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Welcome to the first ever

Teens Grow Greens video series made by our Teens for Kids!

Since the beginning of June, the Teens have been doing a lot of work in community gardens: weeding, planting, mulching, watering, and, finally, watching things grow!

The Teens usually work with Kids like you one-on-one during the summers, but we want to keep everyone safe.  So the Teens came "straight outta the garden" and headed home to create this video series just for you so that you can grow, too!    


How will the videos help you grow?  Each week for 7 weeks, we'll feature a fun new episode focused on a different character trait.  The Teens will Energize you, help you Think, lead you in Play, Read to you, and Teach you all about the week's character trait.

But what's a character trait?  We're glad you asked!  A trait is something that's a part of you, like your hair color or fingerprint.  It can also be something that's harder to see, like kindness or bravery.  

Our series this year will focus on 7 traits: Curiosity, Purpose, Grit & Growth Mindset, Self-control, Optimism, Creativity, and Proactivity.

Let's get started!

Episode 1: Curiosity

Release Date 6/29/20

What is curiosity?  

We know you want to know.  Right?

Well, that is what curiosity is!  It is something we are all born with (hey, that is a "character trait"!).  

When you are born, your eyes are shut.  But when you open them for the first time, you see light and fuzzy things.  You hear sounds.  You feel hands cradling your body.  You do not know that the light is from something called a ceiling or that the fuzzy thing is a nurse or that the hands holding your little baby bottom are your mother's hands.  

But you really want to know what all of this is!

You eventually learn that curiosity will get you things (like when you try crying to get milk) or get you hurt (like when you try standing up for the first time--ouch!)

As you get older and start to talk, you start asking questions.  Who?  What?  When?  Where?  These are important questions that help you learn about your world and your place in it.  

Then you start asking How? and Why?  And that is when the real learning begins.  How does the sun go up and down?  Why do I have to do my chores?  How are babies made?  Why do people hurt each other?

Get ready to learn more about curiosity from curious people just like you--just a little older.

We now know that curious people ask lots of questions.  And we know that you are curious!  So let's memorize the 6 big questions that every curious person asks: Who?  What?  When?  Where?  Why?  How?


Presented by Breanna Taylor

How far can your curiosity fly?  Fly?  That's right!  Let's build some paper airplanes and see how far they fly.  Can your airplane fly farther than Karina's airplane?  Why do you think so?


Presented by Karina Soto

A flower can't change its color, right?  If it's a dandelion, it can only be yellow.  If it's a red rose, it can only be red.  Or can the dandelion change to red and the rose change to yellow?  Let's pick some flowers and see!


Presented by Te'kyla Miller

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If you'd like to read along, you can get the book at your local library, bookstore, or

Young Ada Marie Twist is full of questions, which turn into experiments.  But not everyone, especially her parents, understands her never-ending curiosity.  Let's see if Ada's parents can realize her passion and her gift as a young scientist!


Presented by Zion Woods and Anthony Horton


Food for thought . . .


Created by Anthony Horton

You have two boxes.  Each box  has a mystery prize inside.  One prize is better than the other but you don't know which one it is until you pick one.  How will you make your choice?

Something strange is happening down the block.  Will you walk to see what's happening or will you stay put?

I put a special toy in front of you and say "Don't touch it."  Do you just sit there and wonder why I said this or are you going to be curious and see what is special about the toy?  Why?

You want to be successful in life.  Will you be ok with watching the process, do hard work, and doing things honestly or will you be curious and try sneaky or easy way?

Episode 2: Purpose

Release Date 7/6/20

What is purpose?  

This is a purpose, right?


No?  Ohhhhh.  That's a PORPOISE!  You're pretty smart!

So what's PURPOSE?  A purpose is a commitment to making a meaningful contribution to the world.  In other words, it means that you decide you want to give something good to the world or do something good for it . . . then do it . . . and mean it!

