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tv   Teen Kids News  PBS  June 18, 2011 4:00pm-4:30pm PDT

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"teen kids news" is on now, and here's what we've got. i'll show you how a garden helps teens with special needs. is more school a good idea? i'll have your answers. have your parents ever told you to "play nicely" with your brother or sister? well i have an unusual twist on that one. and i'll tell you why the most dangerous thing in your car could be this. that and more coming up next on "teen kids news." and don't worry, the car is off.
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welcome to "teen kids news." i'm mwanzaa. >> and i'm jessica. here's our top story for this week. this report is brought to you by the national road safety foundation. these teens are taking part in a special program held in washington, d.c. it's the department of transportation's distracted driving summit. >> car crashes are the number one killer of teens in the u.s., and i think it was in 2009, over 4,000 teenagers were killed in distracted driving related deaths. a startling statistic for sure -- but what exactly is distracted driving? >> distracted driving is anything that takes your eyes off the road, whether it's putting on make up, texting, anything that distracts you. >> distracted driving is a huge problem concerning teens.
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we have teens that are dying every day. the national road safety foundation is a part of this youth summit because we're trying to assist in bringing awareness to teenagers. >> the teens aren't just learning about the dangers of distracted driving. they're learning how to become "safety ambassadors." >> we invited youth from all across the country to apply to be part of the youth team and selected the top 20 from that who are going to go back to their local communities and implement distracted driving prevention projects. >> you know, part of it is personal behavior change. you know teens influence one another. if these teens go back and when they're a passenger and they're telling their friends, "don't text, put the phone away, not when i'm in the car." one by one that's what will help to change different behavior of the teens. during the three day summit, the teens heard from industry leaders and government officials, including secretary of transportation ray lahood. >> distracted driving is an epidemic.
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it's an epidemic because everyone has a cell phone and everyone thinks they can use it while driving. >> then they were tasked with an assignment -- come up with the most effective ways to encourage safe driving. >> we gathered in a circle and picked five topics that we thought would be really important and then we split up into working groups where we made them more "detailistic" so that we would be able to bring them back in our communities and present them to our community so that they can help save lives too. >> after each team brainstormed ideas, they presented them to the whole group. >> my idea was a really simple one and it's just to go to local businesses, restaurants and put up signs on all their exits that say, "seatbelts on, cell phones off." >> my idea was to have like an obstacle course using like either golf carts or scooters or something of that sort where kids actually have to like go around dangerous obstacles like would be on the road and focus on many different things like they would have to do if they were driving.
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>> an online tutorial covering the different aspects of distracted driving and at the completion of it, students would receive a certificate saying that they have been informed and are aware of the various aspects of distracted driving that they will try to prevent those or remove those issues from their own lives while driving. >> the idea that these young people will go back to their communities and help us persuade their colleagues, their peers, their friends that texting and driving, cell phone use and driving is very dangerous. >> dangerous behavior that can have devastating consequences -- >> my older sister died in 2007 by a distracted driver and so it took that for me to understand. i mean, i was only 14 so i wasn't driving yet, but i didn't know about distracted driving before then and i don't want my story to be the same for a lot of other teens. i want them to understand before they get on the road, before they kill someone, before they kill themselves. >> the old saying "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of
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cure" was never truer, nor more important. for more information on distracted driving, visit our website. "teen kids news" will continue right after this. and now our fox in the classroom update. >> robert gates making his final trip to afghanistan as defense secretary. gates meeting with afghanistan president hamid karzai and u.s. troops. and also addressing the question of a planned troop withdrawal starting in july. >> it's really not so much about where you start, but what the next year and a half to two years looks like. and i think we have to look at it strategically like that. >> in addition to conditions on the ground, gates saying long-term considerations should influence how to meet the administration's timeline. israeli troops clashing with pro-palestinian demonstrators at the syrian-israeli boarder in
