A superhero contest helps brings out the best in local kids
By Helaina Hovitz
Pottery Barn Kids at 1311 Second Avenue is hosting one last Global Game Changers story time on Saturday, April 6th, at 10 a.m. The GGC is a fictional superhero alliance that encourages kids to ignite good by giving back, thus creating their own "superpower." Kids of all ages are encouraged to submit a story describing how they help others for a chance to win the Superhero of the Month contest. The winner will be announced at the store's Superhero Party on April 13th at 1p.m.
Created by mother-daughter team Jan and Rachel Helson, the GGC book, game, and school curriculum encourages kids to get involved in a cause that feels personal to them, hoping it will stick.
"Studies have proven that teaching kids to be compassionate at a younger age makes them happier, healthier and more productive as they get older," explained Jan Helson. "Something they feel connected to will stay with them for life because it's part of who they are, it's not just something their parents tell them to do."
One of the regulars at PBK's story hour, Hope Hasicka, 3, lives on 93rd street and helps her mother sort their recyclables, doing her part to keep the environment eco-friendly.
"They have free lollipops and bracelets," she said as she reached over the table for some swag, later outfitting her dress with a sticker.
Rachel, 24, read about how Global Girl and her sidekick, Little Big-Heart, change the world for the better by doing good things for others.
When asked what she does to help people, Elana Koening of York Avenue looked up briefly from coloring her picture.
"I don't do anything to help people," she said as she colored in a superhero cape.
"Of course you do!" said her mother. "Tell her what you do at Temple Emanu-El."
"Oh! We give food to poor people," she said, suddenly remembering. Every week, Elana explained, they bake cookies and package food for people who don't have any.
"There are kids who don't have food, so we are very?" her mother prompted her.
"Lucky!" she finished.
A superhero, according to the GGC, is someone who helps people without expecting anything in return. The concept was born after Rachel's aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer. Rachel put on a show to raise money for the Susan G. Komen foundation?then another, then another.
"Thank you so much for the bracelets, I like your hair," Elana said to Rachel on her way out, after finally acknowledging that her mother was, in fact, calling her name because it was time to go.
Elana is a promising contender for Superhero of the Month, but it could be anybody's race-among other promising contest entries included were "I gave my little brother something" and "I help my sister take a bath."