Saturday, December 31, 2011

Un mensaje para nuestros televidentes colombinas y ecuatorianos:

Hi! I just wanted to let everyone know that we have had seventeen viewers from Columbia and Ecuador. To these viewers: if you would like to request a translated blog (in spanish), please contact me at You may e-mail  me in spanish if it is more convenient to you. Thank you for taking an interest in our organization. Thanks for everything.

¡Hola! Sólo quería hacerle saber a todos que hemos tenido diecisieteespectadores de Columbia y Ecuador. Para estos espectadores: si usted desea solicitar un blog traducida (en español), por favor comuníquese conmigo Puede enviarme un e-mail en español si es más conveniente para usted. Gracias por interesarse en nuestra organización. Gracias por todo.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Diversity Guide:Holiday

When most of us think of December holidays, we automatically think of Christmas. We see visions of Christmas trees, reindeer, and, of course, Santa Claus. However, there are many other holidays celebrated in the month of December. By teaching our children about the holidays other than the ones we celebrate in our own family, we can help them to embrace diversity and better understand the increasingly gobal and diverse world around them.
We are all familiar with our own family traditions. If we celebrate Christmas, we most likely decorate a Christmas tree every year. We may bake gingerbread cookies or go to church to listen to the Nativity Story. If we celebrate Chanukah, we probably light a menorah. Often though, we don't know a lot about the traditions that are associated with holidays other than our own, and this can make it difficult to teach our children about them.
Don't worry; you're in luck! I've compiled a list of five of the most commonly celebrated December holidays. You will also find a brief description of each and plenty of ideas and activities to help both you and your child branch out and learn more about December celebrations around the world.


In the United States, Christmas is the most commonly celebrated December holiday. Some families celebrate primarily by giving gifts and waiting for Santa Claus, while others focus more on Christmas as a religious celebration of the birth of Christ. If you don't usually celebrate Christmas, but want to teach your child about the holiday, you might start by reading the classic tale of the birth of Jesus or even by attending a Christmas service at a local Christian church. Or if you want to take a less religious approach, decorate a small tree and exchange gifts on December 25. You could also make your own Christmas ornaments or bake and decorate some traditional Christmas gingerbread men.
Christmas is a celebration of "peace on earth" and "good will toward men," an important message to share with children no matter what your beliefs.


Also known as Hannukah, this is one of the most important holidays in the Jewish faith. Chanukah is an eight-day festival designed to celebrate the triumph of light over darkness. The holiday commemorates the victory of a small group of Jews over a powerful Greek army, and the miracle of the one-day supply of oil that burned for eight days.
For ideas about how to teach kids about this Jewish holiday, visit the kids section of the website You'll find Chanukah games, activities, recipes, and stories that are geared directly toward a younger audience. You can learn how to build your own menorah or make your own latkes, and children can even listen to an audio version of the Chanukah story, Miracle of the Maccabees.


Unlike Christmas and Chanukah, Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday. It was developed in 1966 by Dr. Malauna Karenga as a way for African-Americans to connect with and celebrate their African roots. Kwanzaa is a seven-day celebration of Nguzo Saba, the seven principles of African family, community, and culture. Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26 to January 1 through the lighting of a special menorah called a kinara. Often, homes are decorated with colorful African cloths of black, red, and green, and people sometimes dress in traditional African clothing. Children usually receive small gifts that are symbols of their African heritage.
Visit The Official Kwanzaa Website to find more information about this holiday, or visit the educational website Apples 4 the Teacher to find all sorts of Kwanzaa activities for kids, including craft ideas, book suggestions, coloring pages, crossword puzzles, and articles about gift ideas and how to decorate for the holiday.

Saint Nicholas Day-

Saint Nicholas Day is a holiday that is celebrated throughout Europe, usually on December 6. In most countries, it is meant to honor the legend of Saint Nicholas, who was known as a giver of gifts. In countries like Belgium and the Netherlands, children leave their shoes by the fireplace on the night of December 5, and awake in the morning to find that Saint Nicholas has filled the shoes with small treats and toys.
To celebrate Saint Nicholas Day, consider letting your children leave their own shoes by the fireplace, and see if Saint Nicholas visits. Or you can read stories about the legend of Saint Nicholas, or explore the different ways he is celebrated in different countries and cultures. And, as with other holidays, you can always find lots of craft ideas and printable activities online.