You know how you can do something "by accident" or do something "on purpose"?  The accident wasn't your fault.  You didn't mean to knock over that glass of milk!  It was an . . . accident!  You didn't see it!

But if you decided to knock over the glass of milk because you were frustrated, then you did it on purpose.  You were in control.  You meant to do it.

So think of something good that you'd like to give to the world or something good that you'd like to do.  That's your PURPOSE!

Purpose gives your life direction.  It moves you forward, not backward.  You want to get older and better and smarter, right?  You have goals and dreams, right?  

Then think about what your purpose is.  The Teens have some activities to help you out!

If you'd like to read along, you can get the book at your local library, bookstore, or

Remember how we said that purpose moves you forward?  Let's get moving with some stretches, running in place, and more!


Presented by Deandrea Foster

What is the purpose of a piece of paper?  It could be to get written or drawn on, right?  But what if you start folding it, then folding it again, and again?  If you have ever tried origami, or the Japanese art of folding paper, you know you can turn a piece of paper into almost anything . . . and give the paper a new purpose.  Let's see what Branden makes!


Presented by Branden Shine

Another definition of purpose is the reason we do something.  The "why."  For example, why do we wear a face mask in public?  Why do we give gifts to our family?  Olivia asks you to think about a big question: What would life be like if no one had purpose?


Presented by Olivia May

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A young boy named Nikolai is searching for the answers to three big questions about purpose: When is the best time to do things?  Who is the most important one?  What is the right thing to do?  How will he find his answers?  Read along!


Presented by Deandrea Foster

Plus, click, print, and color!  Which direction will you go in to find your purpose?


More food for thought . . .


Created by Dominic Inouye

What is the purpose of this tool?

a. eating spaghetti

b. brushing hair

c. pounding nails

What is the purpose of this tool?

a. cutting wood

b. hitting baseballs

c. fishing

What is the purpose of this tool?

a. watering plants

b. painting

c. stirring soup

Those answers were easy!  But what is the purpose of YOU?

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Episode 3: Growth Mindset + Grit

Release Date 7/13/20

What is a growth mindset?  

A mindset is a way of thinking about something.  

Think about a glass that is only filled halfway.  Would you say that it is "half full" or "half empty"?  Some people think that if you say "half full" that you are more positive because you see the glass's potential to be "100% full."  But if you say "half empty," you are more negative because you are thinking about what has been lost.  Both of these phrases are mindsets, or ways of thinking about something.

If you have a GROWTH mindset, then, you believe that you and other people can GROW.  You believe you can GROW their abilities and improve.  You believe you can GROW your knowledge and get smarter.  You believe you can GROW even if you make a mistake or fail at something the first time . . . or the second time . . . or a third!  

You embrace challenges, or things that are hard.  You keep up your effort even when things hurt.  You try new ways of doing things if the first ones don't work.

The opposite of a GROWTH mindset is called a FIXED mindset, or a way of thinking about yourself or others that doesn't believe you can improve, get smarter, or fix your mistakes.

Do you have a GROWTH mindset or a FIXED mindset?

What is grit?

If you have a growth mindset, it is also a good thing if you have something called grit.  Grit is a passion for accomplishing long-term goals.  It requires perseverance, or the ability to work through tough problems or situation.  

If you have grit, you know that it is okay to fail.  You don't get discouraged easily.  Instead, if you fall, you get back up and keep going!


A growth mindset is about stretching your mind and abilities and potential!  Let's get started with some physical stretches!


Presented by

Keyori Hampton

Test your grit as Jose helps you learn a common tongue twister, first slow, then medium, then fast!  It's okay to get tongue tied . . . but we know you'll improve!

Presented by Jose Hernandez

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If you'd like to read along, you can get the book at your local library, bookstore, or

Jamiah is this episode's Thinker!  So she offers you great questions to help you think about the book Jason just read, The Dot, and how you can be just like the main character Vashti.  We know you have it in you!


