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December 26, 2008

Thinking About the December Issue

This Extra Ink was written by our Global Issues blogger, Catherine N.

Have you checked out the December issue of Teen Ink yet?

As I read these articles, I was amazed at the creative depth of these teen writers. Some stories are painful, others are hopeful. All profoundly reflect raw reality. Here are three stories you should read. For each, I included a thought to ponder and linked to an organization that responds to the global issue mentioned. Here they are:

Travel&Culture: Unconscious by Juliana M. - Juliana describes an unconscious girl she saw in the streets of her hometown in Colombia, and why she decided to give up her favorite sweater for the girl's dignity, in spite of the fact that she knew her small act probably wouldn't matter to the girl. Juliana's poignant writing will transport you to the scene.

Thought to Ponder: How can teens approach hugely complex problems like poverty, drug abuse, and child prostitution? Why is it so important to stand up for human dignity? Respond: Love146 and Children International

Poetry: Child Soldiers by Courtney C.- In Courtney's poem, you see the heartbreaking story that is the life of every child soldier. As Courtney writes, they've lost their "irreplaceable innocence" to violence, fighting instead of dreaming and learning. Her poem captures the intense devastation of violence on these impressionable children.

Thought to Ponder: Have you ever looked into the eyes of an impoverished child and wondered what caused them to stare back emotionlessly? If not, watch the Invisible Children: Rought Cut documentary, and get to know children who've been affected by the war in Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army, which recruits child soldiers. Courtney writes, "Their sobs are unheard, their tears are unseen." When Boni from the Invisible Children movie tells you that his heart is beeping, you'll know what Courtney means.

Respond: Invisible Children

My Christmas Vacation by Kenny S. - For Christmas one year, Kenny took a trip to hurricane-devastated New Orleans, serving the homeless and cleaning up the city. Talk about a radical way to spend Christmas.

Thought to Ponder: For many families worldwide struggling through the recession, the holiday season will, at least financially, be very different this year. How can you serve your community and communities in need this week?

Respond: Make It Right Foundation and your local food pantry

You can check out other great entries by our bloggers at the Teen Ink blogs!

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