Happy Peepster

I was going to hop into the office and write this post yesterday but, well, it was a holiday!

One of my (new) Easter Sunday traditions is the Peeps Show, an annual tradition where very creative people (some with LOTS of time on their hands) create dioramas with those lovable marshmallow-y confections known as Peeps. This is the fourth year the Washington Post has sponsored the contest, and the first year it has been so full of children’s literature. The images are encased in a slide show, so I’ve added the number Goodnight Peeps (#3), The Mad Hatter’s Peeps Party (#5), Where the Wild Peeps Are (#6),  Madeline (#15),  and 1,001 Peepian Knights (#34). I have to include  the homage to Peeps and Prejudice (#18) (and zombies) because I love Jane Austen. Some of these are JUST adorable … I love Georgia O’Peep, Norman Rockpeep’s Triple Self-portrait, and Creating a Masterpeeps (check out the Pablo Peepscasa poster), as well as the snowpocalypse dioramas. Read all about Peeps Show IV – watch the behind the scenes video, see all 38 semi-finalists, and more.

Now, before you think I’m still on a sugar high (I had one Reese’s egg for the record), here are some other newsy things that made me smile.

Last fall, First Lady Michelle Obama challenged the students, faculty, and staff at George Washington University to log 100,000 hours of volunteer service by May 1. If they did, she would speak at their commencement.  Most of the article focuses on the First Lady’s upcoming visit, but what I loved about the story was that the school – prior to the challenge – were logging about 60,000 hours/year of service. Read Jenna Johnson’s full article in today’s Washington Post.

Given the restrictions the Associated Press has on excerpting their articles, I won’t say too much here about this REALLY GREAT study that assesses the health benefits of mentoring students. The article focuses on Experience Corps and a volunteer in an inner-city Baltimore elementary school, but AP weaves in the results of  multiple studies that looked at the health impact of volunteering for people over 55 … and concluded that there are measurable health improvements, even for high-risk patients. I hope you read David Cary’s article It’s Win-Win for Elderly Tutors, grade-school kids. It’ll make you smile. I can’t help but hope that when kids get into the habit of volunteering early in life, they’ll continue through life happier and healthier … and their communities will benefit, too.