Presented by Jamiah Bates

Vashti tells her teacher that she can't draw, so the teacher tells her to just make a mark on her paper.  So Vashti makes a dot.  See where she goes from there when she changes her mindset and grows!  Read along!


Presented by Jason Tyson Jr.

Using examples from school to music to soccer, Johann talks honestly about having a growth mindset and grit.  Learn from Johann's example to help you keep going even when things get tough!


Presented by Johann Ortiz

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Plus, click, print, and connect the numbers!  That's a lot of numbers!  We count at least 50!  Can you connect them all?

Episode 4: Self-Control

Release Date 7/20/20

What is self-control?

Have you ever eaten a bunch of cookies and realized that you've probably eaten too many . . . so you put the box back in the cupboard?

Have you ever thought about saying something mean . . . but decided to keep your mouth shut?

Or have you ever told someone who was driving the car that they should put their cell phone down?

All three of those things were self-control!

When you have self-control, YOU are. . . you guessed it . . . IN CONTROL.  Not the cookies, not your thoughts, not the cell phone.  You!

Shawnkia introduces this week's episode.  Get ready to learn!


Presented by Shawnkia Casey-Baldwin

Do you have the breath and the self-control to blow up lots of balloons and keep them up in the air?  Try it with your family or friends (but stay 6 feet apart if you play with your friends--even that takes self-control, right?)


Presented by Khamari Weston

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If you'd like to read along, you can get the book at your local library, bookstore, or

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Learn to use your breath for something different than blowing up balloons.  Amira might look like she's tipped on her side (sorry, Amira!) but she is ready to show you how to use your breath to get rid of negative thoughts and feelings.  Read, and breathe, along!


Presented by Amira Randolph

Plus, click, print, and color by numbers!  Do you have the patience and self-control?

Episode 5: Optimism

Release Date 7/29/20

What is optimism?

Has anyone ever told you to look on the bright side of things?

Maybe you're not feeling so well.  Maybe you're sad or your tummy hurts.  

Maybe your best friend moved away or a family member died. 

Sometimes when these things happen, we don't want to look on the bright side of things!  We're sad or hurting.  The whole world can seem dark.

Optimism, however, doesn't mean IGNORING the bad or sad things in our lives and just PRETENDING that everything is good and happy.  It means that we accept the bad and sad AND ALSO believe that there are good and happy things that still exist in the world.  

Most of us this year are sad about the coronavirus and how it has changed everything we do.  This year, we haven't been able to do a lot of what we were used to, like going to school or playing sports or going to the movies.  

But if we have OPTIMISM, of if we are OPTIMISTIC, then we still believe that there are good and happy things in the world--and that eventually we will be able to enjoy those good and happy things like we used to!  

Are you optimistic about life?  What good and happy things do you have right now?  What good and happy things are you looking forward to in the future?

Dexter introduces the character trait Optimism and our featured book about an optimistic young woman called Drum Dream GirlThis video took many tries, but Dexter was 100% optimistic!


Presented by Dexter Bailey

Coming soon!

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Meri will give you many examples of optimism, including her work creating and tending a garden this summer with her Teens Grow Greens peers.  There are so many things to be optimistic about!


Presented by Meri Mazang

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If you'd like to read along, you can get the book at your local library, bookstore, or

This book is based on the true story of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a girl in Cuba who wasn't allowed to be a drummer because she was a girl.  But her optimism helped her reach her goal!  Everyone marches to the beat of a different drummer!


Presented by Markell Milton

Plus, click, print, and search for 16 words all connected to optimism!

Episode 6: Creativity

Presented by Aqelah Grant

Presented by Fatou Guisse

Episode 7: Proactivity

Presented by Kyla Chester-Hopkins

Presented by Yasmine Whitelow

Book suggestion: Malala's Magic Pencil

Listen to author Malala Yousafzai read her book, then try out this crossword!

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