Kids Next Door: where
kids can learn
more about being good citizens
People Are Saying
put together, visually delightful- the kids pages are a buried
treasure," says Joanne M. Riley, Educational Technology Services
Consultant in Needham, Massachusetts.
TeacherNet selected "Kids Next Door" as a site of the week
honoree in early 1999. TeacherNet is an online network sponsored
by Highlights for Children, Inc.
June 16, 1999
by Joanne L. Johnson
Department of Housing and Urban Development is creating opportunities
where kids can learn about being good citizens. The "Kids
Next Door" web site is an interactive kid-friendly area on the
web for children and their families. Kids Next Door introduces children
to "Meet Cool People," "See Neat Things," or "Visit Awesome Places."
Have you ever
wanted to volunteer and didn't know how to get started? "Meet Cool
People" provides links to Youth Service America; 4H-Volunteering;
Kids Care; Kids Can Make A Difference; and Habitat for Humanity
International. Each link provides a valuable resource encouraging
activities that will have a significant impact in meeting the needs
of local communities.
One of the
best aspects of HUD's Kids Next Door is the stories HUD receives
from children lending a helping hand. Jennifer, age 11, from Trujillo
Alto, Puerto Rico writes, "In the girl scouts we send clothes and
food to the poor children and adults. We also recycle newspapers,
old boxes, can, bottles, etc."
John, age 5,
from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania says, "I go with my mommy to take
meals to people who can not get out of the house." And Angelle,
age 13, from Salt Lake City, Utah added, "About once a year Utahans
against Hunger have Share the Harvest where people donate food,
and volunteer to help pass it out and carry it to peoples' cars.
I have helped out the past two years."
HUD not only
wants to educate children, but help them have fun too! "See Neat
Things" sends children on a Scavenger Hunt to learn about their
community. Using the internet, children can find the name of the
mayor of their town; a bus schedule; the address of their local
Chamber of Commerce; map of their state; a library card; phone number
of the local police department; and a list of safety tips from the
local fire department. See
Neat Things also allows children to build their own community. With
a click of the mouse, you can build a town complete with a school,
firehouse, hospital, grocery store and people.
See Neat Things
invites kids to chase the Community Scrambler. The chase is to unscramble
words like stop, mail, airport or police station. Each scrambled
word is accompanied with an animated picture and sound effects.
The roar of an airplane, the screeching of a car coming to a stop
and a letter being dropped into a mailbox are just a small sample
of the sights and sound kids will unscramble in this fast, active
and entertaining venue.
are either in a car or a bus traveling to school and back. "Visit
Awesome Places" takes kids on a virtual field trip. Every few months,
kids can travel to a different place in their community. Hop on
board a bus and take a quick picture tour or animated tour with
sound and motion.
HUD's animated Library tour starts with a visit to the local library.
First stop is the Information Desk followed by visits to several
floors. You can ride the elevator to periodicals, reference or fiction
books section. After visiting the library, kids may want to go to
HUD's virtual park and take the Nature and Historic Trails tour.
Park Tours teach safety tips and how to contact the park ranger
if you need help.
The Visit Awesome
Places site includes an Art Gallery displaying original drawings
from students across the country. HUD has taken those drawings and
animated them. Rusty from Omaha, Nebraska, Grade 6, sent in a drawing
of a construction truck. HUD added sound and motion making you feel
as though you were on board the big rig.
Dale City, Virginia, age 12, drew her neighborhood and HUD put the
delivery truck into motion, beeping as it drives through town.
Kids can also
visit HUD's Safe Places to Play. Several Federal agencies have created
links just for kids including: The Department of Justice's site
"Justice for Kids" includes a tour of a courtroom; The Department
of Labor matches kids interest with possible careers; The Environmental
Protection Agency asks kids to join their Explorer's Club and learn
about recycling; and the White House offers kids a tour led by Socks,
"Well put together,
visually delightful- the kids pages are a buried treasure," says
Joanne M. Riley, Educational Technology Services Consultant in Needham,
selected "Kids Next Door"
as a site of the week honoree in early 1999. TeacherNet is an online
network sponsored by Highlights for Children, Inc. Sarasota Florida's
Education Assistance Program is preparing to use HUD's Kid Next
Door site to teach citizenship and provide positive examples to
children in their program.
Johnson is a Deputy Web Manager at the Department of Housing and
Urban Development in Washington, D.C. You may reach her at (202)
708-1547 or email@example.com.
For more fun
and learning opportunities, visit the Kids
Corner. It's a collection of federal kids pages compiled by
the General Services Administration for the Government Information