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Best Bones Forever! Let's Dance Contest
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soccerplayer.jpgWe talk about a lot of "body" related topics on IML: puberty, food smarts, eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, smoking, and sports. We've covered a decent amount of ground there, but one area we haven't covered yet is Bone Health. Sound boring? Doesn't have to be!

It's hard to care about a part of your body that you don't see. But building strong and flexible bones when you're a tween is super-important and sets you up for overall general health and fitness for the rest of your life. Eating foods with lots of calcium and Vitamin D, along with bone-strengthening physical activity, will do the trick.

A new U.S. government-sponsored campaign called Best Bones Forever aims to get tween girls in the know about bone health and how easily they can get it. One great bone-strengthening activity that you might do all the time: dancing. The campaign has teamed up with the pop group Savvy to run a contest called Let's Dance. It's open to girls ages 9 to 14 and offers the chance to appear in a Savvy music video!

We urge IML'ers to check out these links, learn about bone health, and spread the word. Someday, when your grandchildren ask you how you manage to be so old and still so strong and active, you can pass on the advice to them too...

  
DoSomething.org's Battle of the Bands Winner!
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Back in March, we posted about a really cool contest from DoSomething.org and the VH1 Save the Music Foundation called Battle of the Bands, which invited students from all over the U.S. to make videos about why music education matters to them. Over 6,000 young people participated in so many funny, touching, creative videos that will be presented to senators and members of Congress.

Judging was tough, but a winner has been chosen! Check out this catchy tune from the Ken Pruitt Unit of the Boys and Girls Club in St. Lucie County, Florida. They won a $5,000 grant for their music program and will be appearing at the world famous Apollo Theater in New York City! Congrats, guys...and thanks for helping to spread the word about arts education!






Join DoSomething.org's Battle of the Bands
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Sometimes it seems like every year, public schools have to cut more of their budgets. Teachers and aides lose their jobs, class sizes increase, and great programs go bye-bye. Usually that means arts and music education, because they're not seen as "academic" programs that give students more practical knowledge or help them score better on standardized tests.

Do you agree?

We don't! There are, like, countless reasons why the arts are a key element to anyone's education! Each of those reasons is a person who has learned something about the world -- or themselves -- through music.

If you feel, as we do, that it's important to "save the music!", here's a way to get your voice heard. DoSomething.org has launched a campaign called "Battle of the Bands" and there's still time (until April 16) to create an entry. All you have to do is create a video of your band, glee club, orchestra, or any other musical performance (that could mean you and your BFF's singing in your bedroom with hairbrushes for microphones), and in your video, talk about why music education is important to you. Then upload it, share it, ask people to rate it, then submit your results to possibly win prizes and have your video be presented to members of Congress.

Visit the Battle of the Bands website for more info, videos featuring celebs speaking out about music education, and to see a gallery of videos submitted so far. Here's one of our faves:






"Dream Power" Creative Writing Contest


Here's something we know for sure: IML'ers love to write. For proof, check out our My Writing You Said It page and enjoy the amazing stories written by other tweens. It's no wonder. Writing is more than a fun way to let your imagination run wild. When you're feeling like things are totally out of your control, creating your own world through writing can make you Master of the Universe for a little while. Writing also helps us explore our experiences and relationships, and express our feelings about...pretty much anything and everything.

Maybe you're serious about writing and hope to do it for a living someday; maybe you just like to play around with it as a hobby. Maybe you know you're awesome with words; maybe you think you're terrible but do it anyway (although we'd bet you're not as "bad" as you think you are). Whatever your attitude, writing contests are a great outlet for your work! Here's a good one:

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To celebrate the fifth anniversary of publication of the award-winning fantasy "The Dark Dreamweaver," the first book of The Remin Chronicles about a land literally powered by dreams, Imaginator Press is sponsoring a creative writing contest for kids and teens up to age 14. Young writers are invited to write a creative story on the theme of "Dream Power" for a chance to win an 8GB iPod Touch. Four second-prize winners will receive $25 iTunes gift cards, and five third-prize winners will receive $10 iTunes gift cards. An anthology of the winning stories will be published!

Stories will be judged on originality and creativity, writing quality, grammar and spelling, and appropriateness to the "Dream Power" theme. Everyone who enters and includes a self-addressed, stamped envelope with their entry will receive a certificate and a gold "Powered by Dreams" sticker. Entries must be received by October 31, 2009. Contest rules and entry forms are available at www.reminchronicles.com.