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the golan heights. as hundreds of marchers try to cross the boarder to mark the anniversary of the arab defeat in the 1957 mid east war, israeli troops firing at protesters who cut through the border fence, killing some and wounding others. israeli officials suggest the syrian regime instigated the border showdown to divert attention from its own civil unrest. firefighters battling a massive wildfire in eastern arizona. it is already burned thousands of acres of land. >> the fire, which is a frightening sight, i might say, it appeared from the air that it's moving somewhat rapidly. >> authorities asking residents in the mountain communities to evacuate. the fire and heavy smoke also forcing several road and highway closures. the blaze which began may 29th is now the third largest in state history. for "teen kids news," i'm laura
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ingle, fox news channel in the classroom. america has 50 states, and two of them have more states as neighbors than any others. tennessee and missouri share borders with eight states, each. food fresh from the garden always seems to have a special flavor. as adrian reports, it's especially tasty when you raised that food yourself! >> here's some right here. does anybody need some? >> uh, i need two more. >> these kids are learning about gardening, but they're also learning about themselves. it's part of a program at green chimneys, a school for students with special needs. >> i do have a garden worker, and he teaches me all about how to garden and stuff, he teaches me how to plant, water, take stuff out. >> there you go. >> they call this "horticultural" therapy. horticulture refers to the science of growing plants. >> well, the way you find out if it's ripe or not is you go -- you hear that? try that. >> yeah. >> so the school uses gardening
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to teach the teens social skills and self-esteem. it's a way to make therapy "fun." >> i water plants, i cover them in hay, and i do a lot more, like plant plants and like tomato plants i guess and green beans. i do a lot. >> the fruits and vegetables are then used in class to make recipes like french fries and pesto sauce. >> all our curriculum, all our activities are related. not only do they grow the vegetables, work from early spring or late winter, to through the season but they also take the vegetables and they bring them to their life skills area and there they'll cook the vegetables, they'll understand how they taste, what's the best way of cooking them, what's the best way to present them. >> the students are also learning to be good members of the neighboring community.
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for example, some of what's grown here goes to a good cause. we take it down to the local food pantry for the homeless. >> our food pantry row was actually suggested by one of our students. about 3 years ago, she turned to us and said "well, why don't we make a row for the hungry." and so we took that idea and ran with it and one of our volunteers runs that. last year we brought over -- oh, i think it was over 360 pounds to the local food pantry. >> today the students are picking tomatoes and other vegetables from the garden to make salsa. >> so what do you put into salsa? does anyone have an idea? j.j.? >> tomatoes, onions -- carly? what do we put into it? >> um, garlic? >> what do you think jacob? >> beans. >> you guys forgot one important thing though. jacob? >> the tortilla chips. >> yeah, the chips, right. >> they're actually going to go and harvest the vegetables -- tomatoes, peppers, onions, cucumbers, and take them back
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and create salsa -- and actually eat the salsa as a reward for all their hard work that's been going on since almost february. >> oh, i found a nice red one right back here. look at this cucumber ms. chamberlain! >> wow that is gorgeous. if you can take that and just twist it. there you go. >> mmm -- that was good. the salsa tasted awesome. >> it was amazing. >> certainly looks delicious! for more information about the green chimneys children's garden visit our website. it's a sight to make you look twice -- even if you have seen a synchronized rowing crew before. these teens take tradition for a ride.
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there is a dragon in the water. a dragon boat that is. >> my sister told me endless stories about her experience on the dragon boat. >> that's what got benjamin chan to join team nova. now he and his teammates compete every year in the hong kong dragon boat festival, and you don't have to go to hong kong to see it. festivals are held in many cities across the u.s. >> you feel this euphoria that just energizes you and all the teamwork and you know the physical activity that you do. it's really exciting. >> all about teamwork. everybody's mind has to be at the same place. >> to do that, takes a lot of preparation. we got to watch as some teams practiced for the big event. dragon boat racing takes up to 20 paddlers, and puts them all in a 40 foot boat. athletes paddle like crazy to get to the finish line first. >> the two people who sit in the front on the right and the left
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are called the pacers or the strokers. they are responsible for setting the pace and the drummer is responsible for making sure they're always synchronized. >> since this was only a practice, we didn't have a drummer on board. but that didn't stop the team from working on the all-important rhythm. timing is everything. experts say being able to paddle in proper cadence is more important than strength. >> the sport traces its roots back to ancient china. according to legend, some fishermen raced to save a famous poet from drowning festivals are still held in his memory. in competition, the boats are all decked out like dragons. traditionally the symbol of water, the dragon represents power and prosperity. originally, only men competed. >> like i would hear like stories from my uncle and he would be like "back in china we like dragon boats all strong guys. you're girls, like how do you have the strength?" and i was like -- "ugh, we can do it too." >> in fact, there are now teams that are all-girls.
