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Dear Kids Who Are Interested In Speaking Out for Kids’ Needs and Rights and The United Nations Convention on The Rights of the Child:

How are things? We’re glad that you’re ready to begin work. Here are some ideas on how to get started :

Read up and become informed on the issues. Head into your local library or research your topic on the web. You might want to get together with a small group of kids who would be interested in working with you. If so, talk to them, plan a meeting and share your ideas. You could develop a kind of Kids’ Panel and go out speaking together. Or you could help each other get ready to speak alone. Whether you work alone or with other kids, you have to decide where you’d like to begin.

You might want to speak first to a small group – say a group of kids in a club at your school, or a youth group – before you speak before a class or assembly of kids or a large meeting of people. Think about what you would like to say and the best way to say it. You might want to first speak about how hard things are for kids in every country of the world, about how the United Nations Convention can help kids, and what people can do to help ratify and enforce the UN Convention, and in that way, how they will be helping kids everywhere. That’s one way to go about it but you might have very different ideas. It’s important that you say what you have to say in your own way.

In the past some kids have done it by showing a video on children’s needs and then they talked about what people have seen and what they can do about it. If you decide to speak , first write down what you’re going to say, don’t worry about grammar. Write without worrying about anything until your second or third try. Read what you’ve written aloud. Have you left anything out? Do you have enough facts that really tell in detail what is happening for kids? Are there too many facts and not enough feelings? Have you let people know how you feel about the issues, how they can help? Does it sound good to you? If you want to make changes, do it now. And now you can check to see about grammar.

When you’re satisfied that what you’ve written is very much what you’d like to say, read it over and over again. Don’t memorize it but get a very good idea of what comes first, second, third, etc. and the words you’d like to say. Make notes in a very simple outline form. List your ideas first, second, third, to help guide you. Don’t write many words, just a few on a small card, which you can keep with you while you’re speaking in order to help you. Now, present the speech to your friends, your family,or your favorite teacher. Get their ideas and make new changes, if you agree with them. When you’re satisfied that you’ve got the best possible way that you can to speak on kids’ needs and rights, let groups know that you’re available. You might want to start with a small group and see how it goes. Don’t get concerned if you are a little nervous at first, and things don’t go perfect. The more you speak – the easier it gets. And – remember – as “It’s not about you. It’s about all kids that we’re doing this for.”

Good luck. Please let us know how it’s going.

If you need any help or a jump-start for your topic check out the Kids Meeting Kids Blog.