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Write a Letter to the Editor
Write a letter to the editor of your local paper and let him or her know what can be done to solve the climate crisis.
Here are some examples of ways you might begin a letter…
  • "Your newspaper's article highlighting the need for more renewable energy in our city was right-on [article title, date]…"
  • "My family and I were encouraged to read that Senator [insert name] will introduce a bill to increase fuel efficiency in our state [article title, date]…"
  • "I was saddened to learn of the board's decision to reduce bus and train service to the airport [article title, date]…"
Some things to keep in mind…
  • Limit your letter to one subject, and keep it brief. Check the publication's guidelines to be sure you stay within the maximum number of words allowed.
  • Make it timely and relevant to current news.
  • Reread your letter and be sure it is something you as a reader would like to see in that publication. Does it state your argument clearly, back it up with facts and maintain a civil tone?
  • Include your contact information so the publication can get in touch with you if it needs to.
  • Have fun!

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    Write a Letter to Your Elected Officials
    You can make the biggest impact by writing your elected officials and asking them for change. Use these suggestions to get started.
    Letter-Writing Tips
    • Mention up front that you are a constituent (i.e., you live in their district).
    • Be specific. Discuss specific legislation or steps your elected officials can take to combat climate change and let them know you are watching their actions.
    • Keep it short.
    • Use a collaborative, rather than accusatory, tone. We must build partnerships to create change.
    • Look beyond just state or national elected leaders. Your list of officials could include:
      • Mayor
      • City council representatives
      • Religious leaders
      • PTA/school leaders
      • Leaders of professional associations

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      Write a Letter to a U.S. Military Hero
      American flag
      Our military protects our nation's freedom, and, regardless of your political affiliation and whether or not you believe in war, these brave men and women need to know that we appreciate their sacrifices and service. With a simple card or letter, you can brighten the day of a soldier who is overseas ensuring your freedom. Your letter might be the only thing that makes that soldier smile that day.

      Read Keisha Whitaker's blog!


      TAKE ACTION TODAY

      1. Select a soldier you know or one who is related to someone you know.
      2. If you don't know a soldier, ask a friend, fellow student, co-worker, pastor, or military chaplain to help you make a connection. Make sure they provide proper mailing instructions.
      3. Grab some paper, an envelope, and a pen.
      4. Write a letter from your heart that expresses your gratitude, shows your support, and provides encouragement. Share a little bit about yourself and ask questions. Avoid such topics as death, killing, and politics.
      5. Include your e-mail or mailing address in case the recipient wants to write back. You could even include a self-addressed envelope.
      6. Send the letter.
      FACTS

      • There are over 2.9 million active, reserve, and civilian men and women in the U.S. military.
      • Hundreds of thousands of American troops are deployed indefinitely in remote parts of the world, including the Middle East, Afghanistan, Africa, the Korean Peninsula and on ships throughout international waters.
      • U.S. service members are deployed for long periods away from home. They love receiving good wishes and words of appreciation and support, even from total strangers.
      • Letters are the most requested item by U.S. military men and women.

      More Ways to Make Your Mondays Matter

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        How to Write a Poem
        Did you know that poems take root in everyday life? You can write one. Really!
        Typewriter

        Our ordinary speech is full of poetry: "She had eyes as deep as the ocean." "The kitchen looks like a cyclone hit it." "My mother's voice could wake the dead." Few of us write poetry, but many of us made up poems when we were children. I was no exception, and I expect that you, my readers, were not exceptions either. I'd like to tell you a little about how I came to write poems and then open the possibility to you.

        I consider it great good fortune that I learned about poetry young. In a prophetic baby photograph, I'm holding Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses. I couldn't read then; that came later, in church. I can still see the black letters making the words I followed across the white pages as we sang hymns, or as my father, who was a minister, read aloud lessons and psalms. It was from psalms I first learned that poetry is more than just rhyming words or lines that stop halfway across the page. In psalms, rock turns to water, mountains smoke with a fire of thorns and melt like wax. "All the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears," reads Psalm 6. I looked forward to church, and that spoken language, as a place free of the noisy chaos at home, where I was the oldest of a brood that eventually grew to nine.