Las Posadas-

The Mexican holiday of Las Posadas is celebrated for nine days, from December 16 to 24. The posadas are re-enactments of the journey made by Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, that take place each night at a different home within the community. Guests gather at a new neigborhood home each night, dressed as shepards, angels, or even Mary and Joseph, and sing songs and ask for shelter. When the hosts open their home, there is a big party with traditional Mexican foods like ponche and bunuelos, and at the end of the night there is a pinata shaped like a Christmas star.
If you or your children play the piano, you might learn about Las Posadas by singing traditional Mexican songs. Or consider inviting your neighbors to your home for a traditional party, or letting your kids dress up and perform their own re-enactment of the story of Mary and Joseph.

If you want to introduce your children to the December celebrations and traditions of other cultures and religions, consider the following tips:
Visit the bookstore or library to find books that you can read together, or look for educational videos or DVD's to watch.
Look on the internet for websites that offer fun, interactive experiences or printable activity pages about any of the holidays listed above.
Go through seasonal issues of parenting magazines to find a craft idea or a traditional recipe that you can make together. (Hint: local libraries often have back issues of these magazines that you can check out for free).
For a more religious experience, consider attending a service at a local church or synagogue.
Host your own celebration and let your children help you plan. They'll learn a lot when they help decorate, cook, and prepare for a traditional party celebrating any of the December holidays.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Geo Bee

Hello everyone,

It's that time of year again! The National Geography Bee is happening on Tuesday and Wednesday of the week after the upcoming one. The U.F.G.Y. Geography geniuses (mostly Jean) are going to win it! We have created a study group and are preparing for the competition. Wish us luck, we will be informing you on the outcome as soon as we know. Keep reading for more updates.

Thank you,
The UFGY Staff

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Joining our organisation*

Hello everyone,
         We are currently looking for more representatives for our charity. No matter where you come from, we just ask that you are a kid (under 18) and that we are able to contact you. If you are interested or have any questions, please feel free to email us at:

Thank You,
The UFGY Staff

*Note: Author- Nathaniel T.
            Editor-Aidan S., Jean C.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Zach Wahls Speaks About Family

An amazing speech on gay marriage, truly inspiring. Must see!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Lumos: New Charity Option

Hello viewers,
I just wanted to let you know about a charity I found.  Lumos, a charity run by Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling.  The charity has the same goal as our own: to help give disadvantaged children a chance for a good childhood.  As we are not accepting donations yet, it would be good if you gave a little back.
Thanks for all your help and support,
Jean Ceiydi

P.S. Click here for Lumos website.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Latvian Viewers / Latviešu skatītāji

Hello viewers,
I would just like to announce that we have had a view from Latvia.  It was only one view so we are not translating the blog into Latvian yet.  However, if you are Latvian and would like a translated blog, or you want to join our organization and write the blog yourself, please contact us at

Sveiki skatītājiem,
Es tikai gribu paziņot, ka mums bija skats no Latvija.  Tas bija tikai viens skats, tāpēc mums ir nevis tulkojot blog latviešu vēl.  Tomēr, ja jums ir latviešu un vēlētos tulkot blogā, vai vēlaties pievienoties mūsu organizācijai un rakstīt blog sevi, lūdzu, sazinieties ar mums

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Changes in our organization.

Hello everyone,

You may have noticed some changes on our blog recently. First of all, we added a 'safe place' symbol to show our respect for the lesbian, gay, transgender, and bi community. We would like to encourage people to respect everyone regardless of their religion, background, or sexuality. We also have created a blog in Dutch so more people will be able to view our posts and learn about the importance of diversity. We would like to thank everyone for bearing with our multitude of glitches and errors on our developing system. Hopefully, our content will soon be accessible to all our viewers and things will calm down a little bit.

Thank you so much,
The UFGY Staff

Saturday, December 3, 2011

General Updates

Hey viewers,
I have 2 updates that you should hear:
1.  We have added a blog in Dutch (Nederlands)
2.  The Turkmenistan Department has expanded and now encompasses all of Central Asia.  As the website is in the middle of being updated, it may be a few days before it is up and running again, but I'll let you know when it is.
Thanks again for viewing our blog,
Jean Ceiydi