achievements.
If you, or someone that you know, has a special skill, talent or ability, be sure to let Amazing Kids! know about it! Simply complete our Amazing Kids! of the Month online nomination form!
March, 2010: Amazing Environmentalist, Song Composer, and founder, kidEarth, Aitan Grossman – Spreading the Word to Save the Earth
By Shamala Pulugurtha, A.K.O.M. Writer and Researcher
Quotes of the Month:
“Be creative. Your ideas will be more powerful. ”
“You should never underestimate your abilities. If you feel something needs to be done, you can do it, no matter how young you are.”
– Aitan Grossman, Age 13; Founder, kidEarth
It’s March and Spring is in the air, a season that inspires us to get outdoors and celebrate the beauty and natural wonders of our world. You don’t need to wait until Earth Day (which this year is April 22) to show your love and appreciation for Planet Earth and to find ways to preserve its beauty and natural resources.
Look no further than our March Amazing Kid! of the Month, 13-year-old Aitan Grossman from Palo Alto, California, for inspiration. Amazing Aitan has started a children’s environmental movement called kidEarth and has written a song to spread his message!
Read more about Aitan below to learn about the creative and innovative project he created to inspire kids around the world to join together celebrate Earth Day! Maybe you’ll be inspired to join him and thousands of other kids next month for Earth Day on April 22 to help show your love and support for our planet!
Don’t forget: If you, or a young person (or persons!) you know, has an amazing project you are involved in, or a special skill, talent or ability you want to tell the world about, be sure to let Amazing Kids! know about it! Simply complete our Amazing Kids! of the Month award online nomination form, or email us!
Amazing Aitan – Doing His Bit to Fight Global Warming
For 13-year-old Aitan Grossman, the Founder of the children’s environmental movement called kidEarth, it all started when he was reading a book called “An Inconvenient Truth.” He was outraged at how human neglect was endangering the earth and thus, he set out to create “a powerful youth voice to battle climate change.”
“Climate change is the most important problem facing the world and not much has been done to engage kids to help stop it. What better way to engage kids than through music, something most of them love?” notes Aitan. “Music happens to be my preferred form of expression. Add it all together and it just came to me: write a song about the Earth,” he puts it simply.
The fact that Aitan chose music to spread his message did not come as a surprise to his family because he has been composing music since he was 4 years old. He plays violin, saxophone, vibes, and drums and is also playing Tony, the romantic lead in his school’s West Side Story musical.
Aitan, thus, sat down to write a song about the earth. It wasn’t too difficult to create a melody. “The lyrics took longer, but they too just came to me,” he states.
Amazing Impact of the “100 Generations” Song
A few lines from the song go like this:
“Hawk you fly into the wild,
I am like a little child,
You and I, we share the same elation.
River run down from heaven’s hill,
Ever flow I know you will,
Lasting a hundred generations…”
The simple but elegant lyrics of the song are helping thousands of kids across the globe understand the importance of environmental protection.
“I am not old enough to solve the problem of global warming. But I am old enough to convince others to try by having school children from Africa, South America, Europe, Asia and North America sing my “100 Generations” song with me. That way, the world can hear that children everywhere care about the integrity of the nature that we are taking for granted, and everyone can feel our hope that the Earth will stop warming soon,” Aitan explains.
Aitan spent over 100 hours on this project during the 8 months from its conception to its 2009 release. After Aitan wrote the “100 Generations” song, he sent it to schools in six continents in search of children like him who wanted to fight global warming through music. He also personally traveled to several schools in the US and abroad to promote his song. Children from countries like Botswana, France, Taiwan, Venezuela, Ethiopia, and the United States eagerly volunteered to be part of Aitan’s global music project.
Over 100 children from 5 continents, in four languages, have recorded the song till now. The California Department of Education and Boston, Chicago and New York school districts have promoted kidEarth to over 109,000 teachers (representing 8 million students) and The United Nations has distributed it to 5,000 youth leaders worldwide. Aitan also organized a kid band to record it. He mixed all of the pieces together on a computer and posted the “100 Generations'” anthem on his kidEarth website.
Aitan also created a global nonprofit website called kidEarth. He created kidEarth’s name and designed its logo and designed its website (with his father’s assistance). He also researched and interviewed environmental nonprofits for his website.
After the song’s release, Aitan also promoted kidEarth to the media, in classrooms, and at a community fair. He has also been inviting school children around the world to add their voices to its chorus. “All they need to join in is: music from the website, a digital video camera, and lyrics sung in their own language about local natural landmarks they hold dear,” he says. Aitan invites kids reading this Amazing Kids! of the Month story to visit the kidEarth.us website to add their voices too!
KidEarth’s website has had over 270,000 hits from over 110 countries and KidEarth stories appeared in 50 international media outlets, including “The Alliance for Climate Protection” where Al Gore featured Aitan’s efforts. Earthday.net, the official website of Earth Day Network with 12 million viewers /year, designated kidEarth an Earth Day 40th Anniversary lead partner.
Aitan’s song is also available on iTunes for just 99 cents. He plans to give the song’s profits to environmental groups that are doing their part to save the planet. Two of Aitan’s favorites are the World Wildlife Fund, which echoes kidEarth’s international global warming message with its work in 100 countries, and the Alliance for Climate Protection, which has been started by Aitan’s hero, Nobel laureate and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.
“My role model is Al Gore, who has devoted his entire life and energy to stopping climate change. My mentors are my parents and teacher Steven Lessard. There is no way I could have done it without their support,” Aitan says.
This project has been a rewarding experience for Aitan personally as well: “I learned how to publish original music and how to create something that would help kids solve climate change. Importantly, I learned you should never underestimate your abilities. If you feel something needs to be done, you can do it, no matter how young you are,” he says.
Aitan typically volunteers 10-20 hours a month on his kidEarth and other projects. He also collected 200 pounds of soccer clothes and equipment which he donated to students when he visited Botswana and works on school yard clean ups, children’s book drives, and food and blanket distribution to the needy.
Aitan helps others learn his song And raises awareness!
Aitan’s Future Plans
Aitan is optimistic about the future: “The efforts of these kids, along with the amazing things adults are doing to ‘un-endanger’ endangered species and to save the planet from the bad effects of global warming will make a difference,” Aitan notes.
This month, kidEarth will be showcased at the 2010 National Youth Leadership Council’s National Service-Learning Conference where Aitan will share his project with teachers and teach his song to (and record) youth attendees. (Expected attendance is 2,000 adults and youth from around the world!)
Aitan’s mind is spinning with ways he can mobilize kids to help save our planet. He would like kidEarth to be the voice of any child anywhere who is concerned about the environment.
In future, Aitan plans to continue to promote kidEarth so that more kids can sing about climate change and get the world’s attention. He plans to add information to the kidEarth website about other creative ways in which kids are addressing climate change.
When he grows older, Aitan hopes to become an entrepreneur and invent something (hopefully to help stop climate change)!
Amazing Kids! wishes you all the best Aitan in your efforts to help preserve our beautiful planet!
- To learn more about how to add your voice to the “100 Generations” song or how you can be a part of the kidEarth movement, visit Aitan’s kidEarth website: www.kidearth.us
- Alliance for Climate Protection website: www.climateprotect.org
- World Wildlife Fund website: www.wwf.org
- Acterra website: www.acterra.org
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