        When I was 15, my English teacher, Miss Wells, asked each of us to write a poem. I wrote about the shoot of a daffodil breaking from earth in early spring. I can still see bright green contrasting with the rich black soil. I forgot that poem when I wrote in college; there I imitated what I read, trying to rhyme like Shakespeare, using high-flown language like Keats, and dropping capital letters like e.e. cummings. It was not until my twenties that I learned poems could come out of my ordinary young female life.

        The year I was 22, I dropped out of graduate school and moved to New York City. "I'm going to write," I told an older woman friend, a writer, when she asked about my plans. I had a job, a hotel, a promised sublet, I told her, and the dream of a novel in my head. Take some of home with you, she advised. She seemed old and wise, so I packed a few of what she called "transitional objects": two tiny antique Persian vases I had inherited and a tattered patchwork quilt from my grandmother, white with lime green circles and bright red stars.

        The job was half-time and left hours for writing. I was hanging on to a boyfriend who lived in Chicago, and he had promised to join me. I set up my typewriter on a table in front of the tall French windows. When I sat down to write, nothing came to me but fear. I was 22. I had had an abortion I'd kept secret from my parents. The boyfriend was drunk or stoned whenever I called him; the hotel was filled with strange people. The day I was finally able to write, I kept getting up to make sure the door was locked. Silence, and then everything in the room seemed to vibrate. The chest of drawers hulked forward as if it were about to topple, the Persian vases seemed ominously lit from within, and when I looked at my grandmother's quilt I started to cry.
        PAGE 1 of 3

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          How to Write Poetry
          Did you know that poems take root in the found objects and slammed doors of everyday life? You can write one. Really! Honor Moore leads the way.
          Still flowers
          Let's say I'm sitting in that room with you now. Take out a pad and pen, your favorite pen—the one that just slides across the paper. Be sure you have an hour or so, so you can take your time with each prompt.

          12 Ways to Write a Poem
          1. Make a list of five things you did today, in the order you did them.
          2. Quickly write down three colors.
          3. Write down a dream. If you can't remember one, make it up.
          4. Take 15 minutes to write an early childhood memory, using language a child would use.
          5. Write a forbidden thought, to someone who would understand.
          6. Write a forbidden thought, to someone who would not.
          7. Make a list of five of your favorite "transitional objects." Choose one and describe it in detail.
          8. Write down three questions you'd ask as if they were the last questions you could ever ask.
          9. Write down an aphorism (e.g. "A stitch in time saves nine").
          10. Write down three slant rhymes, pairs of words that share one or two consonants rather than vowels (moon/mine and long/thing are slant rhymes).
          11. Write three things people have said to you in the past 48 hours. Quote them as closely as you can.
          12. Write the last extreme pain you had, emotional or physical. If the pain were an animal, what animal would it be? Describe the animal.

          Tips
          • Use one of the questions as the first line, each of the colors more than once, the slant rhymes, and the aphorism with a word or two changed.
          • Try using any part of, or all of, the material in any way you want—a line from your dream might work well on its own or your description of the animal might better describe your great uncle.
          • Let the poem be between 20 and 30 lines; let each line be 10 or more syllables long. Think of the poem as a dream or a psalm you are inventing, and don't force it. Write in your own speech, allowing its music and sense to speak through you.
          No human experience is unique, but each of us has a way of putting language together that is ours alone.

          Start Writing Now

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            Write a Letter to Your Representatives
            Puppy mills
            Urge officials in your area to stop puppy mills.

            Were you outraged when you saw Oprah's show on what really goes on in puppy mills? You were not alone.

            Legislation in Pennsylvania—called H.B. 2525—has been proposed to tighten regulations and stop inhumane treatment at large dog-breeding facilities. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives recently passed H.B. 2525. It is now up for a vote in the Pennsylvania Senate.

            IMPORTANT UPDATE:
            On October 8, 2008, thanks to your help, H.B. 2525 passed the Pennsylvania Legislature and will become law!

            For residents of other states:
            Get information from the Humane Society of the United States on how to encourage legislation to fight puppy mills in your state.
            FROM: The Tiniest Dog in the World
            Published on May 30, 2008

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