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nor are teams limited to only those of chinese heritage. >> it's very important because for us it's not just trying to recruit the asian girls you know. we try to open this up to all girls of different backgrounds. >> male or female, it takes three things to be good at dragon boat racing. >> well teamwork definitely, because we all have to paddle at the same time. toughness, because you have to hang on there so you have to have really good endurance. and lastly, i guess, trust, because you have to trust everyone on the boat. so i guess that's like, the three "t's" of dragon boating. >> dragon boat festivals are held throughout the world. if you'd like to learn more about the sport, find the link on our website. >> teen's ideas on more time in the classroom, after the break! it's time to get your thoughts, opinions and comments in "speak of the week!"
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>> we all know that more school sounds like, well, as much fun as a trip to the dentist. but, do you believe that having a longer school day and a shorter summer is actually a good idea? a longer school day? i don't think so. maybe a longer summer, but not a shorter summer. >> no, i like my summer. i think 9 months, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week is enough and i mean, i think we deserve that extra two or three months to just you know unwind and relax and you know do what we want for a change. having a longer school day and a shorter summer probably wouldn't be a good idea. >> i don't believe that having a longer school day and a shorter summer is a good idea because we get tired at school and we need breaks. >> in china, kids are in school until 8:00 pm! and, summer break doesn't start until mid-july! what do you think of that? >> that's harsh, because we
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work, work, work and we need like, breaks too. >> i think that is a little ridiculous. i think that's too much work, and i think too much work is not a beneficial thing. >> maybe a longer school day isn't so bad, unless i have to spend more time in math class. this report is brought to you by sealed air -- creator of bubble wrap. at the famous 21 club in new york city, they rolled out the red carpet. bubble wrap style. strutting their stuff are three rather inventive students. in fact, you might say that these teens are bursting with creativity. they're finalists in the annual bubble wrap competition for young inventors. students across the country in grades six through eight were challenged to come up with inventions using bubble wrap. the inventions needed to be original, practical, and if possible, a benefit to society. >> my invention is the uber bubble glove. it's a glove for people with
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raynaud's disease, which has reduced blood flow to certain parts of your body and it helps more than a normal glove because it's insulated by bubble wrap and it has two layers of gloves. >> as the third place winner, mackenzie received a $3,000 bond. she says she was inspired by her mother, who suffers from raynaud's disease. in second place, an invention to protect a device most of us use every day. >> this is my cell phone case holder that i made out of bubble wrap and duct tape. >> autumn's protective case nabbed her a $5,000 savings bond. >> we've done this for five years, and every single one of the entrants the many hundreds and hundreds of entrants we've had have actually been creative, exciting, interesting and really show what young people in america can do when they put their mind to it. >> this floating garden -- a way to help people protect their crops in flooded areas -- took the grand prize, and a $10,000 savings bond.
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>> it's a platform with a box in it with soil and garden, basically, and in the box under it is bubble wrap, and when you put that in the water it floats. >> these winners say you don't have to be a math or science whiz to walk away with one of these awards. >> i was just sitting at home, and i wanted to buy an actual cell phone case for my cell phone, so i'm like "why don't i just make a cell phone case holder." >> all you really had to do was think outside the box. >> so if an idea "pops" into your head for a new way to use bubble wrap, go to and see how your ideas stack up. for "teen kids news," i'm nicole. it's time to play word! pick out what's true from among the false definitions. start with this word -- bipartisan. it means either an actor who plays both male and female roles, representing or supporting two parties,
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or -- an artist who uses only black and white paint. bipartisan means representing or supporting two parties. as in "the candidate received bipartisan support because she was the only one running." >> yay! >> how about this adjective -- preemptive. it means either ready to be emptied, pertaining to the geologic era between two and 3 million b.c., or acting to prevent or replace something that's expected. preemptive means acting to prevent or replace something that's expected. "i thought my classmate might cheat so i covered my paper as a preemptive measure." and how about porous. full of holes or pores, continually flowing, or needy -- as in poor us. porous means full of holes or pores. "get plenty of calcium or your bones will be thin and porous!" to review -- bipartisan -- representing or supported by two parties.
