The Academy Kids Club is excited to announce a partnership with the Youth and United Nations Global Alliance to offer two water-themed challenge badges to Kids Club members in 2022, the Academy’s and Drexel’s Water Year.
YUNGA was developed by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations in collaboration with other UN organizations with the mission to educate, motivate and empower young people to alter their behavior and become active agents of change in their local communities. The Challenge Badge initiative has been completed by thousands of groups in over 100 countries, and the Academy is excited to customize their curriculum for our Kids Club members and offer engaging opportunities for local children ages 12 and under.
Diverse activities throughout the year invite children to explore, play and discover. The activities illustrate why water is essential, explore ways to ensure we protect it and envision solutions to make sure it’s available where it’s most needed. Kids Club members will receive monthly activity sheets and invitations to virtual discussions with our scientists and educators, in-person hands-on activities at the Academy and off-site field trips to local waterways.
“Partnering with YUNGA to customize their robust and engaging curriculum for kids in our area is an incredible opportunity,” said Academy President and CEO Scott Cooper. “Academy members of all ages have told us they’d like help identifying actions they can take to protect our planet. The challenge badges are action-oriented, and the activities will give our Kids Club members the information and resources they need to become agents of change in their communities and beyond.”
YUNGA Coordinator Reuben Sessa agreed. “Environmental and social education and awareness has never been so high. but often this is not converted into action. The YUNGA program is intended to give the tools and know-how to young people to take action,” Sessa said.
The first Challenge Badge Academy Kids Club members can earn is the Water Challenge Badge. After completing the activities, participants will receive an official United Nations Water Challenge Badge and a certificate of completion.
The Academy Kids Club is free and open to any child ages 12 and under, but registration is required. Parents and guardians may register their children at ansp.org/KidsClub.
Interested families are invited to attend an Academy Kids Club open house at the Academy on Saturday, Feb. 5, 10 a.m.–Noon. The open house will introduce children and their families to the challenge badge activities, allow for on-site registration and provide resources to help Kids Club members earn the Water Challenge Badge. Attending the open house does not require museum admission and the activities are free for all children aged 12 and under.
The curriculum can be used by teachers in school classes as well as by youth leaders, especially Guide or Scout groups. The World Association of Girl Guides and Girls Scouts and the World Organization of the Scout Movement endorse the badge curriculum for use by Guides and Scouts around the world. If you are interested in adapting the activities for your classroom or troop, please contact Katie Marquardt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Katie Marquardt, Manager of Membership and Appeals. Photos by Ramon Torres/ANS taken prior to COVID-19.