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Good character is always important, and a COVID-19 world demands even more kids who persevere, more kids who show empathy and kindness, more kids who practice self-awareness. That’s why Inside Out Club Live was created in spring 2020. The goal? An engaging, fun virtual club (that did NOT feel like more e-learning!), leading kids to help others, animals and the planet through volunteerism. As our Executive Director says, Inside Out Club Live is designed to feel like “a blend of Mr. Rogers and YouTube for kids.”

Inside Out Club Live is hosted by Ms. Marion and her trusty co-pilot, Dorito the hedgehog. Kids love the content filled with books, videos, crafts and more! Season 1 had eight episodes, one per week for about an hour, with each highlighting one of Inside Out Club’s key character traits – acceptance, curiosity, collaboration, empathy, kindness, gratitude, perseverance and self-awareness – as well as one of six social causes – meeting basic needs, developing character, embracing humanity, protecting the planet, supporting troops and veterans, and being socially responsible.  In addition, each week the kids would learn about a local nonprofit and how they could help!

Over 40 families with 67 kids joined us for Season 1. Here are just four of the things they learned:

Empathy – Imagining what it’s like to someone else. The kids used their empathy skills to imagine what it’d be like to be homeless and have someone show kindness to you through a homemade gift. The service project for this lesson was to make a Tic-Tac-Toe game for kids being helped by DuPage Pads. The kids drew the board on the bag and colored the game pieces. Lastly, they made a note to tuck inside so the child receiving the gift would know another child cares about them.   

Perseverance – During hard times, you don’t give up. Instead, you get creative and determined, and keep going even when it’s a challenge. As part of the perseverance episode, kids discussed how soldiers persevere and why it’s so important, then made gifts to bring them love and hope. Throughout the entire Inside Out Club Live season, kids practiced perseverance when their projects didn’t go as expected, an internet interruption occurred, or their younger sibling made it harder to hear what was happening online.

Self-Awareness – Identifying your emotions and thoughts to make good decisions. To practice, we read aloud Modaff & Miff and Their Two Sided What Ifs by Deepali Punwani, a book designed to help kids identify worry feelings and thoughts, and healthy coping skills, then kids made their very own Worry Jars. During this time of COVID, it’s so important for kids to have the tools they need to identify and process their worries!

Collaboration – Working together to make an impact in the community. During this time, it’s important for kids to see the power of collaboration even when physical distance rules make it hard. As part of this episode, the kids made fleece blankets for Comfort for Critters to give to rescue animals in shelters across the country. They were able to hold up their own completed project on the camera, and when they saw everyone else’s at the same time, it was clear how we can make a difference when we work together. Kids learned about how volunteers across America make blankets for over 100 animal shelters and how with projects like these, they are a part of that bigger effort!

Inside Out Club Live returns February 28th –

We can’t wait to see what kids take away this time around. Each week of Season 2 features animals and the local organizations who care for animals, like Ready Set Ride, PAWSitive Therapy Troupe, and much more! Check it out at http://www.insideoutclub.org/live

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