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preemptive -- taking action to prevent something that is expected. porous -- full of holes or pores. and that's word for this week! now here's hannah, with the sound of a brother and sister who make great music together! ♪ >> these siblings have written music with a major songwriter, sold tens of thousands of albums, and opened for acts like mitchel musso and david archuleta. all at the ages of 12 and 13. >> hi, i'm michael, and i play the guitar and sing. >> and i'm marisa, and i play the drums and sing, and we're from the band michael and marisa. >> michael and marisa have been
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traveling across the country for about five years now, performing on tours and in festivals, and opening for some major stars. >> touring on the road is actually, um, so much fun because, um -- you get to um, experience like, different audiences, and like different kinds of people, from like, different places. >> michael has been playing guitar since he was 6, and marisa started playing drums at age 8. a lot of siblings in their situation might not get along very well, but not michael and marisa. >> yeah we get along so well. it's fun to have like, that bond with your sibling. >> marisa and i get to like, bond more even though we are very close, but uh, you know my sister -- >> we're in connecticut at camp jam, and michael and marisa just did a set for the kids who attend this camp. it's a camp for kids who want to explore their musical interests, play instruments, learn, expand, and michael and marisa are here doing a clinic or master class type thing where kids can look
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to them as what they would like to do and learn from them how they got there. these siblings are an inspiration to other kids interested in music. >> i play the drums, and i pretty much am influenced by the fact that they are so confident in achieving these goals that they are setting out to just accomplish. it's just, it's just impressive. >> it lets me believe that you're never too young to do this. it's like, possible. it's not just like those people out there that you look at and you're like "oh, i'll never be able to do that, but it's led me believe that i can do that too. >> they had good stage presence and a cool style like of music. >> their music isn't just "cool," it also has a message. for example, their song called "the same." ♪ it's meant to encourage people who see someone being bullied to speak up -- not be bystanders.
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they wrote it after a local teen committed suicide as a result of being bullied. ♪ >> so many kids like, came up and said how they really love that one, because they can really get something out of it and they walked away with like a different outlook on like how to treat people. >> we're very happy that we could, like, reach out to people and have them understand. >> well, i thought i was really good because personally i'm not the coolest kid in my school, and there are those kids that wanna put you down, but personally i really thought it was really good because i've seen a lot of kids get bullied. >> michael and marisa say they wouldn't be where they are today without the help of -- you guessed it, their parents. >> our dad will help us, like, rehearse and make a set list and stuff, and then our mom, she's
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just so nice, she films and takes pictures, and she just gets everything together, and she helps book things, and stuff like that. >> we don't have a musical background at all and this is really something that was driven by the kids. >> so we tell them just to continue. as long as you're having fun and having fun is the most important. and if it ever becomes not fun for you, then, you know, stop. >> talk about a family that really rocks! for more information on michael and marisa, visit our website. that wraps up our show, but we'll be back with more "teen kids news." >> thanks for joining us, and have a great week!
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write to us at of the best of europe.
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venice seems to be every italy connoisseur's... prague has always been beautiful... germany... the irish civilization... the eiffel tower was built... hope you've enjoyed the magic of... while bulgaria welcomes westernization, traditional ways persist. leaving the cities, we find a land steeped in history,
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from time-warp villages and donkey carts to fortified monasteries. [ children's choir singing ] high in the mountains 70 miles south of sofia, the rila monastery is the country's revered national treasure. it's a formidable fortress on the outside... a spiritual sanctuary on the inside. [ singing continues ] monasteries were built on remote and holy sights throughout bulgaria. dating from the 10th century, the rila monastery survives, but just barely. a handful of monks keep the flame alive. this 14th-century bell tower, the only part of the original monastery to survive a 19th-century fire, served as a final refuge during attacks. [ rhythmic clacking ]
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a drumming priest invites pilgrims, both orthodox and tourists, to the daily mass. through the country's medieval glory days, tsars made lavish gifts to rila, and for centuries, top artists made theircontributions. 19th-century frescoes show important portraits. here's saint ivan of rilski, who founded rila in 927... bible scenes with an eastern orthodox slant, like the 40 days of trials your soul goes through after death... and mary. the rila monastery is dedicated to the virgin mary. rila has been a national pilgrimage site for ages.
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the way the mountains and walls of rila seem to cradle a rich artistic treasure reminds visitors how this monastery helped keep bulgarian culture alive through five centuries of turkish rule. [ speaking bulgarian ] mountain villages capture the rural life that's so quintessentially bulgarian. women still gather at the town laundromat to wash clothes... scrub kids, and share the latest gossip. here in the village of banya, tobacco's the main crop. villagers are busy drying hay to get their animals through the winter. this was traditionally an agricultural society. urbanization and industrialization were forced on the country by its communist regime.
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today, as bulgaria undergoes great changes, many people have reverted to working off the land. modernization in rural areas is happening slowly. we found that locals were quick to share a smile. poor as many farmers are, we enjoyed generous bulgarian hospitality at every turn. [ both speaking bulgarian ] [ shouting and cheering ] some villages have a church, some have a mosque, and some have both. five centuries of ottoman rule left its mark. today, nearly a million people, about a tenth of all bulgarians, are muslim.


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